A virtual organization exists through electronic and phone communication. There is no shared office space where the company meets to conduct business. An example of a virtual organization is a freelance writing company that has authors contributing content from all over the world. A virtual organization can save money on overhead expenses, but there are keys to managing a virtual organization that business owners should be aware of.
Virtual organizations need to communicate extensively through email, Internet chat and telephone. But to manage a virtual group effectively, you need to have rules for communication. Emailing everyone in the entire organization each time you need to send a message can cause a clutter of emails that will take too much time to go through. Use a company Internet message board to post messages back and forth. People can view the board on their own time and it does not take up space in the email inbox. Email and Internet chat does not allow for the emotion, facial expressions and body language that help to get meaning across in a meeting. Set up a video teleconference system for meetings or, at the least, use telephone conferencing to avoid misinterpretation of information.
One of the key differences between virtual organizations and standard organizations is that virtual organizations do not offer the opportunity for contact with co-workers. To help manage isolation, you should encourage virtual workers to have a business and personal email account and Internet chat account. You will have to rely on the workers to monitor their own activity and maintain productivity. Having two separate accounts makes it easy to keep business and personal correspondence from getting mixed together while allowing virtual co-workers to have quick personal conversations to decrease the feeling of isolation.
Deadlines and Office Hours
It can be difficult to maintain regular work hours in a virtual organization. Employees can be spread out all over the world, spanning time zones and making it impossible to gather the entire group together at the same time. Use work deadlines to manage virtual employee time and ask each employee to have regular "office hours" where they will be available for Internet chat and phone calls. Deadlines prevent you from having to create common company online availability times while still managing employee productivity.
The members of a virtual organization need to develop trust among one another to make the arrangement productive. Employees need to trust that emails to each other will be answered by the next business day and that virtual employees and managers will be available online when they say they will. It takes discipline to be a virtual employee. Developing trust in one another and exercising that discipline will make the team more efficient.
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The Clikwise Organization's core belief is that in knowledge organizations—the chief organizational asset is the people who work within it. Each individual of the organization possesses an exclusive reservoir of data, information, skills, and experiences of processes and culture that are valuable to the corporation. These are critical assets that are tacit in nature but when they are nurtured and actively cultivated, create opportunities that facilitate channels for the practice codify these a