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Managing a virtual team can be tricky for a number of reasons, particularly if you aren’t used to working remotely yourself. That being said, 2020 has seen more workforces adopt flexible, remote working practices, some without any prior warning or training. Therefore, adapting to this brave new world is no longer optional. Rather, we’re all required to understand how to work efficiently, productively and effectively as members of a virtual team.
If you are a manager looking for tips on how to effectively manage your virtual team, then look no further. In this article, we have put together tips and strategies to help you effectively build and manage your virtual team.
Lack of regular and sufficient communication can be a big issue in virtual teams. It’s important to remember that face-to-face communication and virtual communication are very different beasts, and should be treated as such.
When you interact with team members in person, contextual cues, tone of voice, engagement and body language tells you quite a lot about each interaction. Virtual communication, however, is not as rich as face-to-face interaction, which can lead to misunderstandings, lack of motivation and a drop in productivity.
To help mitigate these risks, be clear of communication expectations from the beginning. Outline guidance for virtual meetings and lay out guidelines on which communication modes should be used in certain situations. For example, when it is more appropriate to make a phone call rather than send an email.
Take a moment and think about all the little interactions that happen in your office every single day. From general chit-chat to discussions around certain tasks, there’s no doubt that being face-to-face is naturally more collaborative than virtually. When you’re managing a team remotely, it’s important to make time for these small (but important!) interactions.
A good way to do this is to start each day with a short virtual meeting, where everyone shares what they will be working on, what’s going well, and anything they may be struggling with. While this isn’t as natural as chatting around the office water cooler or coffee machine, it provides space for your team members to feel connected and bounce off each other, even if for just a short amount of time every morning.
There are two types of people in this world: those who are able to motivate themselves when working from home and those who need some accountability to help them stay on track.
If you assume that all of your team are effective at working from home, then you might get a bit of a shock. Therefore, it’s important to continuously monitor productivity and measure output. This isn’t necessarily about tracking every single movement of your employees. More so, it’s about keeping your finger on the pulse of everyone’s output so you can steer the ship if it seems to be going off course.
The key to any successful team is to be clear on roles and responsibilities. This is even more important when working remotely. Any and all tasks should be communicated through a clear brief, preferably delivered via video call rather than by email or private message. This gives team members space to understand what is expected of them and ask questions.
Being clear on expectations is also vital for teams working together on group projects. Everyone should know what is expected of them, why, and when they will need to complete their assigned tasks by. Team members should also understand who or where they can go if they find themselves to be stuck and in need of some help. Without this structure in place, there’s a very real possibility that things don’t get done on time or what is delivered doesn’t fully meet the shared goal of the team.
Team building is a fantastic way to create cohesion between virtual team members and improve communication. And just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean this has to fall by the wayside, either. Virtual team building activities are just as effective if delivered in the right way and can be an excellent way to avoid the potential pitfalls of virtual working.
These types of activities are fantastic for developing core skills, such as communication, problem solving and collaboration. They also help to foster a sense of team spirit and allow for teams to bond with one another.
Here at KDM Events, we offer a wide range of virtual team-building experiences that are fantastic for building skills and team bonding. From virtual Christmas party packages to fun virtual events that get colleagues communicating and having fun with each other, you’ll find the ideal event when you work with us. To find out more, please contact us today. Our experienced and enthusiastic Event Managers would be thrilled to listen to your requirements and recommend the very best virtual team building for your requirements.