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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Building Virtual Capacity

There’s a technological revolution taking hold across the globe which has the power to change where, when and how we work - enabling organizations to be more agile and innovative. It’s fueling a growth in virtual workers, which is also being supported by many businesses as a way to reduce costs, increase employee engagement and empower individuals to have greater flexibility in how they accomplish work.

According to recent studies, virtual companies - companies that use technology to link a geographically dispersed staff - are showing an increase of 8% to 15% in productivity. Key to that gain in productivity is the virtual company's workforce. As McKinsey reports, boosting productivity of knowledge workers and virtual employees is not a one size fits all approach.

How these workers interact with colleagues plays a large part in their success. We’re moving to a social business model that stresses our ability to communicate and collaborate effectively, not just in personal interactions but also in virtual interactions. Virtual interactions can be tricky – often, there are no visual clues for guidance and it requires a stronger emphasis on good communication and self-management skills. Basically, working virtually requires a different set of behaviors and motivations.

As this pool of mobile talent continues to grow for many organizations, assessments can play a practical role in evaluating whether employees have the right behaviors and are motivated to be successful in working virtually, or identifying gaps that might impede their success. Good assessments will help identify a potential employees’ adaptability, autonomy, decisiveness, dependability, stress tolerance and resourcefulness. In short, whether or not a person will be successful as a virtual worker.

Are you assessing the behaviors needed for your employees to succeed in an increasingly virtual and social working environment?

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