Many small to medium businesses are going the way of virtual firms. While this type of organization has several advantages, there are also a few pitfalls. Interestingly, periodic face-to-face meet-ups can address these issues and spur the organization to innovate achieving new milestones for further success.
Advantages of a Virtual Firm
At a virtual firm, the flexible work hours are more likely to attract talent who might not have been able or willing to work for you. Flexible work hours also go hand in hand with increased employee satisfaction.
Few Overhead Costs
When your company is virtual, you don’t have to deal with the costs of leasing an office and associated expenses. Lower overheads increase the flexibility of your business and its cashflow which is good for operations. Even if you do establish a primary office with a few employees, the costs will still be lower than running a full-fledged office where everyone turns up to the office for work.
With a virtual team, you don’t need to worry about increased office space when you scale up. You can easily increase your team size and scope of operations without these concerns.
Focus on Outcomes
At a virtual firm it is a tough challenge to track the workday of each employee. A better tactic is to focus on outcomes; in other words, the value that each team member is delivering for the company. This really throws light on who is delivering and who is falling short. This tends to drive everyone to perform better.
Benefits of Periodic Meet-Ups
Build Team Camaraderie
Periodic face-to-face meetings that place everyone in the same location are great for building team camaraderie. When everyone is in a different location, you miss out on fun everyday interactions that build team spirit. Even more mundane activities like team lunches help build team spirit. In addition to building team spirit, you can control and set work priorities together. Sometimes this can be a bit of a challenge when everyone is in a different location and/or time zone. Building team spirit can also help drive collaboration between employees.
Face-to-face meetings are great for brainstorming and innovation. This is something that doesn’t happen too much if your firm is completely virtual and you never sit down in the same room to discuss challenges and ideas. It’s a great way to share perspective and inputs, and this can lead to breakthroughs which improve your business operations, or drive value in some other fashion. While group Skype calls are an option for virtual firms, it’s not quite the same as sitting down together face-to-face.
As with most things in life, it comes down to balance. Virtual companies can operate successfully in today’s environment, but periodic in the flesh meetings truly help them enjoy the best of both worlds. Isn’t it time you thought about scheduling a meet-up for your virtual team?
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