Many professionals can work remotely because digital technology is becoming increasingly intertwined in the workplace. Although remote work has many advantages, managers must create effective policies and systems to ensure that online work is a success. The consistency when managing a virtual team may be different than working with people in person. This article will explain what virtual team is, how they can be managed, and why it’s important.
What is a virtual team?
Virtual teams are groups that meet online and communicate primarily via digital platforms. These digital platforms can include email, direct messaging, project management systems, and other technologies that facilitate communication. Your company may have hired freelancers or contractors who can work remotely as part of virtual teams. Virtual teams can be created because many professionals are able to do most of their work from home, so it’s possible to collaborate remotely.
How important is managing virtual teams?
There are many reasons why having strategies to manage virtual teams is important.
- Accountability You need to establish ways to monitor their progress and ensure they complete their tasks. Clear expectations and setting goals can help employees keep up with their responsibilities.
- Collaboration: Although working as a virtual team can present some challenges, it is possible to be as productive as working in person with the right system. You can learn how to work together as a team by having consistent communication.
- Productivity Working remotely can make it difficult to stay motivated and take responsibility. It is your job as a manager to ensure that your team stays focused on their tasks.
How to manage virtual teams
These steps will help you manage virtual teams and make your contractors and employees successful at remote workers.
1. Get to know your team members
There are many ways you can get to know your colleagues, even if you never meet face-to-face. Introduce the new employee to the team when you hire them. To get to know them better, ask them questions about their lives. Ask them to fill out a fun questionnaire about their interests and favorite foods. Your team can encourage new employees to get to know each other by having them chat.
2. Establish consistent communication
To establish regular communication, try to communicate with your team members at the very least once per week. You can let them know that you are available to answer any questions they may have or just to chat. To keep your communication organized, create a system. If a team member has a single question, they may be able to contact you directly. You can ask them to email you if they have a more complex concern.
3. Open to new forms of communication
You can communicate a lot with email and direct messages, but you should consider other forms of communication. You and your team can get to know each other better by having a phone conversation. This allows you to have deeper discussions and helps you understand the personality of your coworkers. Video conferencing software may be used to facilitate meetings. This allows you to see and hear each other and helps you understand each others’ nonverbal cues. This can lead to deeper understanding and better connections.
4. Perform performance reviews
It may be easier to assess your work when you are in person as you can see the work of your coworkers. Because they help employees understand their progress, performance reviews can be very useful for virtual teams. Set aside time to meet each remote employee to discuss their strengths, and to identify any weaknesses. To help them achieve their professional goals, discuss their expectations and set their expectations.
5. Organise team-building activities
There are many ways to foster camaraderie among virtual workers. You can host trivia or other fun online games that you can all play together. You can even have a video chat with one another to connect on a deeper level. You can also post weekly icebreaker questions in your group chat. Employees might have fun sharing personal details with their colleagues. These are some fun questions that you could ask your employees:
- Which was your childhood favorite movie?
- Which musician is your favorite?
- What are your travel dreams?
- Which fast-food place is your favorite?
- What do you enjoy about being active?
- Do you have a funny joke?
6. Make sure you have the right tools and systems
Remote teams have many communication and project management platforms that they can use to improve their workflow. Remote work is becoming more common. You may have many tools and resources to choose from. It is worth taking the time to research and select the right tools for your team. Consider your budget and make a list of the features and benefits you are looking for. You might find niche software or systems that will meet your needs.
7. Define your working hours
You may work with employees from different time zones when working in virtual teams. It’s important that employees are informed about the time they should work. To ensure that your team members have a similar workday, you might ask employees to begin their workday within a specific time frame. This is a good way to communicate and collaborate. You can also meet with colleagues if your workplace has a flexible work schedule. This will help to build a sense of teamwork.