The pandemic of Covid-19 made businesses rethink their operating model. Many businesses have stopped having physical offices and have shifted to remote working altogether.
While this remote model saves a lot of operational costs and helps teams to work efficiently, there are some drawbacks too. The biggest drawbacks quoted are managing virtual teams and their time well.
Many companies have shifted to good time and project tracking software. However, before you invest in any such project and time-tracking tool, here are some important things for you to know about managing virtual teams efficiently.
What are Virtual Teams?
The big question here is what are these virtual teams in reality? A virtual team consists of people who do not come under one roof to work together. The people in the remote team either can be from the same geographical location or can be living continents apart.
Remote teams do not require the members to commute to their work location rather they can sign in from wherever they want and accomplish their required tasks.
The demand for remote teams is increasing as companies are becoming more open to having diverse teams. Moreover, they want top-notch professionals without caring about their location. Merged with these benefits, it reduces the operational cost for the companies.
According to the experts, more than 50 per cent of companies worldwide will entirely move to the remote working model.
Importance of Virtual Teams
As discussed above, virtual teams provide a company with the luxury to have well-experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable professionals from all over the globe. This gives a company the chance to strengthen its team and provide exceptional services to its clients.
Virtual teams also make it easy for a company to focus on its sustainability by reducing its operational cost. Such a company saves the rent of the building, utility bills, salaries of office staff, and refreshments of the employees. That same money can be used to spend on other initiatives or provide better salaries to the remote teams.
Virtual teams are also becoming famous and important due to the demands of the employees. Many employees all around the world have started preferring working remotely. This saves them much time, money, and the hassle of commuting.
Given the changing industry trends, companies are rapidly moving towards hiring more virtual teams.
Best Practices For Managing Virtual Teams Efficiently
Managing virtual teams come with challenges like nothing experienced before. Companies find it difficult to manage these employees as they are not present nearby.
While there are many experts who can help companies shift towards a remote model in adjusting well, here are some tips and best practices you must try if you want to manage virtual teams efficiently.
1. Focus on Good Communication
Communication has always been the key but with remote teams, you must focus on communicating even better. Since your teams are not available around you physically, it is difficult for you to pick up cues from their body language.
In such situations, it is recommended to communicate things more than once, have meetings more often, have cameras on during meetings, and keep asking if you have made yourself clear. The more you focus on better communication, the lesser the chances of tasks getting done wrong.
2. Consider Time Zones
A virtual team can have people joining from different continents. It is possible that while one person has the sun shining bright, the other will be working at night. This calls for compassion and empathy to be practised by the whole team.
The company should ensure that empathy is instilled in their remote teams requiring everyone to consider time zones and not forcing anyone to work odd hours.
3. Upskilling is Great
Skill upscaling is as important for virtual teams as it is for in-office teams. The company must have a separate budget for the training of its virtual teams.
4. Use Smart Software
As the trend of virtual teams became famous, many companies started launching software to help these remote teams.
It is suggested that you invest in a good time and project tracking software to help your virtual teams work efficiently. Such software will aid the remote team in managing their time well while getting the prioritized tasks done within the decided timeline.
Moreover, they can track the progress and manage tasks on the project level as well.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.