When we work in geographic locations we work in virtual teams. How do we manage them? They are not as coherent as the team who works around us. What do we do differently to manage them?

Here's an article which shares how to manage a virtual team. The best part is a reminder, as in our virtual mode, we often miss being real!

Focusing on roles, formalizing and setting limits to the responsibilities, managing trust and communicating appropriately are the areas that are faced by us on a daily basis. If these are the same situation that you have to manage, tell us how you do it differently?

The Four Keys To Success With Virtual Teams - Forbes.com

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Here's a detailed study, as published on MIT Sloan Review Managing Virtual teams.
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Incase you need to remotely administer workstation , here's 10 tips from Tech Republic.
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Here's some guidelines on managing online sales force effectively.

An excerpt:

Managing a Virtual Sales Force: Strategies to Consider

"It all comes down to the leader," says Richard Lepsinger. When you're managing a virtual salesforce, it's not enough to merely expect that your team will deliver results. If you're leading a team, you'll need to set the tone for not only how employees interact with potential customers, but also amongst each other. From the very beginning, the leader must identify the boundaries, and enforce them constantly.

Before you launch a virtual sales team, Kroth and Clemons urge that it's necessary to have the communication technology built into the company culture. Employees should understand how and when to get in touch, and how often they're expected to check in. In Managing the Mobile Workforce, Kroth and Clemons present these seven tips to consider when your sales force is deployed.

1. Center of Excellence: Build a leadership that understands the challneges of virtual working.
2. Integrate mobile practices and technology into existing systems.
3. Keep policies straightforward and technology simple to use.
4. Define roles and expectations.
5. Collaborate.
6. Train, learn, and improve.
7. Support mobile workers as if they were customers.

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Few online work arrangements:

Manage sharing documents through the collaboration tools such as MSShare point and Qontext and online storage Sky Drive , even google docs.

Apart from these here are few online freelance companies as shared in the Working with Talent markets – oDesk, Elance, Freelancer, Guru, vWorker

oDesk is the leader by volume, a VC funded, Silicon Valley operation. oDesk pioneered hourly payments and does the most hourly deals. They also introduced the idea of time-tracking software that take a picture of the worker's desktop every 10 minutes. This innovation has been controversial, and some people see it and other rules as overly controlling. However, it does help oDesk guarantee payment to workers who track time this way. They have a lot of "affililates" - individuals who work for outsourcing companies.

Elance is another VC funded, Silicon Valley operation with state-of-the art software and Web UI. They have attracted a big following of outsourcing companies that use Elance to find and bid on jobs. Outsourcers have not been the best source of talent in Assembla's tests, but if you are looking for more of a packaged experience, Elance providers can deliver it. Traditionally their jobs were fixed price, but Elance now matches oDesk with hourly time tracking and payment. Elance offers an API, and a low $750 buyout price, so there are now more ways to use them effectively.

Guru is unique because it has a lot of US-based providers. The other exchanges specialize in lower-cost "offshore" workers. Guru has more providers in non-coding categories like design, writing, and business consulting. And, they have more individual contributors, which have been better in our tests. If you want to work with individuals in the United States, you should look at Guru. On the other hand, their contracting is primitive and limits the ways that you can integrate team members. They only offer fixed-price jobs with no buyout option.

I have been using vWorker (formerly Rentacoder) for ten years, and I used it to find several of our core team members, including our chief architect, who is now a partner in the business. It is still mostly a site for small, fixed-price jobs. The strength of Vworker is the huge community of individual contractors, many of them “offshore”, who are available to try out on small jobs. vWorker does not have a buyout option, and their communication rules are restrictive, so in the past I usually used it just for advertising, an obscure option that they called a “bulletin board” ad. However, with the new hourly payment option, it can fit into our qualification process.

I like Freelancer (formerly GetaFreelancer) because of their unbundling. They don't force you into any particular business model. You can get fixed price, hourly, or just buy an advertisement, which they call a fulltime project. Freelancer is a business from Australia that has been quite aggressive about adding new sites and features. They claim to have 1.9 million registered workers. Freelancer does not seem to offer any protection for workers.

A comparative snap shot as shared in the article

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