Tips to Successfully Managing a Virtual Team
Tip 1: Communication
In the office, fellow employees are usually gathered in a central location where it is easy to communicate, especially in small companies. In close-knit groups ideas flow smoothly. Virtual teams are quite different. Because of the distance between team members (often different time zones) keeping in touch can be a challenge. Team managers should take advantage of internet chat tools such as Skype and Google Hangout to hold virtual meetings with team members. Do talk about business at hand but also take time for small talk. Ask about your employee’s day or weekend plans. It is good practice to leave the chat open all day, so everyone feels connected. There are also programs available online that allow you to share what’s on your computer screen with other team members, making it easy to bounce ideas off of one another. A few of these tools are team viewer.com and join.me.
Tip 2: Manage Productivity
Virtual team members are often in different time zones and aren’t always online at the same time. It ‘s hard to track progress of your employees when
you can’t see what they are up to. Try to hold meetings at a time that works for everyone so you can come together as one. Keep on eye on your team members individual work output. Know what it takes to complete the tasks assigned so you can track their productivity. When assigning tasks, it is important to give precise instructions and to let your employee know what the end product should look like. Do not look over their shoulder every two seconds but make sure the needs of the task are clear. Fixing major mistakes due to miscommunication will be far more complicated than setting clear steps for each task.
Tip 3: Build Team Camaraderie
Having a core mission or vision for your business is important. A mission statement is like a rallying cry that team members can all get behind. Having a shared vision builds team camaraderie. You need to communicate this vision to your staff, so they have a direction to focus. The better focused they are, the more productive the team will be.
Keep your team updated on the progress of the business. Let them know that the hard work that they are putting in is contributing to the company’s success. Do this via video chat to enhance the team feeling and the team can roll into their next task with excitement to do even better.
Copyright 2016 Viral Solutions LLC
by Rob Carpen
Rob is a content writer and editor, specializing in a variety of fields. He helps B2B and B2C clients with blogs, social media, press releases and web content that create more value for their marketing campaigns. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He played Club Rugby at IUP for four years. He loves Rugby and recently attended the Rugby World Cup in Newcastle, England – New Zealand All Blacks v. Tonga Match. Rob is passionate about craft beer. He is transitioning his eight years of home brewing to earn his professional brewer certificate.