Tuesday, 23 June 2020 23:21

10 Ways to Successfully Manage Virtual Teams

If you are managing one or more virtual teams, you are not alone. The Workforce 2020 survey claimed that 83 percent of executives plan to increase use of consultants or intermittent employees over the next three years.


Covid-19 impact on Digital Communication

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has impacted the lives of countless people around the world. As it continues to evolve, it is expected to disrupt many more services and functions of day-to-day life, including work and managing virtual teams. We know many businesses are now facing the challenge of remaining productive while working from remote locations.

1. Define Work Systems

You need to set up a standard way of work among your team. This to establish a clear work path and task duration expectation for each of them. They need to know how long will it takes to complete certain tasks or activities before they are able to move on to their next job. Track hours worked, attendance and other basic measures of productivity to help boost up productivity.


2. Establish a Set of Communication Tools in managing virtual teams

The benefits of establishing multiple communication tools is two-fold. First of all, your team has a way to communicate something that is urgent to the right person immediately. Secondly, it unifies processes such as what to use for conference calls, screen recordings, and so on.


3. Schedule Regular Meetings

Scheduling a briefings in routine manner will create a routine in managing virtual teams. Routines provide the team with something they are used to and familiar with. In our business we have a chat room open for each team in the business. Team members leave messages for the team that they are a part of. It’s essential to keep these chats alive but not distracting. There’s enough conversation to be able to discuss important issues and to feel like we’re connected as one team, but not so much that it becomes distracting.


4. Allow a Degree of Flexible Work Hours

People working from home will rightly want flexibility with their work hours especially in remote teams. And it’s important to allow a degree of flexibility when managing remote employees. On the other hand, if things are totally erratic then it will be difficult to get a shared collaboration window when all of your team are online at the same time and able to chat.


5. Make Sure Work Hours Overlap

Regardless of what time zones your team members are in, it is recommendable to have at least three to four hours a day where most of the team is online at the same time. Being online at the same time will bring your team closer and get ahead of what’s happening around the team.

6. Do a Regular Psychologies Review

One of the issues with working from home is that people can feel lonely and isolated. Not everyone copes well with this style of working. Most people do not have this issue and love the freedom that comes with working from home, but it’s important to check in from time to time and make sure everything is working for them.


7. Choose (video) Call Over Chatting and Emails

With Skype and email being available at everyone’s fingertips, it is tempting to chat and send a quick email whenever there is something to discuss. This can easily lead to misunderstandings. With video calls, virtual team can minimise misunderstanding between them as everything verbally conveyed with better clarity and immediate issues resolution.


8. Use Documents and Spreadsheets Collaboration Tools

If you have a document that is being edited by many people, OneDrive is the best option. If you have a document that just needs to be shared, and will not be edited simultaneously, then you can place your documents (such as an excel file) in a shared OneDrive.


9. Establish a Rewarding Culture

Process of rewarding and recognising people based on their skills -- stimulates people to work harder and better. Make sure to set up reward systems to keep your virtual team motivated and to better pinpoint the team members that can take on more responsibility.


10. Create a Standard Onboarding Process for New Members

If you’re hiring employees remotely then they are not going to get the same kind of “learn by watching over the shoulder” method that can happen in an office. So when you hire someone, make sure that they have a training program (videos can work well) that educates them about your company and the way that you do things. It is an important steps in managing virtual teams.

Having all of this technology makes telecommuting and working from home a much more viable option. However, managing virtual teams is another matter. To make this time as stress-free as possible, we’ve compiled a helpful list of tips for guiding a successful virtual team, and how to prepare for the challenges you might face.


Whether you have a current work-from-home process or are looking to implement one, you likely already have the most robust virtual team support option in your repertoire. Microsoft Teams is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, and it can be added as a one-off addition to your technology stack. Contact us for more info about Microsoft Teams.

Managing Virtual Teams