This article discusses how to manage virtual teams effectively. Getting across to your team and leading in the greatest possible way before 2022 was difficult enough. Today’s pandemic culture necessitates a greater understanding of virtual teams, which makes management much more complex.
In 2022, these are the top 12 recommendations for managing virtual teams efficiently.
You learned how to efficiently manage virtual teams in this post, and here are the details:
There’s no need to be discouraged; there are a variety of ways to manage a virtual team effectively. We’ll take a close look at the strategies and techniques utilized by today’s best executives and offer some insight.
What are some of the challenges that come with managing virtual teams?
You and your team will most probably face challenges when it comes to executing daily tasks. They might range from simple misunderstandings of responsibilities to more serious issues such as mental alienation from the workplace.
Working in a virtual office will almost probably put you up against the following obstacles:
- Low productivity and poor performance
- Depersonalization in terms of coworker relationships
- “Separating the church from the state” due to a lack of face-to-face interaction, the lines between work and home become blurred.
These are some of the most common issues that many at-home workers experience. But don’t worry if you’re going through anything that isn’t on this list; you’re probably not alone in your struggles.
So, how do you handle the challenges of managing virtual teams?
The short answer is that it will occur gradually and methodically.
Tip 1: Provide a range of working hours.
What if your team is virtual, with members spread around the globe?
Working from different parts of the world, on the other hand, means that your entire team will only be able to work at the same time on rare occasions.
After all, your Warsaw UI designer won’t be able to work with your California back-end developer at the same time.
As a result, you’ll have to be more flexible with your employees’ working hours, both to accommodate numerous time zones and to assist them to achieve a better work-life balance. As a result, they’ll be happier, and their work will be more productive as a result.
So, encourage your employees to follow their natural instincts and keep track of the time they spend on activities and tasks during their workday.
You’ll be able to observe the following:
- When each member of the team likes to work
- At any given time, who is actively working on what?
- Who is willing to take on a new assignment?
As a result, you’ll be able to see when your calendars collide and plan real-time group activities appropriately — ideal for when your team needs to collaborate quickly. Set up a conference call, talk about your intentions, and keep in touch with everyone over the overlapping period.
By tracking your flexible work hours, you’ll be able to track productivity levels and identify bottlenecks and possible time-wasters, which you’ll be able to prevent in the future.
Tip 2: Learn how to collaborate in a virtual environment.
You’ll almost certainly have to put in some effort if you want to perfect something in life. It’s the same with managing remote teams: it’s sometimes beneficial to acquire some training first.
Virtual team training courses contain three categories of training: technology training, group processing training, and cross-cultural training, due to the many diverse approaches to handling virtual teams.
Education in technology
Virtual team management tools will be used in your job, and your team will need to be comfortable with them.
As a result, you’ll need to be aware of the following:
- Which tools should be used,
- What scenarios need the use of specific pieces of equipment?
- And How to choose the best tools for your specific needs
- How to handle technical issues like tool failures and a lack of Wi-Fi.
Group processing training
Your staff should be equipped to handle a wide range of project-related challenges.
As a result, you’ll need to discuss the following subjects:
- Setting objectives,
- Problem-solving abilities,
- Creating a sense of belonging among members of a distant team,
- Activities involving collaboration.
Education that is cross-cultural
This type of training is crucial if you work in a multicultural team; your virtual team will need to know how to collaborate efficiently.
As a result, you’ll need to discuss the following subjects:
- Overcoming racial and cultural barriers
- Working in accordance with the customs and work patterns of each culture
Overcoming misconceptions and assumptions
Enroll in an approved “Managing Virtual Teams” course to learn the best practices for managing virtual teams. You can also conduct your own research into the most effective training methods.
Tip 3: Create a positive work environment
Working from home can have a big impact on your productivity and how you approach each task during the workday in most cases. Many virtual teams have found that not being surrounded by humans has a substantial impact on the quality of their work.
Working alongside your coworkers may encourage a competitive mentality, which can be advantageous. Working from home, on the other hand, loses its energy, particularly if you are unable to attend the workplace on a regular basis due to geographical constraints.
As a result, the most straightforward way to avoid this is to establish a meritocratic or incentive-based system that thrives in a competitive environment.
- Use a shared platform to congratulate your colleagues for accomplishing a difficult assignment.
- Offer bonuses to the week’s/best month’s employee.
- Allow high performers to take days off.
- Use a virtual platform to host enjoyable events and gatherings.
Tip 4: Arrange meetings in accordance with different time zones
We’ve already said that if your team is virtual owing to time zone variations, you’ll need to take that into account when planning time for everyone to “get together” and work.
This is especially true when it comes to any form of group gathering.
When it comes to choosing the optimal meeting times, the greatest advice is to:
- Make a paper list of everyone on your team.
