As we move into an age where a greater number of people are working remotely and from home, there is a need to redefine how daily tasks work in myriad industries. If you are the person responsible for managing a virtual team, located in different locations across the world in some cases, then it is important that you have a full grasp on how to do so without compromising quality and standards that are delivered. There are a few different approaches that can be taken to maintain the same level of consistency when managing a virtual team as you would when leading a team in-house and in-person. Here, we look at a few tips to help you get started if it is something that is new to you.
The first thing to do is to define the work systems that will be used to perform tasks every day and to track the work being completed. The standards have to be set at the very beginning, so that every single person within the virtual team understands what is expected of them and when, including when and how-to login to work systems, when to attend virtual meetings, when to share folders etc.
Staying in touch with your virtual team is vital, as it is harder to maintain a good working relationship with someone who you don’t physically see every day. You should set up multiple communication tools, allowing for some free space for colleagues to interact in private away from management too. It also makes it easier for every person to understand which platforms are to be used for video calls, recordings, file sharing and anything else specific to your business.
Communication is key of course, and as well as setting up how you will communicate, you also need to set boundaries and ensure everyone stays in contact on a regular basis. Remote working is tough if you are not used to it and a measure of routine and predictability is always welcome and more likely to engender positive performances and results.
No matter where in the world your team is located, it is advisable that there is some overlap at crucial times of the day to allow for meetings and communication between relevant members. If there is one person who works during a completely different set of hours to the rest of the team this can cause an unnecessary disconnect.
Managing a virtual team comes with a range of potential obstacles and challenges. Learning how to manage a team takes time, dedication and a level of accuracy that is harder to put across when speaking to various members of your team on a computer screen. You miss out on certain physical tics and verbal cues when talking over a video screen. Therefore, it is imperative that you look at things slightly differently and keep track of the mental health and focus of your employees in a very different way than you would if you could spend time with them physically every day. Leadership training courses are a great way to ensure you are making the right moves at the right time and know how to manage a virtual team effectively.