The corona virus keeps the world in shock and companies in the home office. Currently, 25% of German employees work from home and work 100% in virtual teams.

According to a survey of 1,000 employees by the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (2020), over 45% of companies are not ready to offer home office and “only” 58% of employees expressly want their employer to work from home.

You notice that the majority of companies either do not have sufficient IT or useful digital processes for collaboration. Both may also apply. This is exactly what you should see as an opportunity.

Managers pick up topics and design processes

In my opinion, a good team leader or manager must be able to ensure that work is completed in addition to his day-to-day business. He takes himself as subject areas and defines processes. Now comes the operational team management: to monitor compliance with the processes.

Now you can certainly add one + one: Virtual teamwork in companies opens up potential for new topics and processes for digital collaboration. But who designs these processes? Established team leaders are often a bit sluggish and there is a lack of knowledge about digital collaboration.

Important : Many people like to talk about introducing software like Jira or trying to implement sprints in Scrum. However, these people will not be promoted. It’s about you being the one who gets the first sprint. Having the idea is not an achievement (that’s what consultants do). It is about perseverance and consistency in persuading employees to work according to these processes. This can take up to a year, but you will notice: It is worth it! Because this is the real performance of a manager!

Concrete : You have to be the one who brings the employees into the meetings, sends out invitations, logs the meeting and also monitors tools daily and meticulously fills in missing fields and statuses in Jira or Microsoft Teams. Especially at the beginning you have to do a lot yourself and at some point after 3 months you have to get the other employees to enter this themselves.

Design digital processes and become a team leader

Now my suggestion would be that you take a team and establish processes for digital collaboration there. On the one hand, this includes determining: how is which tool used and when? You should document this clearly and train the employees.

Now you should also make sure that everyone comes to the meetings regularly and that the tools are properly maintained. How and which meetings are you can read here: Meeting formats for virtual teams.

Read carefully about the topic and take over the team control with the help of virtual tools and also manage the tools for the beginning. Create boards for tasks and show your management the new possibilities. From my own experience, I can say that at the beginning you feel like you have to beat everyone into the meeting and create and maintain the majority of the tasks yourself. Show the employees what you have done on a regular basis and motivate them to participate.

Conclusion

You notice that you can just take a team leader. Don’t wait until you become a team leader, start being a team leader. Design processes and coordinate them with management. Show documentation and click instructions. Monitor participation in the meetings and keep the tools clean (maintenance of fields and entries).

Use the new topics for virtual cooperation from Corona. Read in sensibly and design processes as if you were already a team leader and show initiative and leadership quality. I even write currently a book on this subject, which will appear soon.

Reading tip: Become a manager

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Spelling: I translated my German Blog to English - so you can also read my Recommendations. Please be sorry if this English is not so good.




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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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