DREAM TEAMS DONT JUST HAPPEN!
My husband introduced me to the concept of an ‘online team’. I was an analogue child and I am a big fan of face-to-face communication, so initially, it was very difficult to get my head around the “online team” concept. The product I had created for my online courses needed a puppeteer to fully come to life. I took my husbands advice and searched for one online. The search was very exciting. There were so many hungry puppeteers who suited my brief. I eventually chose one and I have worked with him for three years.
To this day I have never heard his voice. I know a little bit about his family and where he is from, but nothing besides that. Apart from being behind deadline, he has always produced really great work for me and without him, I would not have a product at all.
Here are five things to consider when creating an online team.
It is important to know WHERE to LOOK for the right people to suit your brief. There are many freelancing platforms out there and you could spend countless hours searching. It helped me immensely to know about a variety of platforms that were trusted and tried. Here are some examples:
- www.fiverr.com: Fiverr provides a platform for freelancers to showcase and offer their services to the rest of the world.
- www.upwork.com: Upwork is an American freelancing platform where business and individuals are able to connect in order to conduct business.
- www.linkedin.com: LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented online service, used for professional networking. Employers are able to post jobs and job seekers are able to post their CVs.
CHOOSE YOUR ONLINE TEAM VERY CAREFULLY
You can lose a lot of money if you chose the wrong people, even if it’s just in the short run. It is important to KNOW how each employment platform works (star ratings, reviews, money made etc). Once you have carefully considered and chosen your person, it is worthwhile doing a small pilot project. If you are happy with that, then it is usually safe to continue. If not, you have not lost too much money and you can move onto finding someone else.
IF POSSIBLE – MEET YOUR ONLINE TEAM PHYSICALLY
If you are going to work together on a long-term basis, one should try and meet up physically, at least once. Face-to-face communication is far better than virtual communication. The aim is to develop and build a relationship with your employee/s. Both need to have a foundation of trust in order for the working relationship to be effective. The best way to build this relationship is face-to-face. If this is not possible, one should do some virtual team building.
DEVELOP A LOCAL CORE TEAM
To aid the above, it is wise to develop a local core team of experts. This way you can meet with them in the flesh more frequently. Once this local core team has been established, you can outsource specialist skills to global experts on a project to project basis.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Face to face communication allows a more effective exchange of information. Both the speaker and the listener are exposed to both body language as well as facial expressions. As a result of the latter missing in the online world, one has to be extremely clear in their communication. One needs to be clear on both processes and tasks, as well as the roles and the goals of each person employed. There are a variety of online communication platforms that one can use to ensure that the online team members are managed efficiently. Here are some examples: