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Could your virtual office use an intern?

Virtual offices house some of the most dynamic, innovative operations in industry and commerce, so it's easy to understand why college students or recent grads would be eager to gain experience working for your company. However, it can sometimes be challenging to conceptualize that role within a team of telecommuters. With fewer errands, no coffee to make and no physical meetings to sit in on, filling internships with meaningful experiences and responsibilities might seem like a stretch. 

However, interns can provide you with valuable support while enriching their burgeoning professional lives at the same time. Before you decide taking one on isn't right for your company, consider these ways to make an intern in a virtual office valuable. 

Delegate low-level responsibilities. Interns in virtual offices stand to gain even more from their experience than those in physical offices, because menial administrative tasks are largely obsolete. Instead of asking your visiting trainees to organize the supply cabinet, let them take a stab at drafting collateral or piloting a small project. 

Maintain a log. It may be more difficult to observe the work an intern is doing for your virtual operation, so create a document that traces their accomplishments and progress across the term of the internship. Keeping track of responsibilities and achievements will help to keep the intern on task, and give managers a sense of their value to the team. 

Teleconference often. Without the camaraderie of a break room or water cooler, interns may feel like they're missing out on the team experience. By checking in with them over video chat and phone, you can help to build relationships, especially if you extend invitations to many members of your team to do the same.

By maximizing the value of an internship, your company might even discover talent that's worth hiring upon graduation. Now is the perfect time to reach out to your local schools as new terms will be starting in January.

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