The ability to use technology effectively.
What is it?
Using technology effectively means being comfortable with and knowlegable about various technology platforms. Virtual managers need to know how to use techology-based tools to support the work of their teams.
Why is it important?
Technology is a key component of almost every aspect of our lives including work. Therefore, virtual team leaders are expected to use technology to run their teams. Technology skills ensure the effectiveness of virtual teams and their productivity. Leaders who are not comfortable with various tools quickly lose respect in the eyes of their team members.
- Know How to Operate Basic Technologies
The first thing we can do to make progress in this section is to make sure we have learned the most basic, required technological skills. For example, we should be adept at whatever technology platform we use whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Slack etc. Take some time to watch YouTube videos or tutorials provided by the platform. The time you invest will be well worth it in the end.
- Read Technology-Related News
Second, keep an eye on what is happening in the broader world of technology. This includes what new products Apple or Microsoft has developed, but also reaches more specifically into relevant technologies related to your industry. To stay current, leaders should read magazines, newspapers, watch the news about upcoming technology changes, and communicate with colleagues about any new discoveries or inventions in the field. For instance, if your company uses support support bots, machine learning, or artificial intelligence, then you need to have a cursory understanding of these topics.
- Be Ready to Learn New Technologies
Finally, we need to be willing to learn new things. There are new tools for virtual teams being developed and launched on a daily basis. We need to spend time looking at various apps built into Slack or Microsoft Teams to see if there are any benefits to our teams. We should ask team members or outside experts to share their expertise and introduce us to potential technology tools. Of course, that also means we need to stay open and resist the urge to be negative about technology in general.