By Jerry Mooney

For more than a decade we’ve been promised genuine remote working. Finally, the promise that legions of people will be able to work from home, and not an office, is becoming a reality. And it’s all been made possibly by technology.

 

Companies, like Brennan IT, are now able to connect sites, and people together like never before. And new firms now have access to high-speed, high-quality and secure networks that just didn’t exist in the past.

 

 

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But even though the technology has moved on leaps and bounds, some businesses have struggled to make the working model work. They’ve often found it hard to get people to engage with the business and develop the right culture when people are working remotely. It seems as if the technology is necessary, but not sufficient, to produce a genuine remote working model. So what are the best companies doing to manage their remote teams? Let’s find out.

 

New Leadership For Virtual Companies

 

In the past, businesses wanted to actually see people working to ensure they got value out of them. But that old-school command and control style simply doesn’t work in the virtual space. There is no way of effectively monitoring workers in their own homes. And nobody would want to work for a company that tried to.

 

Instead, the best companies take a different tack. They find people who have goals aligned with those of the enterprise. Often that means hiring professionals who themselves have a vested interest in the success of the company. Having people who share your goals on your side is a great way to do away with the monitoring problem. You can assume that they’ll be just as motivated as you to get the job done.

 

 

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The other way leadership needs to change is in terms of attitude. Leaders of virtual companies tend to see themselves as stewards, rather than commanders. And, as such, much of the day-to-day decision-making is left to individuals.

 

Team Environment

 

In the world of business, there’s a big difference between a “sales” environment and a “team” environment. In a sales environment, employees are competing to make sales and to get commission. This creates an adversarial culture. And, for many companies, that can be damaging. A team environment is different. This is a culture in which everybody wins from each customer interaction. Every person has a role to play, and individuals aren’t competing. The best virtual companies have found that a team environment is the best way to hold on to remote workers.

 

Service Partnerships

 

Sometimes it is difficult for remote companies to maintain healthy relationships with their service providers. Often, remote companies just see their suppliers as vendors and not partners. And, as a result, they miss out on many benefits.

 

 

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Therefore, the best remote companies hold annual in-person meetings with their suppliers. Here they get feedback, share their vision for the business and look for opportunities to network. Vendors also get the chance to show off new products and services. This communication is essential to keep relationships healthy the whole year round.

Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney 

Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney