Working from home is becoming the new normal. As lockdowns and social distancing continue to stay in place, more and more companies turn to virtual teamwork for their everyday operations. In contrast, remote working used to be an exception, but now the business world’s future model looking like a hybrid workplace.
But how do you ensure you have a top-performing virtual team? What are the characteristics of successful teams? What are the five keys to success with virtual teams? We’ll examine that in this post.
Building trust is crucial to building an effective virtual team. When your team members are remote and perhaps working across time zones, it becomes essential to keep building relationships.
When team leaders encourage frequent communication among members of a virtual team, workers tend to follow through on commitments and get to know each other on a more personal level. This extra effort, in turn, helps them to achieve team goals.
Trust is a critical component of any relationship, and working relationships make no exception. Project managers who connect with their teams and take the time to cultivate trust can achieve better team performance, especially when it comes to virtual teamwork.
While on-premise teams with office space can rely on face-to-face interactions to build trust, effective virtual teams focus on task-based faith. As you trust your team members to demonstrate accountability over time, they convince others that they can be relied upon to follow through on commitments and be responsible for completing assigned tasks as well as work independently.
Successful virtual teams can effectively collaborate across time and space. This success is often a result of using systems for project management like Asana and communication technology and video calls on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Using methods and processes to structure, support, and encourage team coordination results in better utilisation of time and resources to complete tasks and achieve desired results.
Online tools and platforms are especially helpful in facilitating virtual collaboration and working virtually. Project management software like Asana makes it possible to manage workflow transparently to keep everyone on track and complete tasks within deadlines.
Cloud-based platforms and other remote team tools help foster collaboration as they allow multiple employees to work on the same project. They also give complete visibility into the progress of each task for project managers and parallel teams.
Effective virtual teams are motivated to complete their projects on time and within budget. But it is the team leader’s job to keep their team focused and driven to reach their goals.
It’s vital to motivate members by making everyone feel included. Involving employees in decision-making, showing them how their work contributes to the larger picture, and recognising and celebrating their achievements and successes goes a long way.
Remote workers can quickly feel disconnected and disengaged from the rest of the organisation. But if you take the time to know them and understand their values, virtual leaders can align them with the company’s values and motivate and inspire them more effectively.
They can then provide a sense of purpose for the team that empowers employees and aligns their personal goals with the team’s overall mission. Teams with engaged and motivated members perform better and achieve better productivity, profitability, and retention.
Remote work comes with a higher degree of autonomy, and micro-management is not always possible or advisable. Encouraging team members to assume responsibility motivates them through heightened engagement and reinforces accountability. Workers who know how to delegate effectively often show initiative and grab hold, making bold choices and enhancing commitment to projects in the process.
It’s more important for people to manage their day and time with remote work to meet deadlines and provide quality output. Allowing people to organise their day and determine when and how employees will do work, rather than “punching the clock,” is one component of motivating employees and promoting remote teamwork.
The transition from on-premise to remote work has been challenging for everyone. But while some people have been quicker to adapt to the change, others have been left struggling. It is especially true of older generations and less tech-savvy workers, and this is where the support function of a project manager kicks in.
Successful virtual teams function like a well-greased clock mechanism. Each component knows its function and place. But there is also a support network to keep all parts moving.
Distance is not an excuse to leave team members behind or working through their problems. Be them personal or professional. HR and management should remain one call/click away.
There are plenty of online tools to provide communication channels between all departments in an organisation. Occasionally checking in with each team member should also be part of the weekly or monthly workflow.
There is no denying that managing a virtual team has its challenges. Following these tips can help you overcome common problems and work effectively with colleagues across the world. You’ll quickly come to see how this new way of working brings immense opportunity to your team and the organisation as a whole.
Want to learn more about how Zoom can help improve your success in a hybrid workplace? Check out Planning for Your Next Phase of Work (Zoom Ebook)