Virtual Accountability

As organization continue assembling teams that are located in various parts of the country as a way of reducing associated costs of office space, relocation and travel, virtual teams are increasingly becoming common.  With the development of global presence, utilization of home office and with the outsourcing of selected function, the environment keeps on getting more complex. It is a great challenge when it comes to management of dispersed teams that are operating across geographical borders, cultural differences and time zones particularly when it comes to maintaining and establishing accountability.

We all love to be independent and more and more of us are becoming our own bosses or we probably love to work from home. A lot of people are faced with the challenge of working independently and as a freelancer, a remote worker, a side hustler or an entrepreneur student can tell you this from experience. It is very empowering and liberating when you work from home. Working from home will save you time that you can invest in several other valuable ways and you will have the ability to structure your work environment and your day the way you exactly like it to be and you can even hap some nap time in between or you could even take a stroll.

However, working independently can also be a minefield and there are several challenges that you may encounter. How can you be productive and avoid making yourself busy? How can you be able to show up to work when you don’t feel like or when it is not necessary that you must be there? How can you concentrate on a task that you are doing when the task is very difficult?  As much as you love working independently, when you zoom out and clearly look at the bigger picture, you will realize that doing work that has value and meaning in your life makes you feel good.  The only solution to becoming productive is through virtual accountability as this will help you to focus on the tasks ahead of you and stop procrastination.

There are various productive strategies that have been deployed but unfortunately, they are not enough to be able to guarantee that we will actually be productive. It is, therefore, necessary that you find yourself an accountability partner since unlike the popular productivity techniques that rely on willpower and rationality, with accountability, it embraces our tribal nature that is very powerful. This is a result of how we have evolved in tribes and we are wired to give a response to social triggers in ways that we cannot be able to resist. How then can you use virtual accountability to work for you by making you productive? Below are some of the things that you need to consider.

1. Choose the right partner

The most critical part when it comes to virtual accountability is the kind of partner that you choose to work with. It is very important that you choose a partner who is willing, committed and reliable and is ready to be held accountable and do not be tempted to choose a safe partner that will allow you to get away with some things.

2. Have effective communication with your virtual partner

When it comes to becoming accountable, you have to ensure that you are having effective communication with your partner by having regular communication with your partner in relation to the project you are carrying out.

3. Set clear expectations and goals

Just because you have a virtual accountability partner does not necessarily mean that you are not expected to meet certain goals. It is very important that you set goals and expectation of what needs to be achieved and within a given period. 

4. Set realistic measurements

Since you are the boss of your business, you need to come up with several different ways of measuring failure and success. For instance, you may miss a deadline as a result of the virtual application that you are using crashed and you ended up being offline for several days and this might make it difficult to collaborate with your virtual accountability partner or it could be that the area you are living in was struck with a major snowstorm and this would leave you with an unstable internet connection.

5. Seek feedback

It is very crucial that when you want to know how productive you are that you seek feedback from the client. Feedback given back by the client on how you have performed on the given task is very essential as this will help you to become accountable and unless you ask for it, in this virtual world you probably may never get it.

In any organization or business, growing and expanding your business is the major goal and this cannot be achieved when there is no accountability.  For several people that work independently, holding yourself accountable has become a challenge and the only solution to this is having a virtual accountability partner and putting the above factors into consideration you will become more productive.