In 2020, everyone has been forced to adopt the remote work culture whether they like it or not. For many, it’s a welcome change as it has helped cut down on costs on travel and led to a better work-life balance. For others, it has come as a challenge as they try to maintain the same level of productivity as in an office environment.
For business owners and managers working with a virtual workforce, it has become necessary to ensure that virtual teams stay motivated and perform to the best of their abilities. Regardless of the size of your business, there are a lot of open source project management software available to help you manage virtual teams effectively.
Here are 7 strategies to help you get the most the most out of a virtual team and drive better results:
- Allow flexible work hours:
It can be difficult to manage a virtual team scattered across different geographical locations. To get the best out of such a team, be flexible about work hours as employees may need to work at odd hours in order to collaborate with other team members working in a different time zone. Being rigid about work hours can be unfair and end up doing more harm than good.
- Provide clear goals:
A virtual team often loses sight of common goals due to being away from the office setup. Team managers must make it a point to clearly define goals and set realistic expectations so everyone knows what is expected of them. Once you have done this, it is important to show faith in your team to do their job well and avoid micro-managing them.
- Establish deadlines:
One of the worst ways to deal with a virtual team is not giving them clear work deadlines. Leaving things open ended can create a confused work environment and lead to employees feeling unmotivated to perform. It is crucial to provide them with a detailed description of what final results they are supposed to deliver and define a deadline for the same.
- Hold regular meetings with agenda:
Scheduling regular meetings with virtual teams has dual benefits. First, it allows you to get accurate information about their work progress. Secondly, it helps team members understand their role in the project so they feel accountable. Holding video-conferences keeping in mind different time zones allows everyone to get-together and understand who is doing what in the project.
- Assign time for team bonding activities:
A lot of virtual team managers underestimate the power of team bonding. Encouraging fun group activities with informal conversations helps employees socialize with each other and feel inclusive. This leads to better collaboration between team members which increases their work productivity. It also increases their morale and ensures employee satisfaction.
- Make sure you are approachable:
For virtual team members to get the most out of their team, they need to be able to resolve team issues and help any members who are stuck. This requires you to be seen as approachable so they can speak to you for help. If team members feel you are unwelcoming and hesitate to reach out, they may feel helpless and fail to achieve their targets.
- Foster team engagement and collaboration:
When team members work in unison they are better coordinated and can achieve targets faster. Fostering team collaboration is one of the most ideal ways to get the most out of them. They help each other and stay engaged, reducing dependency on the manager. It is important to provide them necessary communication tools so they can collaborate effectively.
Managing teams in different time zones requires flexibility and the right tech tools. Using the above mentioned strategies will help you drive productive results from your virtual team members.