With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, most teams are not prepared to excel with their virtual work immediately. Despite the advantages of hiring remote workers, adjusting to the new normal can be a brawl. Organizations trying to reach deadlines and focus on business growth have difficulty managing remote teams. Are you also struggling to manage your virtual team? Well, the first step is to understand the core challenges of hiring a remote team and remember that a project collaboration tool with suitable functionalities can be a great help.
But before you work on your assets and resources, do you completely understand your current challenges?
Read more in this article and see if anything sounds familiar; then you have the solution too.
Virtual Team Challenges and the Ways to Handle them
The one thing that comes to mind is to get the right remote collaboration tool. However, even if you have the best tool by your side, you still need to make some changes to your existing policies and add training sessions to your schedule for the team members.
Below are 3 possible challenges with the possible solutions to overcome them at any time.
1. Poor Communication
For a successful virtual or physical workplace, smooth and healthy communication is inevitable. With no face-to-face communication, conveying messages to virtual employees can be difficult as the visual signs and gestures you pick up on with in-person communication are missing.
Moreover, virtual employees’ cultural and time zone differences further enhance the communication barrier.
As team members fail to converse effectively, confusion and conflict may arise, resulting in higher stress levels, low employee morale, 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 – A Collaboration Tool
Instant messaging and chats:
Whether in a 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 lacking interaction with fellow team members can adversely affect employees’ mental health and mood.
These factors are associated with low productivity and performance and can adversely affect collaboration and communication, two vital pillars of effective remote teams. This fall in performance can further make the employees feel worse.
Solution 1: Exercise Supportive Leadership
You also need to play your part as a successful virtual team leader for a successful virtual team. Motivate your team to maintain a healthy work-life balance and not 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 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 odd decision-making. Make sure that the workload is distributed as evenly as possible to ensure to avoid your virtual team members from overworking themselves.
Solution 2: Appreciate and Reward them
Help back up your virtual workers when they are feeling down. Recognize their achievements, 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, celebrating diversity at work will motivate them to keep working hard and help encourage a more positive and inclusive culture.
3. Complex Task Management
With a virtual system of management in place, teams can 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, a project management tool, to ensure that your virtual teams are updated and collaborating easily.
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 collaboration 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 ensure you achieve efficiency and watch your progress.
Collaboration and communication is the ultimate solution for you to keep the best work going. Projects may not stay for long, but building a team can help you take control and ensure project delivery with accuracy. With the right project management and collaboration tool, you can always automate some processes, manage progress, track time, and set priorities as per your needs.
So, keep the focus on transparency in your communication and, most importantly, be clear about the needs and demands of the project. To make it possible, get help from Teamingway as your partner side by side.