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How to Effectively Manage Your Virtual Team
It’s no secret that recent world events have created a massive shift to remote/hybrid work. While this transition presents a learning opportunity for many professionals, it can pose particular challenges for managers and team leaders tasked with not only adapting to remote work but also overseeing the productivity and problems of a newly remote team.
As a remote-first company with team members spread across 33 countries, we understand the complexities of navigating the remote/hybrid culture. Here, we will discuss several points that can assist team leaders and managers in effectively managing a virtual team!
Establish a Remote Company Culture
The first and foremost step in managing remote teams is to create and establish a solid remote company culture. This involves creating suitable remote working policies and procedures, supporting a healthy work-life balance for your teammates, and ensuring clear communication.
Suppose your organization’s policies and documentation were created before the era of remote/hybrid work. In that case, these may need to be updated to encompass the new remote work landscape. Some key considerations when updating remote/hybrid work policies include defining the frequency of office visits (if at all), determining remote staff’s working hours or team meetings, and establishing guidelines for technology use to ensure seamless communication. Additionally, measures to safeguard employee and company privacy should be implemented.
Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance
As a manager, it is important for you to consider how the remote/hybrid work environment can affect each of your team members. The line between work and personal life can become blurred when one’s home also becomes their office, especially if they are brand-new to remote/hybrid concepts. Research suggests that even with the flexibility of working from home, many people end up working longer and more frequently than if they were commuting to the office daily. It’s important to consider the other responsibilities that each of your team members may have which could hinder their availability outside of set work hours.
Set a Structure and Plan Accordingly
Defining a set working system that all your staff can commit to is not always simple or easy. However, setting a standard operating procedure (SOP) will help your staff to have a better understanding of what criteria are expected for tasks and projects. This can be achieved through having a downloadable manual or plan document that your team can refer to as needed.
Frequent meeting is also an effective way to ensure everyone in your remote team is on the same page and feels connected and engaged. These meetings need not be lengthy; in fact, shorter, more frequent, and more effective meetings can help the whole team bond and encourage brainstorming and creativity among team members.
Investing in the Right Software
Selecting the appropriate technology stack for remote work and communication is critical when managing a virtual team. Many software programs and applications have been created over the years to facilitate communication, scheduling, and workflow management.
1. Software for Communication and Collaboration
Slack, Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Skype are just a few examples of communication tools commonly used in a remote work setting. While webchat services and instant messaging can be efficient in certain situations, they may not replace face-to-face conversation entirely. Face-to-face chats, even though video, can be effective in fostering a sense of connection and engagement.
2. Technology Tools for Managing Projects
Project management software is vital in both remote/hybrid and in-office settings. These tools enable managers to delegate tasks and help team members to stay updated on their responsibilities. There are various project management software options available, catering to different budgets. Examples include Zoho, Asana, Clarizen, and Trello.
3. Scheduling Applications for Collaborative Work
A collaborative calendar is a must when it comes to virtual working. With team members working at different hours and across time zones for global companies, an accessible calendar that organizes working hours, upcoming events, and deadlines is essential. This can also help in scheduling meetings or training sessions. There are many calendar applications you can consider such as Calendly, Doodle, or even Google Calendar.
Cultivating and Managing Your Remote Team With Virtual Internships
Managing a virtual team is a combination of learning, trial, and error. When an organization transitions to remote/hybrid work, whether temporarily or permanently, managers should engage with their teammates to understand what is working and what isn’t. Recognizing that each team is unique, tailor your remote/hybrid work strategies to suit the specific needs and preferences of your team.
At Virtual Internships, we are at the forefront of bridging the accessibility gap through global remote opportunities. Our innovative platform is designed to assist your company in tapping into the global talent pool, streamlining the interview process, and matching candidates with job opportunities—all in one place.
But that's not all. Our platform goes the extra mile by integrating regular feedback mechanisms and a comprehensive training system for these candidates. This ensures that you can manage your remote team members more effectively, nurture their growth, and optimize their productivity. Access a world of potential and elevate your remote team management game today.