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6 Must-Follow Tips When Managing Virtual Teams

Virtual and remote teams are becoming much more likely as we near 2020. Working remotely is also gaining popularity among people who just want to work from home.

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Tips When Managing Virtual Teams

Virtual and remote teams are becoming much more likely as we near 2020. With all of the communication tools available today, many industries don’t even require brick-and-mortar locations. Plus, you can get employees for big-city companies at small-town salaries. Not to mention the fact that so many organizations have employees in several different countries. In fact, according to Remote.co, remote work has grown by 91% in the last 10 years.

Working remotely is also gaining popularity among people who just want to work from home whenever they have availability throughout the day, such as young parents or caregivers.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), there are specific challenges to coordinating people working on multiple projects across time zones, distances, languages,s and cultures. Challenges include:

  • Ensuring common understanding despite language and cultural differences, without the benefit of body language and cues from tone of voice.
  • Coordinating all team members so everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there and with everything they need to succeed.
  • Honoring individual cultures, while creating a common team culture.

So, with all of these employees in all these different locations, across time zones and cultures, it can be easy to lose track of how best to manage them. Here are some tips to help you when managing your virtual teams:

1. Communication – Transparency

When managing virtual teams, there’s no such thing as too much communication. Over-communicate. Since the virtual, or remote, team is scattered, possibly around the globe, make sure that all the gates of communication are open and available. With the communication and team collaboration tools available today, it shouldn’t be difficult to keep those lines open with phone, email, text, chat, video, etc.

There is also no need to beat around the bush. Be clear about the goals and expectations of the team. Don’t let any miscommunication or errors creep into the performance of the team. Keeping the lines of communication open and your expectations transparent will be a great start to bringing your virtual team together.

Managing Virtual Teams

2. Socialization – Get to know the session

Break the ice and get to know each other by socializing. Encourage a “Get to know your teammates” session. Make it a practice to follow this every time a new individual joins the team, or at specific times during the year, during the holidays, for instance, or just every once in a while.

Include team-building activities among the teammates. A healthy and professional relationship between the team members as well as the manager will always boost the team’s performance rates.

3. Establishment of limits and boundaries

As important as it is to make sure every team member feels like family, it is just as important to set boundaries. There is a science to maintaining interpersonal skills and managing conflicts.

It’ll be up to you to make sure no one gets overridden unnecessarily or offended by any comments from teammates.

4. Schedule shifts – Manage across time zones

Having remote teams across many different time zones may be a huge advantage, especially if your organization has customer service aspects. However, you’ll need to take into consideration the varied time zones of your virtual or remote team and set shifts accordingly. If you can, schedule shifts so there is some overlap of time every day that everyone is working at the same time. That may mean early morning for some and late at night for others.

Don’t let the time difference between New Delhi and New York City come between your goals and the team’s performance. Coordinating and communicating with the team before scheduling shifts is always a good practice!

5. Acknowledging and respecting the cultural differences

Virtual teams are unique in their way. One of the primary reasons is the higher chance of having a vast diversity in the culture. Treat this as a positive aspect of the team in welcoming new ideas, respecting each other, and acknowledging each others’ cultural differences.

Hosting a virtual meet-up and Managing Virtual Teams

Hosting a virtual meet-up or a party in real life once in a while to celebrate Christmas and Chanukah and Gion Matsuri or any others will bond the team and give everyone a little break from the stressful atmosphere, which will result in higher morale and better performance by your team.

6. Cheer on all Team Members

Trust your team members and their capabilities. Guide them during their failures and motivate them towards reaching goals. At the same time, never fail to congratulate and cheer on the team or members of the team when they go the extra mile for the organization.

Sending handwritten thank you cards to members of your virtual team to thank them for their contribution or excellence in performance can never hurt either!

There are numerous benefits to having a remote workforce, including benefits to employees’ mental health due to a healthy work/life balance, greatly increased productivity, and benefits to the environment with fewer cars on the road. Studies also suggest that older workers prefer working remotely because they can keep their skills current with evolving technologies and it is preferred by younger workers because they desire more flexibility.

