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#WFH: What Are Your Touchpoints?

Interactions in the virtual environment are in-tense and have more impact. People always say that the reason people stay in their pajamas until 2 in the afternoon when they work virtually is because they are so busy they don’t have time to get out of them. Interactions can come fast and furiously at any time of the day or night. Tweets, emails and other messages that require a response bombard us. If you have not intentionally unplugged, you are open and vulnerable.

Virtual teams have a tendency to form and re-form constantly and have reporting relationships to different parts of multiple organizations. Teamwork is becoming even more important to success and networked leadership can span the entire spectrum of space and time. This makes leading in the virtu-al workplace a job that requires determination and commitment. Virtual team leaders need to establish communication channels and expectations that are clearly expressed. They also need to convey some mutually agreed upon ground rules that are adhered to and followed. This will increase the level of security, responsibility and interactivity. When people feel safe they are more likely to be open and communicate difficulties and challenges.

Often virtual teams are ad hoc. They are put together because of decreasing budgets, decreasing time and decreasing staff. The members lack the stability and intimacy to generate the interactions needed. They haven’t really agreed upon anything. Members can come from all over the organization and outside of the organization. They are separated by time, space and distance. They are in a state of flux where membership on the team is constantly changing.

Are we including only those people who are appropriate in the meetings? Do we have an agenda? Is it meaningful? Do we follow it?Do we have enough meetings? Do we have too many meetings? Are things being accom-plished because of our meetings? How do we know? Do we have mechanisms to take action? Do we follow through with action items? How do we measure it?

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