7 Tips for Managing a Successful Virtual Team

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Remote work has advantages without any doubt, but it can also present challenges to communication and teamwork. Supervisors, managers, and other leaders can use the seven tips in this article to encourage employees to be more productive and practice constructive communication.

1. Use communication tools

Anyone can send out emails or post notes in shared to-do lists, but virtual team communication is about a lot more.

Messaging software and tools let teams communicate quickly and safely, which is of paramount importance when exchanging sensitive details about the company or its customers.

The best video conferencing tools are equipped with secure virtual spaces, which you need authorization to log into.

Even something as simple as a design program for advertising will accelerate the pace of a project because everyone’s on the same page. Consider programs such as Discord and Trello.

On Trello, teams can work on joint projects in real time to avoid postponements or miscommunication. Discord allows teams to create private servers to take part in video conferences, share files, and stay in touch virtually.

While using these or other such tools, take care not to allow overcommunication and micromanagement to creep in and obstruct workflow.

2. Set working hours

Your virtual team might consist of people in different time zones. Establish work hours in advance to avoid issues down the line.

You can have everyone start their workday in a specific time interval to make sure the whole team will be online and interact for part of the workday.

If flexible work arrangements are possible, you can establish a sense of teamwork by having everyone participate in occasional meetings. Once the work hours have been agreed, make sure you track them using a time clock app.

Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of remote employees report experiencing burnout due to their personal lives overlapping with their professional ones.

They can’t leave work when they’re not working anymore and don’t get to change environments. Everything happens in one place. Flexible working hours are essential to building an effective virtual team.

3. Clarify work goals and systems

A work system is any task or effort that requires multiple individuals to work toward a given goal.

Assembly lines are a typical example of a work system because numerous people work together to produce an item. Team brainstorming is an example of a work system in a traditional office space.

Leaders can make or break the effectiveness of any work system. Without an effective leader, no one can attain a goal.

Statistics show that the employee success rate is 79% when the leader has undergone specialized communication training. Leaders should be able to clarify everyone’s role in the team and within the system after training.

Managers and supervisors can clarify work systems by recording each team member’s role in writing and making the roles available for everyone to see.

4. Carry out performance reviews

Virtual teams benefit from performance reviews more than teams that are physically present in an office. Clearly, it’s easier for managers to monitor their teams when working in person.

You could schedule a time to meet with each team member to talk about their performance. Define expectations and discuss their professional goals if their work needs improvement.

5. Use project management tools

Project management tools like Slack and Asana keep track of tasks on an agenda that a virtual team needs to fulfill. They are very helpful in organizing responsibilities and enable collaboration and teamwork.

No time is wasted due to messages not reaching recipients. Everyone on the team is notified when someone has to update a procedural outline or template.

6. Organize team-building initiatives

Consider organizing a fun online game like trivia for the whole team to play. Posting a weekly icebreaker in the group chat is another option.

Your team might enjoy sharing details about their favorite film or band, their dream destination, their free time activities, funny jokes, their favorite restaurant, etc.

7. Virtual team training should be a priority

Virtual training can be just as valuable as in-person training. A recent case study revealed that the employees of an international consultancy firm became more confident and productive after starting “lunch and learn” training.

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