A virtual workforce can be great for your business, cutting down on overhead costs and maximizing on the flexibility of employees. However, there are certainly some management considerations that are far different from what traditional workforces require. When all or most of your staff do not work in the same location, you must adjust your management style.
The best managers have lots of trust in their virtual employees, allowing them freedom to work individually without allowing the company to be taken advantage of. Assume the best of your employees, remembering that they do not have to be chained to their desks (much like they would not have to be in an office work environment!). Keep an eye on results, and if your employee is missing the target, then you can have a discussion about time management and trust.
Make sure that virtual employees are able to self-manage to an extent. You need virtual employees that are trustworthy and motivated, in order to trust them to do their work without having someone physically there watching. Make hiring decisions carefully.
Keep in regular touch with virtual employees and make sure that they are kept in the loop. Check in with them to discuss their work, and any overall company goals. Be sure to share any good words you have about their projects to keep morale up.
To keep everyone happy, make sure that all of your technology is up to date and capable of handling a virtual workforce. When something breaks or becomes too obsolete to work well, it can greatly hinder the entire workplace. Talk to your virtual employees about what they need to do their job.
With teamwork and preparation, a virtual workforce can be a huge benefit to your company.