Building Stronger Virtual Teams
While many of us are still adjusting to the new norm of virtual teams or working from home, we are learning that although it appears difficult at times, it also comes with many benefits. Perhaps virtual teams are the new future?
Virtual teams are known to produce higher productivity levels, thanks to the flexibility offered by remote work. Virtual employees get to avoid the daily commute and the distractions and pressures of a traditional office environment. They are happier, have more energy, time and the flexibility to work during non-traditional hours when they feel most productive. As a virtual employee, they can create their ideal work environment to focus better and complete more work in less time.
So how can you ensure that your virtual team are happy, productive and still delivering results for the company? Below are some tips and tricks we have learned along the way that are sure to help you on your path of building stronger virtual teams.
1. Get Communications Right
Avoid wasting time and resources using the wrong communication tools. For quick confirmation or clarification, use an instant messaging platform such as Slack. For weekly team meetings or catch-ups, use a video conferencing platform like Zoom. Use email for scheduling or sending information to team members. There are many ways to communicate with your virtual team – use a combination of tools that do not limit their effectiveness.
2. Common Availability Hours
Although you may be encouraging a healthy work-life balance and allowing virtual employees to work when they feel most productive, consider defining common availability hours when everyone on the team must be online. Make these mandatory. Being in a virtual team can feel isolating at times and having a couple of hours in the day when everyone is online will ensure your team feel connected. This will also help with getting projects, approvals, deadlines etc. over the line.
3. Avoid Micromanaging
A lack of independence and trust can easily demotivate your virtual team by making them feel undervalued. Recognize the value of their independence, and how much support they really need. Once you begin trusting your employees, you’ll find it easier to relax and focus on other tasks. Additionally, displaying trust in your team also validates their work and motivates them to do better.
4. Encourage Socialization
Working remotely means there is no such thing as coffee break catch-ups or conversations by the water cooler, encourage socialization to strengthen virtual team chemistry. Once a week, maybe during your Friday meetings, do something fun and unrelated to work. Play a game, share stories or download an app-based team challenge. Isolation can have a huge impact on productivity and motivation – encouraging ‘unwind time’ will be beneficial to everyone.
Orangeworks virtual team building activities are designed to help your team become more connected, motivated and engaged. They work towards getting your team in a creative headspace and potentially unleashing hidden skills they didn’t know they had! Most importantly, our clients leave smiling, happy and with long-lasting memories.
Contact us via the button below if you would like more information on our range of virtual team building activities.