- Make sure to include their time zones
- Combine their clock-in and clock-out times from their time monitoring statistics to discover the ideal time windows for meetings using comparison.
You may do this by using an online time zone converter.
Once you’ve set a date and time, you can handle remote meetings by holding video conferences or using a communication system.
Tip 5: Request progress reports
You don’t want to micromanage your team, but you do need to keep an eye on what they’re doing and whether they’re completing their tasks on time.
And you can also easily do this by looking at their time tracking data, scheduling one-on-one meetings on occasion, and setting up and carrying out recurring daily meetings.
As a result, you’ll be able to anticipate and discuss potential issues, as well as promptly resolve bottlenecks.
Tip 6: Use communication tools effectively.
When it comes to managing remote teams, nothing beats efficient communication.
These days, there are a number of options for sending a message without having to wait for someone to check their email or pick up the phone:
- Group messaging apps – Pumble, for example, is great for quick questions and resolving work-related difficulties.
- Video conferencing software – they are great for video meetings and conferences with your team.
Transparent communication with your team is founded on three concepts, according to Jason Whaling, a digital marketing consultant: providing a central area for communication, having a set meeting schedule, and encouraging everyone to have a thumbnail.
These guidelines may look arbitrary or even obvious if you have management experience. When they’re done, though, they make it much easier for everyone to communicate.
If you employ a range of communication tools, you can quickly manage debates, comments, questions, and responses.
Furthermore, having a variety of communication options can help you adapt to a variety of work environments that need varied behaviors.
Tip 7: Use management software
You can try out a number of solutions for managing remote teams, the most of which will help you with virtual project management:
- Project management software – It is helpful for keeping track of project progress “from afar” and meeting deadlines.
- Task management software –It may be used to define and manage tasks as well as store work-related documents.
- Team management software – It is great for encouraging teamwork.
- When you need to help a team member set up new software that you’ll both be using, or when you need to complete any other activity from away, screen sharing solutions come in handy.
- Online spreadsheets – useful when working on numerous papers at once and need all changes recorded and synced in real-time.
Using a variety of project, task, and team management tools will make project, task, and team management much easier — as well as ensure that you save time by working on one document at a time.
Tip 8: Seek out the ideal candidates to join your team.
Make sure to perform the following while hiring people for your virtual team:
- Advertise job positions on reputable freelance websites; conduct technical interviews with people who apply, but also have them take a few personality tests to ensure they’re a good fit for the company’s culture.
- Put new hires to the test — assign them to small tasks before hiring them full-time to assess their competencies and potential for future collaboration.
- Give those who have previously worked remotely an advantage – this isn’t a prerequisite, but people who have previously worked remotely know how to work well in a virtual team. They can share this knowledge with the rest of the team.
By hiring the right people, you’ll build a group of people who are excellent for forming a successful team, even if they may never meet face-to-face.
Tip 9: Create a culture of virtual collaboration
The culture of a virtual team is just as important as the culture of any other team; members of a virtual team must still communicate and build mutual trust.
- Face-to-face meetings on a regular basis -if you all live in the same country, you can schedule a get-together every few months. Plan a team dinner, take your coworkers bowling, and get to know them beyond their job titles.
- Attempting to build virtual friendships – while you won’t be able to throw pizza parties or play Fussball with your friends on a regular basis, you can encourage them to form internet friendships. As a manager, you can lead by example by inviting your employees to join social networking sites such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Holding all meetings remotely – when only a fraction of the team is virtual, non-virtual individuals may feel obligated to arrange separate meetings. To avoid the remote crowd feeling left out, make it a habit to host all meetings, especially quick ones, online.
Building a virtual team culture allows the team to feel more like a unit rather than just a collection of individuals punching the clock at their computers.
Tip 10: Show empathy for the unique requirements of your staff.
You should make an effort to recognize that your employees have personal lives and obligations, and you should provide them with flexible work hours. Because they can’t “run away” from their problems, this can have a detrimental impact on their work efficiency, especially if they work from home.
This is why today’s businesses typically have large HR departments to assist their employees with any issues they may have.
You may, however, take a few steps as a manager to ensure that your employees find a way to balance their personal and professional lives:
- Encourage employees to speak with your HR team if they are having any difficulties that are affecting their job to create a healthy environment where they are unconcerned about their tasks and projects.
- Allow team members to delegate less vital and urgent tasks to the next day if at all possible – be honest about the burden.
Although all of these tips may seem daunting at first, you do not need to adopt them all to improve your management skills. Concentrate on a couple of them, and you’ll notice a difference in your work atmosphere.
The most important thing to remember is that you should cherish your staff, be mindful of their needs, and create a pleasant working environment. When you’ve done this, you’ll notice a difference and find it much easier to carry out these actions.