Having a remote sales force is a good thing. You can have a sales or service presence away from the “home office”. Reduce real estate costs by having staff work from home. There are many other benefits but also problems can can occur if you are not managing your remote work force.
The secret lies in understanding the dynamics of building and leading a virtual team. Successful virtual managers realize that they can’t just cut and paste the skill set for ‘traditional management’ to lead a virtual team according to international project manager and author of Managing Without Walls (MCPress, 2006), Colleen Garton.
The book’s press release reads – The telecommuting trend shows no signs of slowing. The International Telework Association and Council in Washington estimates that 20 million Americans now telecommute. That’s why it is increasingly crucial for managers to develop and polish their virtual leadership skills. Garton draws a clear and concise picture of the tools virtual managers need to successfully lead their team. Garton also outlines the challenges posed by a virtual team; where personality clashes and office politics can still take a detrimental toll. “A virtual manager must learn how to recognize, manage, and control virtual politics and virtual conflict,” says Garton. “Managers need to understand how virtual communication differs from traditional communication and how to effectively communicate to build a team.”
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