Virtual teams are the present and the future. Millions of people are working as a part of a virtual team right now as the world is slowly leaving the pandemic behind. However, such digital teams are here to stay in the future as well, all thanks to their efficiency and all kinds of advantages. Previously, businesses rarely operated virtually, and only certain employees or teams were able to work remotely. Today, such a working pattern is a norm. More and more companies are switching to virtual operation or incorporating some of the most convenient features at least. With technological advancements, digital operations will be here for a while, and they will only get better.
A virtual team is not a party in a fantasy video game. Virtual teams are business teams where employees communicate and collaborate using digital solutions and the Internet. A virtual team can include workers that operate from both home and office, located in the same country or on the other continent. The main idea is that no matter where people are, they can still join a video call over the Internet and work fruitfully on their projects.
This is not a new trend as such cooperation was developed even before the pandemic. However, many businesses started incorporating virtual teams massively in 2021. That year, more than 65% of employees in the US were benefiting from virtual collaboration at least once a week.
Numerous businesses realized just how beneficial virtual work is for their current operation and expansion. For this reason, it is safe to say that more virtual teams will be created in the future.
When it comes to creating virtual teams, it is important to gather the right people together. Each team must perform a certain function or work on a specific project. Of course, employees can create separate virtual teams on their own for co-working, but companies should build specific teams based on certain requirements. This is crucial not only for the efficient operation of a company but for the workers themselves as many people lack proper communication today because of remote work. Here are a few of the most popular kinds of virtual teams:
As you can see, there are many different types of virtual teams. Picking a fitting digital team for your specific case directly influences its efficiency and the success of a project.
If you are unsure about where to start with your virtual team, you can follow this easy guide. It takes a few simple steps to have a digital team nice and ready to work. Here is what you need to do.
To select the most suitable workers for a virtual team, you will need to create a group from the beginning. It is possible to find fitting candidates for working in a remote team by evaluating employees via an interview or by looking at their experience. Some of the qualities that you will need to look for include:
When it comes to skills and abilities, you can form teams with people that complement each other. This is one of the key benefits of virtual teams as you can bring employees together and benefit from their strong sides while minimizing weaknesses.
It is usually advised to settle with smaller digital teams. A perfect team should consist of about 3 to 5 employees. Such groups are proven to be more efficient than large teams that are tricky to manage. If you end up with a bigger team, you can always divide it into a few smaller groups.
It is crucial that each team member has their specific responsibilities and knows them. It is also important to know the roles of other employees in your team and avoid carrying out tasks that are outside of your personal responsibilities. This way, everyone will have a clear role, and the workflow will remain efficient.
Much like with any other business team, there are certain challenges that managers can face. In addition, working with virtual teams requires a special approach. To guarantee productivity and overall satisfaction among your team members, you can make use of the following simple tips.
Communication is the key to any kind of teamwork. Talk to your team members regularly to keep up with all the issues and questions. One of the best ways of ensuring smooth communication is having regular meetings. Being a part of a digital team, it becomes incredibly simple to meet with all the other employees online via specialized software. Facilitating communication is one of the key objectives of a good manager.
It is essential to incorporate the right software and digital tools to help your workflow. There are special programs and platforms for managers, which make it easier to keep track of all the tasks and team members. Using appropriate messaging and video conferencing programs is also important. It is best to choose multifunctional software to cover most of your needs instead of installing many different applications.
It is, of course, desirable to build reliable and trusty relationships with all your colleagues, but it is extremely important for managers. Being a team leader, it is necessary to gain the trust of all your employees and team members for productive work together. Usually, it does not take a lot to be in good relations with your colleagues. You just need to be open and sincere in everything you do or say. Make sure that your virtual team members know that they could trust you and rely on you in any circumstances. Provide your assistance when it is necessary. It is also important to make sure that all the workers are in good relations with each other. Only when team members are open to communication and trust each other, you can expect effective and fruitful collaboration. If you want to strengthen your bonds, you can benefit from some team-building games and other activities. They are also possible for virtual teams as it is simple to communicate online and play digital games.
Assist team members with selecting proper objectives for their work. Help with the goals when necessary as achieving certain objectives is essential for enhancing motivation and moving forward. Ensure that everyone knows about the main goals of the project and the objective set before each team member.
One of the drawbacks of working virtually is the loneliness that comes with it. While there are tons of benefits to working in the office, people might still feel lonely from time to time. In this scenario, it is important to provide support and make sure that your colleagues know that they are not alone. To support your team members, you can offer one-on-one chats when necessary.
Providing feedback regularly is important for many reasons. Firstly, offering regular feedback ensures that everyone stays on track and that all the goals are met efficiently. Secondly, good feedback always makes people happy, proud, and encouraged. This is what increases everyone’s motivation to continue working and achieving new goals.
While virtual collaboration might be challenging mentally, it is also important to remember about physical health. Make sure that your employees are not overworking and have the time to rest. Distributing the workload evenly is also a crucial task for a manager. If any of your team members need assistance with some personal and health-related issues, try to offer help if possible.
Just like any other format of work, digital teams have their strengths and weaknesses. There are numerous advantages when it comes to choosing virtual teams over traditional business teams, which is why this solution is so popular today. Here are some of the key benefits of creating virtual teams for your company:
These are some of the main benefits of digital teams but not all of them. New possibilities continue to emerge every day. As for the disadvantages, here are some of the cons of working with a virtual team:
When thinking of creating a virtual team for your company or a specific project, it is crucial to consider the pros and cons of such a decision. However, the advantages in this case truly outweigh the potential disadvantages.
Virtual teams require special technology to be able to work efficiently. Here is how you can choose the right options:
Half of the success is providing the right tools for virtual collaboration. As soon as you have all the necessary programs and equipment, your team will be able to provide better results. Through efficient and convenient collaboration, you can achieve your business goals much easier. Invest in comfortable communication and focus on reaching all the necessary goals one by one.