How can you successfully manage Virtual Teams?Wed Jan 27 2021. 5 min read
The global workforce saw a huge transition take place rapidly in 2020. The start of the Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to start thinking “outside to box” and letting more employees work remotely. For a lot of employees, this was a huge adjustment to suddenly start working from home. But what about managers? How can you successfully manage a team that you only interact with virtually?
Entrepreneur has some ideas – 10, in fact. These ideas include: 1) Define work systems; 2) Establish multiple communication tools; 3) Schedule regular meetings; 4) Have clear and detailed deliverables; 5) Make sure work hours overlap; 6) Create a professional work environment; 7) Choose video calls over chatting and emails; 8) Find the right people to work with; 9) Establish a meritocratic system; 10) Use project management tools.
All of these ideas basically come down to organization and communication. You’ve always needed to communicate as effectively as possible with your employees; with ongoing remote work happening, clear communication is more important than ever. There are a plethora of organizational/project management tools out there – use them. Your team needs to be organized and needs to know exactly what you expect of them. And of course, things are changing by the day for a lot of companies. Your employees know that. Be as transparent as you can, and let them know exactly what you’re looking for from them. Meetings give you another chance to communicate. Using video calls as opposed to email or chat means you have less risk of having any nuances misunderstood. Don’t completely OVERLOOK text/email, but don’t let it be your sole method of communication. This is where video calls come in handy: if your employees can see you, they’ll likely feel like you’re still on their side.
In addition, don’t underestimate the importance of ensuring you have the right team working the right hours.
Finally, do everything you can to create a professional environment. That can be a challenge when you’re working out of your dining room/spare bedroom/friend’s garage apartment/internet café, but remember that creating that professional ambiance will carry over to how you manage. And when you can’t be in the same physical workspace with your team, do everything you can to maintain the team’s momentum.