Are you struggling to manage a virtual team? You’re not alone.
It’s no secret that managing a virtual team can be difficult. You have to communicate with your employees in different ways, work hard to keep everyone on task, and make sure everyone’s motivated.
Of course, it also sometimes takes time for everyone to get on the same page, especially when employees are working in different time zones or have different experiences with working remotely.
But don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be difficult! We’ve got some tips for you so you can make sure your virtual team is running smoothly, productively, and efficiently instead of worrying about whether or not everyone is doing their job correctly.
1. Set Clear Goals for Employees
If you want your remote employees to stay motivated, it’s essential for them to know precisely what they should be doing and when. If your team members don’t have specific tasks laid out, it can lead to confusion at best and a lack of productivity at worst.
When remote employees aren’t sure what they should be working on, they might spend their time on tasks that aren’t important or that they’re already familiar with instead of taking on new challenges.
Make sure you set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals for your remote employees. This will help them stay focused and motivated, and it’ll also make it easier to track their progress. You can also either set specific goals for each employee or have general goals that everyone needs to meet.
2. Use Communication Tools Effectively
If you want your employees to feel like they’re a part of the team, it’s important to use communication tools effectively. Remote employees can feel left out if they don’t have regular contact with their colleagues and managers.
There are a number of different tools you can use, but it’s important to find the ones that work best for your team. Consider factors like the time difference between employees, what type of work they’re doing, and how often you need to communicate with them. Some common tools include video conferencing software, chat applications, and project management tools.
Some teams prefer to use video conferencing tools, like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. These holistic remote teams’ platforms allow everyone to see each other and talk face-to-face, which can help resolve conflicts or clarify instructions.
In contrast, if your team is spread out across different time zones and countries, you might want to use a team collaboration tool like Slack. This will allow everyone to communicate easily and effectively, even if they’re working at different hours.
3. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks
Working remotely can be great for employees, but it can also lead to burnout if they’re not careful. When remote employees don’t have a physical workplace to go to, they might find themselves working all day long without a break. This can lead to fatigue and decreased productivity.
Accordingly, take the time to encourage your team to take breaks throughout the day. This can help them stay focused and motivated, and it’ll also allow them to recharge their batteries. Suggest that they take a break every hour or two or take a full break at least once per day.
4. Set Company Hours
Working remotely sometimes means that team members can work flexible hours, but you should still set company hours to ensure everyone is on the same page. This will help create a sense of unity, even if employees are working from different parts of the world.
This way, remote employees will know when it’s appropriate to contact others in the company and when they should avoid contacting people. You can also use this time to have team-wide video chats or conference calls.
5. Create a Remote-Friendly Culture
One of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team is creating a remote-friendly culture. This means making sure employees feel comfortable working from home and that they have all the resources they need to do their job.
If you want your team to be productive, you need to make sure they have everything they need to do their job and the resources and support they need.
For example, they might require remote access to certain software or file management tools due to company policies. Or they might want to enjoy remote-friendly benefits like flexible scheduling or remote training opportunities.
You should also encourage remote employees to put company culture first, even if they’re working remotely. It can be easy for remote team members to lose touch with company values and feel disconnected from the rest of the business, but if they clearly understand what your company believes in, they’ll feel more connected to the team and be more productive.
6. Celebrate Successes Together
When remote employees achieve something great, celebrate with them! This will help build camaraderie among remote employees and remind them that they’re part of a team and that their work is appreciated. Not to mention, it creates a positive work culture and ensures that employees feel comfortable sharing their individual successes with their coworkers.
You can celebrate remote success by having a video conference, sending congratulatory emails, holding virtual “water cooler chats”, or throwing parties (again, virtually).
Many remote employees thrive in remote work, and remote teams can be much more productive than their office-based counterparts. However, managers need to find ways to keep employees engaged and motivated. Luckily, that can be made possible with the right tools and attitude!
By following these tips, you can create a thriving remote team that’s both productive and fulfilled.