team of six working in an officer together

When considering hiring a virtual professional and/or a virtual team to work alongside a physical team, one of the most important things you can do is set up your company culture to support this blended operating model – and here’s how to do it:

Blended Organizations are the Future

A blended or mixed organizational chart is the structure that many businesses are adopting today.

Growth in outsourcing is a rising trend. Demand for virtual talent is increasing because it works for most business owners and many employees, and it is simply a profitable practice. You can adapt it in your own business – schedule your Double My Business Strategy Session now to learn exactly how!

Which corporations already have a blended model? You’d be surprised. These top-performing US companies have blended organizations:

Many leaders today are presented with everyday challenges in an attempt to foster a positive environment for both internal and virtual employees.

Here’s a list of 20 things that you should try to complete from the start of hiring a virtual or remote culture. This list will help employees succeed and help foster a culture that works well for your organization.

Download this guide and get your culture right!

1. Launch them right on Day 1.

On the first day, share the full company background with your new virtual professional. The founder, CEO, or near equivalent should directly introduce the vision, mission, core value, and origin story.

2. Have regular video conference calls.

Use visuals to articulate your messages. Videos and images can greatly improve communication among virtual teams.

Video conference calls are the new (virtual) conference rooms and allow team members to show body language, facial expressions, posture, and hand gestures—all important aspects of communication. A more in-person experience encourages all to have more open communication and build trust.

3. Write standard operating procedures (SOPs).

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output, and uniformity of performance while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.

With any new hire, it is important to have SOPs in place. SOPs ensure that tasks are completed in a uniform manner throughout the organization. Download MyOutDesk’s FREE SOP Guide & Sample here.

4. Make sure systems are ready for your Virtual Professional ready on Day 1.

Set up all email, communications, and technology platforms on Day 1 so that your new hire can immediately feel like part of the team. All systems should be up and ready with any included documentation and learning programs.

5. Find a company buddy.

People are relational in their nature, and everyone needs to belong. Allow room for some chit-chat so that virtual professionals can form and build friendships with coworkers.

6. Remote workers deserve a direct report (a manager, supervisor, boss).

Neuroscientists and psychologists proved that it takes about 90 days to solidify a habit. The same goes for a new hire—for successful onboarding, a new remote hire should be assigned to a direct report to offer guidance and successful integration to the company core values and to the work.

7. Create video training documentation using Play-Pause-Do.

Try the Play, Pause, Do Method. This method requires that every standard operating procedure has a video attached alongside all written documentation.

This method is part of crafting your Virtual Playbook. You will be amazed at how efficiently you can bring all employees up to speed when you have a play-by-play, documented process.

Craft your own FREE Virtual Playbook, and schedule your Double My Business Strategy Session now to learn more!

8. Training, Training, Training.

Collaborating with Virtual Professionals for an already-existing organization may be difficult for some employees. The change must be adopted at all levels. Allow an adjustment period and repeat key messages regarding the change intentionally and consistently. By doing so, you will get everyone on the same page.

Consistently train and repeat key messages, as well as regularly use effective frameworks like SOPs (Point 3) and Play-Pause-Do (Point 7). These guides are part of the 7-Figure Business Roadmap, and additional resources are available through a free strategy call with MyOutDesk.

9. Get to know your Virtual Professional like you would for any other person on the team.

Find out who they are, what their dreams are for their career and the future life they would like to create. As cliché as it may sound—when you show your heart, employees will give their heart to the company.

10. Introduce the Virtual Professional.

Organize your new hire to learn as comfortably as they can. As it’s hard enough to start a new position, set up introduction meetings for them to meet key players in the organization.

Add your new hire to your website, to the company org chart, and on team marketing materials. Order them business cards and have them ready.

11. Use a task assignment & management platform.

There are many services to choose from to help organize tasks and projects. Choose from Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace from Facebook, Monday.com, Trello, Asana, and many more.

Here at MyOutDesk, the Monday.com platform has worked well to keep our team organized.

12. Create a company Give-Back program.

Build a give-back program inside your company that allows all employees (remote or in-office) to participate in a cause. Individuals can get involved by contributing money or their time. In practice, charity work helps boost employee morale and retention. It’s best to encourage employees to identify a cause of their preference.

We established the MOD Movement, a nonprofit that extends the movement of the company’s core values through charitable work. Check out the charity projects of the MOD Movement that are led by folks in the MOD family since 2013!

13. Set at least one gathering per year.

Convene all in the team for a special occasion to celebrate accomplishments! It’s awarding for all employees to be recognized for their hard work during a yearly culminating event.

14. Deliver a State of the Company address.

As CEO or equivalent, share annual updates with your company employees. Make it accessible for all through video conferencing. The SOC reports on the condition of the company, allows the CEO to outline priorities for the coming year, and encourages cooperation for yearly agendas.

15. Create company-wide contests and/or virtual events.

Promote fun workplace interaction and friendly competition with contests and virtual events. Offer raffles and prizes to participating employees. At MyOutDesk, we go the distance during our Wacky Dress Contests!

16. Celebrate holidays and company events VIRTUALLY.

Don’t let remote workers miss out on office celebrations. During holidays and company events, be sure to share videos and photos, send a care package, give virtual gifts, and play office party games through video calls. You can also treat employees and their loved ones to a party of their own as a special gift.

17. Send them company swag.

Shirts, cups, backpacks … anything your physical employees might have.

18. Set regular 1-on-1 video meetings.

We suggest meeting with your Virtual Professional once a week at a minimum. Many of our clients do daily huddles, monthly all-hands meetings, and other meetings. Make yourself available to your team, and let them know that instant messages and phone calls are more than okay.

Additionally, a VoIP system is an effective tool that you can integrate into your other operations aside from communication with your blended team. Here are effective communications tools that you can use with your virtual professional.

19. Set clear goals and outcomes.

Teams work best when they can see the big picture and when roles and responsibilities are transparent. Your new hire, the team, and you should understand everyone’s goals and objectives. Goals can be written into work plans and SOPs.

20. Remember to have fun!!!

Virtual teams are part of the org chart of the future, so while you’re adjusting don’t forget to make this a great experience for your internal and virtual employees. They will appreciate it.

Download our FREE Virtual Playbook, and schedule your Double My Business Strategy Session now to learn more!