The Secret of Successfully Managing Virtual Teams
Because of its many advantages, more and more companies offer telecommuting benefits. However, due to the many challenges that remain, lots of (large) companies have recently walked back their work-from-home / remote working policies. This is a worrying tendency that underscores the problems some businesses are still having with this concept.
Despite these challenges, virtual teams are here to stay! The REAL challenge becomes adapting to the new workplace. Rather than reverting back to the old ways of doing business, you can directly address the challenges of managing virtual team: By successfully identifying and addressing remote workplace issues, you can build a strong, agile team that’s collaborative from all corners of the country / continent / globe.
According to several studies there are four main threats for virtual / remote teams. A first issue is that communication can get muddled when teams don’t speak or meet face-to-face. Secondly, trust and collaboration suffer when workers are siloed: Winning each other’s trust in an environment where face-to-face interaction is a rarity is difficult. A third threat to overcome are productivity problems: It’s sometimes hard to tell if employees are tasked with too little—or too much. And finally, bad leadership and/or management can destroy a virtual / remote team before it has even been created: For sure, leading a team without any clear framework or guidelines can turn out as a disaster!
However, luckily all these challenges can be tackled by setting the right conditions. There are four must-haves when it comes to creating the best conditions for your virtual team. When keeping these in mind, you are sure to succeed!
- 1. Make sure you have the right team: Embark with the right people, choose the right team size and create the right roles.
- 2. Aboard the right leaders with adequate managing skills: The best leaders are able to foster trust & communication, and provide their people with the necessary support structures. They define and share the team’s mission and goals, and install a clear working context with clear guidelines.
- 3. Create the right touchpoints. As virtual / remote teams do not often come together in person extra importance should be attached to team kickoffs, onboarding of new team members and specific milestones.
- 4. Use the right technology and tools to engage in communication with each other.
Is your company struggling with working in a virtual / remote team setting? Or have we just caught your curiosity? Beopledd can help you as a business leader to bring your virtual / remote teams to the next level. During an interactive workshop we will work together on defining the main team challenges and more specifically how you can tackle them as a team! Contact Raf Vanzeer for more information.