If the past two years has taught us anything, it’s that people can work together effectively and productively from their homes or any location. The nature of remote work calls for higher levels of increased communication. In this Guide to Virtual Team Building you’ll learn what is a virtual team and the roll virtual communication tools play in building a strong virtual team.
What is a Virtual Team?
A virtual team is a group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations and rely on virtual communication tools in order to collaborate.
Virtual teams have become a necessity for running a successful business. While the trend towards virtual teamwork had already been growing in the years leading up to 2020, the pandemic accelerated the process.
And the trend is here to stay — 64% of organizations say that the shift to virtual team work will likely be a permanent one because of COVID-19.
The fears that virtual teams would be less effective than traditional teams seem to have been unfounded, as 75% of virtual teams worldwide say that remote collaboration allowed them to be more effective in their jobs.
And it’s no surprise that employees are happy with these changes. As a business owner or leader, what can you do to create a success virtual team?
Tips for Successful Virtual Team Building
Communication Strategy A good communication strategy is paramount to building your virtual team. Without one in place, there will be a complete lack of coordination and transparency among the dispersed team members. A good communication strategy will make sure that information is factual and relevant, is delivered on a timely basis, and is easily understood by the virtual team members.
Invest in the Best Technology and Virtual Communication Tools When you are no longer able to meet face-to-face on a daily basis, choosing the best technology and virtual communication tools for your virtual team keeps things running smoothly.
An excellent video conference tool is a must for conducting virtual meetings among remote workers. BlueJeans Meetings transforms your video conferencing experience by integrating the industry’s highest-fidelity audio and video performance with incredible productivity features and a comprehensive security toolkit. You can also divide online meetings into smaller groups for interactive discussions with virtual meeting breakout rooms. A chat tool, such as Slack, is helpful for virtual knowledge sharing and relationship building among the virtual team members. Other project management tools, such as Asana, can help your team keep track of the upcoming projects, and hold everyone accountable for their goals and tasks.
Have Clear Goals and the Ability to Track Them Managers should set clear employee goals and commitments to achieve for virtual team members. It is important to set SMART Goals and make sure that employees are aware of the expectations. In addition, tracking performance will allow you to hold an employee accountable and help you gather data about which tactics helped to maximize productivity.
Appreciation and Recognition Virtual team members require as much as, if not more, recognition. While remote workers have a better work-life balance, they still need connection and appreciation from the rest of the team. Regular virtual team-building exercises are another way to inject a bit more fun into a virtual work day.
Flexibility and Adaptability As the internet landscape advances and the world of work rapidly evolves, victorious virtual teams are the ones that change with the times and adjust gracefully to shifting conditions.
Strong Leader It is no surprise that managers with previous experience of leading a virtual team will show better success. Strong leaders also find ways to involve others in leading the team. Examples include: assigning responsibility for special projects, such as identifying and sharing best practices; or getting members to coach others in their areas of expertise; or assigning them as mentors to help on-board new team members; or asking them to run a virtual team-building exercise.
Virtual teams are crucial to “new normal” in business. And choosing the best virtual communication tools is the first step in building a successful virtual team.
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