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How to Master Effective Management of Virtual Teams

Have you always managed your virtual business? Or do you manage a team of companies that eventually switched to a completely remote work operation?

In any case, there is one thing for sure. That is, managing virtual teams is very different. Major team members In the office environment. It goes far beyond the ability of team member cubicles to say “hello” every day and ask them to go for lunch.

Are you wondering how to get the most out of your virtual team? Do you feel that your virtual team members are supported and want to get the most out of your collaboration capabilities?

Well, you don’t have to start Google! In my experience managing a fully remote team at Live Lingua online language school for many years, I have found the following proven tips for effectively managing virtual team members.

5 Tips for Managing Virtual Teams

From reliable methods to creating positive remote work cultures to workflow optimization, try these hacks to master effective management of your virtual team.

1. Create a positive remote work culture with a “virtual water cooler”

We all know how important a good all-water cooler is for the working environment in the office. A water cooler is a place where employees can meet and talk all day long, laugh at business events, plan post-work events, and build bonds. Water coolers play an important role in creating a positive working environment where colleagues feel connected to each other.

However, a “virtual water cooler” plays the same role as a physical water cooler. This is an internal communication channel that allows remote employees to connect and talk about non-work subjects.

For example, it can be the specified #FUN slack A dedicated chat channel for hobbies other than work. Alternatively, it can be an online forum or private Facebook group where only team members can talk about their hobbies.

You might think that a virtual water cooler simply distracts team members from the project at hand and hinders productivity and workload.

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However, if you implement these internal communication channels, Positive workplace culture In our virtual business, we drive employee morale and motivation.

why? Well, these virtual water coolers gave our team members the opportunity to have non-work related discussions. This allowed them to get to know each other more personally and to deepen their ties (which can be difficult in a completely remote business environment).

Building these connections ultimately helped our team members become friends who provide support and encouragement during difficult times. It also helped improve communication and collaboration throughout the company.

Virtual water cooler tips

If you want your business’s virtual water cooler to be successful, there are some rules to follow. First, ask fun questions every morning at the virtual water cooler and start a conversation.

For example, ask, “Where do you want to travel next and why?” This is a great way to help employees get to know each other better.

Also, do not force them to join the virtual water cooler. It just causes stress. If one of your employees does not share the insights of the day, do not seek contributions. They may just be busy with the project and can reply when they have time.

If people feel forced to contribute to their thoughts every day, it can depress their overall morale.

Finally, always admit what others are saying with your virtual water cooler. I don’t want anyone to feel ignored.Social cognition Improving morale..

According to Psych Central, “Social cognition is essential to psychological safety and business success. It informs everyone that they are being watched and valued, increasing their productivity and strengthening their work relationships. ”

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2. Maximize productivity in the “open communication” time frame

One of the big challenges in a virtual work environment is that team members may not know if a colleague is busy working on an important project and can’t be distracted.

You may send an email to a busy colleague or attack with a Slack message. This distracts you from focusing on the deep work you need to complete. This creates a lot of stress on distracted colleagues, which can reduce productivity and workload.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “organizations that build culture around minimizing distractions enjoy the combined benefits of a concentrated workforce, reduce stress on people, and ultimately become more fulfilling. It makes me feel like I was. “

Therefore, as a team leader, it is of utmost importance to give team members a specific “open communication” time frame.

You can inform the entire team that you need to maintain all communication at certain times of the day, such as from 9:45 am to after 10:15 am, unless there is an urgent project or crisis that needs to be discussed. increase.Days from 2:15 pm to 2:45 pm

During these “open communication” timeframes, team members can email colleagues or virtual water coolers without distracting anyone from major projects that need to be completed before the deadline. I know I can send messages with.

3. Encourage team members to practice time blocking

Because they work remotely, team members have a great deal of autonomy and freedom in how to organize each workday. However, if one of the team members lacks discipline and does not have a daily plan, this can be a recipe for a disaster.

So Time blocking..

Communicate that you can improve your productivity and workload every day by blocking the time for the three most important projects that need to be completed each day and scheduling time blocks for various tasks such as replying to emails. increase.

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Every day is fully scheduled so they don’t waste a minute trying to figure out the next task to focus on.

4. Responsible and thank virtual team members

One of the most important ways to motivate remote team members is to take responsibility for their work projects and ensure they understand how important their hard work is. is. This is because they want to continue to be good if they know they are happy with the performance of their work.

However, one surefire way to hold virtual team members accountable is with each member to ask where they are in the project, the issues they are struggling with, and the future tasks they will focus on. Setting up a video call every week.

You can also use to hold virtual team members accountable Project management software Then ask them all to share ongoing updates about what they have completed or are in the process of completing.

Another way to hold team members accountable is to set a specified start and end time for each work day and ask them to email you immediately when you sign on to work.

Even better, each of these emails asks you to give a brief overview of the project you plan to work on that day.That way, team members know what they need to do. Take responsibility for yourself For completing or making significant progress on the project outlined in the email every morning.

Finally, if the virtual team members are responsible for the project, thank you for all the hard work.

According to Psychology Today

“The most powerful thing is that by expressing gratitude, employees feel socially valuable and believe that their actions can make a difference in the lives of others. This type of prosocial behavior makes the organization more adaptable and attractive to current and future employees, thereby contributing to the effectiveness of the organization. “

However, you can express your gratitude by sending team members an e-gift card from a popular coffee shop chain or local day spa. This simple yet high-impact gesture boosts their morale and shows how important you are to their efforts.

5. Online collaboration tools are important

Project management software helps remote team members be accountable and keeps everyone up-to-date about project milestones being completed, next agenda, and responsible for various tasks.

My favorite project management software is concept.. It provides various features that have helped me complete all the projects I have on an ongoing basis for Live Lingua. The concept was the key to bringing my company to a new level of success.

Also, others Online collaboration tool We recommend using the Google Docs and Google Sheets apps for remote collaboration and editing important business files on the go.

You can share Google Sheets and Google Docs with members of your virtual team and choose whether they can view only the files, create comments, or edit them directly. You can ask to make an editing suggestion. You can approve the edit proposal once you have confirmed it.

Even better, if you find that you don’t like the recent draft of the document, you can easily revert to an older version of the document.

To put everything together

If you’re looking for a more effective way to manage your virtual team, consider following the tips above. Implement a virtual water cooler to create a positive work culture, specify open communication timeframes to maximize productivity, and encourage team members to practice their time-limited daily schedules.

Help team members take responsibility for their tasks and then show their appreciation for their hard work. Also, keep in mind that online collaboration tools such as project management software can help streamline your workflow.

With all these tips in place, you’ll be better able to manage your virtual team members than ever before.

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Featured Photo Credits: charles deluvio via unsplash.com

How to Master Effective Management of Virtual Teams

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