Build and Lead a Successful Virtual Team With These 5 Tips

Thanks to advancements in technology, it’s possible to do many business tasks remotely that previously required teams to work together in the same place. If you’re interested in managing a virtual team effectively, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Focus on Leadership

Even though you’re not physically in the same room with your team, you still have to be a good leader. People respond to leadership, and if you want to get the best out of your team, you have to lead them where you want to go. Strong leadership inspires employees to feel more motivated to help the company succeed. Focusing on the leadership of your company will ensure that your business is strategically aligned and working toward a common goal. People work for those that inspire them, and great leaders inspire.

2. Team Building Exercises

Team building exercises can go a long way toward bridging any communication gaps in teams. If you’re in the same general vicinity as your team, scheduling a team building exercise like a fun activity can pay big dividends in the long run. Although it may seem difficult and time-consuming to go out of your way to do this, it will help your team’s overall morale. If you’re not in the same vicinity, there are remote activities that you could do to help build your team also.

3. Overcome Challenges with Technology

In order to make your virtual teamwork right, you’re going to have to overcome technology challenges. No matter how good your technological systems are, you’re going to have issues at some point. Make it a priority to develop backups for all of your systems. Have multiple ways to communicate, multiple ways to share files, and contingency plans in place.

4. Stick to a Schedule

One of the big advantages of working remotely for employees is that it gives them some flexibility with their schedules. They don’t have to necessarily work specific hours every day of the week. While you probably don’t want to make your remote workers stick to a rigid schedule, having scheduled appointments and meetings with them will help them stay connected. Having some kind of framework in place will help them stay on task and feel more accountable.

Make sure you give your team members plenty of time to schedule around any meetings or followups. For a truly effective meeting, you can’t spring things on them last second and should send plenty of reminders. Thankfully technology makes this easy, with even Microsoft Outlook allowing scheduled email deliveries and more.

5. Check Up on Your Team

When you work as part of a remote team, it’s important to check in with each member individually on a regular basis. Ask them how they’re doing personally and get to know them as well as you can. This connection will go a long way towards increasing productivity and improving your results.

Overall, managing a virtual team can be extremely rewarding and effective. You just have to keep in mind the inherent limitations that are in place and find ways to work around them to be successful.

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