We all keep hearing of “virtual offices” and how they are slowly transforming the way we perceive organizations but what exactly is the fuss all about?

For one, the concept of a virtual office is in the name – there’s no need for your workforce to have close physical proximity. Advanced applications and the availability of high-speed internet has made working remotely incredibly easy. The employers get to cut down on costs associated with having physical offices, whereas the employees get to enjoy flexibility and more time with their loved ones.

It’s a classic win-win situation! However, having a virtual office isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Effective training is crucial for the long-term performance of any organization. You need to constantly keep your employees up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. But what happens when those employees are not physically present right in front of you? The training strategy changes altogether.

Here are some tips form my own experience with virtual office staff.

·Give Your Virtual Staff Homework

As an employer, give your employees homework to improve their skills and knowledge. Think of it as self-learning – all you have to do is provide learning material to your remote workers.  It can be in the form of e-books, manuals or videos lessons. Make it clear that it is imperative for everyone to do the said ‘homework.’ You can even assess your virtual employees with online tests and reward them for their performance.

·Create a Virtual Learning Environment

In a virtual office, you can’t expect to have coffee chats or water-cooler meetings. So you need to create an environment that comes close to the real thing and allows for interaction between your staff members. We use Slack but there are many other options as well. The point is to gather all of your remote workers on a single platform where everyone can openly ask questions, seek assistance from their fellow peers and supervisors, and help others. This would prove to be extremely beneficial to your training and development efforts.

·Track Daily Progress

Just like with traditional in office employees, you need to track the progress of the training and work progress. By determining whether or not your training is making a difference, you can point out holes or shortcomings in the overall program and then make appropriate changes to counter the problem. Having each employee/staff send end of day daily report has proven to work out very well for us at BA House Cleaning.

Remember, the key to effectively training your virtual office staff is to constantly stay in touch. Follow up on their performance and take appropriate measures to keep them up to date and highly motivated.

I am an entrepreneur, wife, and a mother of two girls.  After immigrating from Bosnia to USA 20 years ago, I went to school and worked in accounting and human resources for 10+ years.  In 2012 I started a house cleaning company – BA House Cleaning.  It is now the top-rated maid service in the East Bay Area of San Francisco, employing 18+ people and servicing over 1000+ clients.

I started Service Roller, after spending years of hopping form one software to another only to find out that its missing a functionality that my cleaning business could not thrive without.  So I decided to have a software built just for BA House Cleaning.  After being approached by many cleaning business owners questioning our online booking platform, I learned that many other cleaning businesses are having the same issues I once had and Service Roller was born.

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