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Why do virtual teams fail?

Virtual teams adjusting to working remotely can struggle with productivity, engagement and motivation. In this article, we'll take a look at common reasons why virtual teams fail and how you can avoid them!

Reasons Why Virtual Teams Fail

Working remotely is challenging, particularly if your team isn’t used to it. Like all good teams, it takes time, effort and investment to reach peak performance and so leaders should be willing to invest time and effort into making them work.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common reasons why virtual teams fail and what you can do to avoid it. At KDM Events, we are experts in supporting businesses to nurture and develop high-performing teams and our Event Managers are on hand to provide help and expertise at every step of the way.

Leaderships Skills For Remote Working'

Inexperience In Working Remotely

This is by far one of the biggest problems for remote teams. Up until recent years, remote working has been a rarity. Now it is becoming more popular, teams that usually work in-office find themselves working from home, in a remote environment they aren’t used to. Acclimatising to this can be difficult, and developing the skills to cope with this way of working can take time and a conscious effort to develop.

If you’re the leader of a remote team, it’s your job to help each individual to work effectively in this environment while remaining engaged with the wider team. This can be achieved by organising regular check-ins and meetings, where colleagues are encouraged to talk about the challenges they are facing in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Employee Development'

Unclear Expectations

Successful remote teams need strong direction to stay motivated and engaged. Without this, individuals might struggle to know what is expected of them and how they are supposed to carry out their role in a new virtual landscape.

To counter this, managers and leaders should put robust work processes into place to ensure everyone knows what, when and how they should be doing certain things. Remote teams need to utilise a range of platforms to do this and it is down to managers to facilitate it and provide the appropriate training to ensure everyone is confident doing so.

Low Morale'

Lack Of Training

Onboarding new team members is particularly difficult in remote teams. Many workforces have full-day induction processes for new members of staff in the office but don’t carry this through to remote teams. When staff members aren’t abreast of the latest information or don’t have sufficient training to carry out their job effectively, it can lead to low productivity and engagement. Not to mention high turnover of staff!

As a manager, it’s your job to make sure the remote onboarding process for new employees is just as robust as your face to face one. Take some time to put these materials together, and offer the same package to new remote workers moving from the office environment!

Expert Advice Available'

Very Little Communication

It is all too easy for remote teams to not communicate with each other, which can lead to problems further down the line. As the manager of remote team, you don’t get the same feedback as you do from office teams. You don’t see how frequently team members interact or even see them face to face to read their body language or tone of voice.

For these reasons, more communication is necessary for remote teams to succeed. From weekly or daily check-ins to dedicated team building activities and regular updates, there are a wide range of ways you can make an effort to communicate more effectively with remote teams if you choose to use them. And if you’re looking to build a high-performing remote team you absolutely should!


Lack Of Leadership

Senior members of staff are usually very busy and have to spin a lot of plates in their roles. That being said, the core of your job role is to lead the team under you effectively and equip them with the tools they need to succeed. Lack of leadership can lead teams feeling a little bit at sea which can lead to mistrust in the business and a lack of employee engagement.

To avoid this, look to yourself as a leader and evaluate the ways in which you are supporting your team. If you were them would you feel well-supported and happy or would you need a little bit more help to get your head in the game? Whatever conclusion you come to when looking at yourself, make a concentrated effort to develop your leadership skills with your virtual team in mind.

Objectives Graphic'

Developing Virtual Teams

Team building is a great way to develop virtual and remote teams. Here at KDM Events, we have developed a wide range of face to face and virtual team building activities that can be used to help develop teams and get them firing on all cylinders. To find out more, take a look at our ready-made programme of team building activities, then speak to our team today! 


Recognise Achievement'