Managing and maintaining a remote work team comes with some unique challenges. Some things, like watercooler chats and office potlucks, are hard to replicate in the digital workplace, but there are plenty of ways to keep your team engaged. Check out these 5 tips to keep your virtual team connected.
Encourage quick conversations
One of the hardest parts of keeping your remote team connected is navigating proper communication. Sending an email can seem overly formal and phone calls can be inconvenient, but chat messages are an easy, low-pressure way to check in with team members. There are a variety of chat messaging services available as part of larger team organization or project management tools, but Google Hangouts makes a great free option for for small teams.
Leverage project management tools
Another challenge virtual teams face is project management. Since you can’t just stop by someone’s desk to ask for an update, you need to have another way for everyone to be on the same page about the status of a project, what is needed, and who is responsible for completing the tasks involved. Platforms, like Monday.com, make it easy to organize all your work, assign tasks, and share files so everyone stays on the same page.
Strive for some face time
Getting your team together is a great way to bond and create a stronger, more connected workforce. There are a lot of ways this can be done. If your team is geographically close, you can try to meet up in person on a monthly or semi-annual basis. If your team is more scattered, you may need to get creative with virtual team building activities.
Try new tools
If you’re new to remote work or virtual teams, you may find that systems and tools that worked well in the office aren’t the best fit for your new digital workplace. For some, this can be a capability challenge, but for other this is a matter of preference. It’s important to be open-minded and flexible in finding solutions that work best for your team. For example, you may find that instead of using Microsoft Office products, your team benefits from the live collaboration of Google Docs or the notifications available in Google Sheets.
Set expectations & trust your team
Trust and open communication is critical to a successful, connected virtual team. It’s important to set clear expectations about working hours and availability, deadlines, and required communication and then trust that you’ve created a team that can deliver.
Creating a virtual team is a great way to acquire the best talent regardless of where your company is located while lowering the overhead needed to support a central office. While 2020 forced many companies to adjust to virtual workplaces, experts agree remote work and virtual teams are here to stay.