Tips and Tricks: Eliminate Discrepancies While Working Virtually
Virtual work has become the most common and popular form of work over the last five years. The confinement of people to their homes has led to the acceptance of Virtual Work as the norm. It has quite a few advantages over working offline in offices. Some of them include the ability to work from anywhere globally, cutting down expenses such as rent, commute, and infrastructure with the added benefit of improved work-life balance. Since every coin has two sides, the pros of virtual work come with some cons. Let us look at some of the discrepancies that may occur during a virtual setup.
- Communicating with colleagues or managing a team is difficult. Virtual meetings are crucial for working in an organization, yet these meetings often become tedious and cumbersome. Unclear agendas and confused leaders can cause virtual meetings to turn into silent fests. Some discrepancies also arise due to varied time zones and cultural differences. Without the use of proper communication and gestures, conflicts might arise. The solution lies in laying down proper guidelines. The team might organize collaboration sessions to get a particular work done quickly and efficiently; this also eliminates a clash of opinions among the members. The members must be encouraged to use informal modes of communication such as chats to develop cordial relations with everyone. Setting proper timelines that define the deadlines and the workflow is essential. Mentioning the goals and expectations will avoid confusion. Overall, a healthy work environment should be created where the employees have freedom in their work. The employers and leaders must act as guides and lead the team in solving complex problems. It will create an open and cordial work environment.
2. Monitoring and planning of projects become intricate with virtual work. Monitoring a team’s progress is essential while developing something new or working on a new project. If the whole team is not updated with their work, it can suddenly jeopardize the completion of the entire project. It results in bad customer experience, negative reviews and damages the reputation of the entire team. Luckily, there is an array of project management tools out there to make this a breeze. Examples include Asana, Jira, Write, and more. These tools allow us to organize projects and collaborate with a remote team easily. Comprehensive project management tools allow assigning tasks to individual team members, splitting them into subtasks, and setting priorities. It ensures tasks are completed on time, and there is no confusion about who should be doing what.
3. Maintaining high standards of work. To any person who starts virtual work anew after being used to commuting to their workplace, it seems that there are only positives. There is no need to tire out by travelling or wearing formal clothes; working is much easier. However, practically, the first challenge one faces is the requirement of the ability to work independently. It is pretty challenging to maintain high work standards when one is unable to collaborate or discuss the work with colleagues naturally. The problem increases manifold when kids or family members interrupt workflow. To tide over this issue, everyone must master the art of independent work. Those who are good at it should constantly share tips with colleagues. Setting up a proper home workspace with proper chairs and monitors and always setting timers while working are the first steps. Moreover, noise cancellation headphones and software, website blockers must be used to allow everyone to concentrate for prolonged periods. It helps to achieve the ideal work-life balance. The work targets and standards can easily be maintained through these means.
4. Efficient leadership and accountability. It is not easy to hold people accountable for their work in a virtual model. We can never really find out if a particular person is working or getting distracted. Time tracking and web activity tracking tools might be used to ensure work efficiency. However, the only proper solution to this is building a healthy and honest work environment. The team needs someone to guide them instead of a leader or boss who gives orders to achieve this. It sets up good communication within the team, and efficiency is multiplied. The team should set up an informal relationship. It makes leadership very easy, and there are no clashes of interests.
Thus virtual work has innumerable benefits. The few discrepancies that arise can be managed if we stay calm and curb our temptation to assume a position of power or dominance over others. The team must allow everyone to project his/her opinions and wishes. An efficient system can only be built on the foundation of trust and comradeship. An open, healthy, and cordial work environment is the key to that. Everyone must stand united as a close-knit unit and help each other during any form of distress. The leader must be firm and a great guide so that there are no power tussles among the members.
All in all, any discrepancies in virtual work can be solved if we have good intentions and stay wise. We must also remember, technology is always on our side. So no discrepancy is significant enough to stop us.
Written By: Ananyo for The Growup Group