Top 3 Challenges of Managing Virtual Teams And Their Solutions
Your business will benefit much from hiring remote employees, such as enhanced efficiency and productivity, access to global talent as well as lower resource and infrastructure expenses.
However, you will only be able to enjoy these benefits if you can overcome the challenges of working with virtual teams. You have to put a lot in place to ensure success. Click here to access free training to ensure you have the traits of a leader if you are leading a virtual team or you intend to lead one.
Also, check out the three top challenges of managing virtual teams and their solutions.
1. Poor Communication
Poor communication and miscommunication are arguably the most significant challenges leaders face with their virtual teams. It can sometimes be difficult to pass messages to your virtual team because there is no face-to-face communication with them. The most popular reasons for this poor communication are time zone differences between virtual teams and their cultural differences. There are several ways poor communication can impact your team and business, such as unsatisfied customers, not meeting targets, higher stress levels, and disputes between workers.
Email is very old-fashioned even though it’s still one of the most popular means of communication. It also lacks the practicality that several other modern communication tools provide. There are numerous virtual team communication tools designed and developed to make your work easier. These tools will help you reach out to your team and ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, Slack and Google Hangouts are excellent choices for instant messaging. Chats, Zoom, and Skype are great for video conferencing, G Suite is perfect for file sharing and collaboration.
Virtual Communication Guidelines
As a leader, you can significantly improve your virtual team’s efficiency by setting guidelines for team communication. These guidelines include:
- Response Time Limits: Determine the time an employee has before responding to your messages. Doing this will ensure no query or message will be left unattended for long.
- Set Particular Working Hours: specify a few mandatory working hours daily where everyone will be available online. This will promote effective planning and collaboration.
Tips to manage your virtual team and get everyone working in sync:
2. Low Productivity
Leaders face another top challenge with their virtual teams: low productivity and reduced focus. And that’s because working remotely makes it hard to focus and be accountable. The home is unabridged with distractions, unlike the office. And these distractions can affect your virtual team’s productivity. Also, many workers are susceptible to burnout when they work remotely because they lack boundaries.
Productivity tools can help to prevent distractions and maintain focus. These tools are categorized as website blockers, white noise generators, timers, and noise cancellation software. Some of these great tools you can introduce to your virtual team members are StayFocusd, Noisli, Pomodoro Timers, and Krisp.
Promote Work Standards
As a leader, it is your responsibility to emphasize and promote work standards if your virtual team members are not used to working remotely and telecommuting.
You can use the following ways to help them transition and adapt to working remotely and virtual work.
- Carry Out Frequent Reviews And Check-ins: Regularly check in on your virtual team’s progress by maintaining an open line of communication with them. Please encourage them to tell you about the difficulties and help them with solutions. Continuous interactions with your virtual team will motivate them to be more engaged with their work.
- Use Clear Targets and Goals: Clear targets and goals help your virtual team know precisely what they have to do. Clear targets ensure that there won’t be any distraction because your team has something they are working towards. You can use project management or a calendar tool to proffer a clear visual of your brand’s goal to your team, you can use project management or calendar tool.
- Share Ways to Increase Productivity: As popular as this is, some leaders still tend to forget or overlook it. Sharing tips on how your virtual team can increase productivity will go a long way in benefitting them and your company.
3. Difficult Task Management
Teams in companies with office spaces review and plan projects through physical discussions and meetings. However, the same is not for virtual teams. Most virtual teams work in different time zones.
As a leader, it won’t be easy to organize frequent meetings. You may not even pass your message as effectively as you would in a physical session, even with all the advanced video conferencing tools.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools help virtual teams to plan, collaborate and stay updated easily. You will be able to track deadlines, ongoing projects, completed projects, what each virtual team member is currently working on, etc. As a leader, you will be able to plan, organize and update your tasks, assignments, and projects in a single place using reliable project management tools. ClickUp, Todoist, and Wrike are some dedicated tools for remote workers.
You will enjoy the exclusive benefits of leading a coordinated virtual team once you overcome the challenges that come with virtual teams. You also have to ensure you are constantly working on yourself to lead a virtual team. And the best way is to keep learning and challenging yourself to be better than you were the previous day. Click here to access leadership courses by Tonika Bruce. She is a seasoned author passionate about seeing leaders reach their full potential.