With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, most teams are not prepared to excel with their virtual work immediately. Despite the list of advantages that come with hiring remote workers, adjusting to the new normal can be a tussle.
Are you also struggling to manage your virtual team?
1. Poor communication
For a successful virtual or physical workplace, smooth and healthy communication is inevitable. With an absence of face to face communication, conveying messages to virtual employees can be difficult as the visual signs and gestures that you pick up on with in-person communication are missing. Moreover, cultural and time zone differences between virtual employees further enhance the communication barrier. As team members fail to converse effectively, confusion and conflict may arise, resulting in higher stress levels and low employee morale as well as missed deadlines and falling short of targets.
Solution 1: Virtual communication guidelines
Fix specific working hours
Make a few chosen hours mandatory when everyone on your team can be online. This will make collaboration among teammates across time zones much more effective and organized.
Response time limits
Set a time limit for virtual employees for how long they can take to respond to an email or message This will ensure that no query or request goes unattended for too long, as a result of which teams will function more smoothly.
Avoid slang and colloquialisms
Considering the cultural differences of your virtual employees, avoiding slang and culture-specific references in official channels can help reduce conflicts and misunderstandings.
Solution 2: TeamingWay Communication tools
Instant messaging and chats:
Whether in group or private chats, communicating and interacting with your teammates in real time through instant messaging will yield n results and replies.
Video conferencing or conference calls:
Hosting video meetings and group calls with your virtual team members will help promote productive and creative employee engagement and also remove communication barriers.
2. Low morale and mental health
Staying at home and lack of interaction with fellow team members can have an adverse effect on the mental health and mood of employees. Both these factors are associated with low productivity and performance and can also adversely affect collaboration and communication, that are two vital pillars to effective remote teams. This fall in performance can further make the employees feel worse.
Solution 1: Exercise supportive leadership
For a successful virtual team, you also need to play your part as a successful virtual team leader. Motivate your team to maintain a healthy work-life balance and nor overwork themselves. Grant your team members other benefits like allowing a certain number of paid leaves per month or quarter s well as employee benefit programs as per consultation of the human resource department.
Moreover. check in with your team members every once in a while and extend support for their problems if you notice sudden changes in their work hours, communication style, and or odd decision-making. Make sure that the workload is distributed as evenly as possible to ensure to avoid your virtual team members overworking themselves.
Solution 2: Appreciate and reward them
Help backing up your virtual workers when they are feeling down. Recognize their achievements and share best practices through TeamingWay’s company stream feature and regularly highlight them. Give your employees a small token of appreciation for example a gift card. With their work being valued, they’re more likely to put in their best! Moreover celebrate diversity at work, that will not only motivate them to keep working hard, but also help encourage a more positive and inclusive culture.
3. Complex task management
With a virtual system of management in place, it is possible for teams to plan and review task progress through in-person discussions and meetings. This also yields a problem of accountability that can occur while managing virtual teams.
Solution 1: Project management tools
Use TeamingWay’s project management tools to make sure that your virtual teams are updated and are collaborating with ease. Interact with your team through public and private channels for streamlined discussions and organized task management.
Solution 2: Monitoring And time tracking tools
Using employee monitoring and time tracking tools can fill the accountability gap for most remote teams as they will track what each team member is working on, the time they take to complete each task, keep a record of the websites and apps that the employees use during work hours and scrutinize efficiency through time usage reports. Moreover, create and prioritize important tasks and get automated email reminders for tasks. Getting a snapshot of your accomplished tasks will make sure you achieve efficiency and watch progress.