Summary:

When you work with a virtual team, good Internet access is crucial. One person with a spotty connection can slow down the whole group. This issue is becoming a growing concern as companies hire employees around the world; Internet access isn’t consistent in every country.

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When you work with your team on a purely virtual basis, good Internet access is crucial. One person with a spotty connection can slow down the whole group. This issue is becoming a growing concern as companies hire employees around the world; Internet access isn’t consistent in every country.

Right Person, Wrong Internet Connection

Situations do come up when the person you want or need to work with just doesn’t have the Internet connectivity to support the tools you use or to easily download the files they need. There are different options available, the simplest of which can be adding a stipend to pay for an improved Internet connection of some sort.

There are, however, some places where a great Internet connection just isn’t available. For the right person, it’s worth choosing tools that don’t require high-speed Internet access. This kind of situation can be less than ideal, especially if you need to keep files synchronized, making it necessary to weigh the difficulties against the value of working with a particular individual.

Preparing for Emergencies

At any given time, you can read about floods, fires and a wide variety of other natural disasters in the news headlines. With team members spread throughout the world, there’s a greater chance that services such as Internet access will be disrupted by such events.

It’s good to have an emergency plan in place for these situations so you aren’t left scrambling if a team member’s Internet connection goes out. That can include making sure that you’ve got alternate lines of communication set up — you may be surprised by how many teams communicate purely online, not even making a note of members’ cell phones in case of an emergency. It can also be worthwhile to look into setting up alternate methods of internet access ahead of time, like a wireless modem.

Hiring With Internet Access in Mind

It’s interesting to watch the job ads listing positions for telecommuting. It’s become fairly common for such jobs to require having a high-speed Internet connection as part of the job. Virtual assistants based in places like the Philippines or India will often make a point of noting the speed of their Internet connection. It’s become a valuable asset in such careers not only because it makes a person more productive but because many employers now expect an Internet connection beyond dial-up.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Jonas Boni

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