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May 18th, 2011

Companies have to move fast to compete successfully in the 21st century global marketplace. With the economy still rough worldwide, modest and mammoth organizations alike are using virtual teams to overcome constraints of time, location and logistics. Today’s blog is not about how to reach your virtual team members, but how to lead them in doing real work.

We have reported on collaborative workflows, as well as apps for smart phones and iPad rentals that allow review and markup of project files – PDFs, MS Office documents and more. The challenge is no longer primarily technological, as the barriers that used to exist between different document types and Operating Systems (OS) are pretty much gone. The challenge is not dealing with too few tools, but too many. This is where good management comes in.

Communication is key

Virtual Teams, Real WorkVirtual teams, of course, have to do real work, but management can now construct teams without regard to employee location, choosing the best people rather than the closest ones. Of course, the “cloud” that everyone is talking about (including us…tech forecast is for clouds) is a global one, so getting everyone connected to the right workflow is no longer a 1980s nightmare. For the project manager, it’s about establishing protocols for scheduling, creating, editing and finalizing the work across time zones and borders (those antiquated things).

The availability of great iMac rentals, mobile work platforms of all kinds and true “pocket PCs” does not negate the need for strong leadership – which experts insist must include (you guessed it) good communication skills. Therefore, your initial focus should be to set up your virtual team with simple, stable, fault-tolerant procedures for staying in touch with (a) the cloud-based project files and (b) each other.

Virtual team, real work

Like the headline says, virtual teams really can do real (and vital) work. Establish your protocols and make sure everyone can access the files, mark them up with comments and get in touch with one another. No longer must you ensure that they all have the same computer, OS or program – today’s tools are, like the cloud itself, “cross platform.” Whether team members use one of CRE’s potent PC computer rentals, an Android tablet or a Blackberry phone, they can see the files and add their two (or three) cents.

If you are getting your wires crossed trying to set up a virtual team, CRE Rentals can make sense of it for you. Whether you’re setting up a global team, or equipping a branch office with everything from PCs to office equipment rentals, CRE is your solution. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive, or tell us what you need with the Quick Rental Quote form. Either way, we’re ready to help right now!

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