So, now that you’ve decided that a remote workforce isn’t such a bad idea, you should probably look at ways to manage the administrative part of your virtual team. By implementing a time tracking system like Track.ly by 500 apps, you will be able to ensure your team is hard at work and they will be able to track their hours automatically, alleviating the need to document each time they start and stop working throughout the day. Benefits of using time tracking software such as Track.ly include:

  • The ability to track activity and gain insights into your team’s activity levels and engagement with frequent screenshots and tracking mouse movements and keystrokes.
  • The ability to boost productivity by being able to see where workers are most effective and where they can use some assistance.
  • The ability to integrate payroll to improve billing accuracy and reduce manual administrative work. There are several payroll software integration options.

Managing a virtual team from anywhere is possible. Following the tips above and implementing efficient time-tracking software will give you a good start on ensuring you have the right teams, in the right places with the right tools.

Helpful Resources:

1. Peel Remote App: An Easy Solution For Home Digitization

2. Do Human Translators Have a Reason to Be Afraid of Advancing Technologies

3. Artificial Intelligence And Its Demands To The Programmers

4. 7 Latest Tech Automobile Advancements

5. E-commerce Chatbots: 13 Ways to Increase Sales, Conversions & Retention

6. Top 10 Artificial Intelligence (AI) App Development Trends

We are an Instructor, Modern Full Stack Web Application Developers, Freelancers, Tech Bloggers, and Technical SEO Experts. We deliver a rich set of software applications for your business needs.

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Business

Transforming Goals into Actionable Results

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Transforming Goals into Actionable Results - Planning Template

Organizations universally set goals and strategic plans each year, aiming to grow revenue, increase efficiency, or launch innovative offerings. Leadership teams devote extensive energy to developing future visions, five-year horizons, and stretched objectives to motivate their workforce.

But the hard truth remains: lofty ambitions alone rarely catalyze actual change. For transformational plans to spark tangible impacts, organizations must bridge the gap between theoretical strategy and on-the-ground execution.

1. The Planning Disconnect

Many goal-setting approaches prioritize inspiration over implementation. Leadership defines desires for the future: – become a $1 billion revenue company, penetrate emerging markets, and transform customer experiences through AI. Such ‘aim-big’ mindsets spark energy and provide directional guidance amid uncertainty.

However, most planning exercises fail to detail the nitty-gritty work required to achieve audacious results on the ground. People walk out of annual meetings jazzed about the future but without playbooks for activating it day-to-day. Vague aspirations then struggle to be converted into economic value.

2. Finding the Right Strategy

An OKR planning template offers one methodology to overcome this strategy/execution divide. OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, provide a template to cascade high-level goals into measurable, actionable metrics at every organizational level. This connects future milestones with present-moment decision-making, ensuring teams work synergistically towards overarching ambitions. With a strong goal architecture in place, inspiration more seamlessly fuels activation.

3. Why Actionability Matters

Transforming lofty aspirations into step-by-step execution plans brings several advantages:

  • Alignment: With clear OKRs spanning functions, teams can coordinate priorities, resources, and timelines effectively. This fosters organization-wide momentum versus siloed efforts.
  • Motivation: Breaking ambitious objectives into bite-sized key results is less daunting for individuals. Granular metrics maintain motivation amid long horizons.
  • Focus: Concrete next steps prevent distraction from organizational shiny objects that capture attention yet deliver little value.
  • Accountability: Quantifiable measures allow all stakeholders, from frontline individuals to CEOs, to track progress and course-correct in real-time if lagging.

With a strong goal architecture in place, inspiration more seamlessly fuels activation. But we still must apply rigorous execution principles—communication, tracking, agility, and celebration—to generate the hoped-for results.

4. Driving Change in Complex Systems

Large enterprises are multifaceted systems, with interdependent elements spanning processes, technology, and people. This complexity makes driving macro-level outcomes uniquely challenging. As legendary management thinker Peter Drucker noted, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Turning broad organizational change into economic returns requires carefully targeting the vital few interventions that catalyze outsized results. OKRs help leaders thoughtfully assess and sequence the projects that will structurally reinvent operations, remove friction from value chains, and upgrade talent capabilities over time. With clear transformations roadmaps in place, big goals become more grounded amid real-world constraints.

5. Sustaining the Journey

Finally, cascading OKRs across the hierarchy sustains strategic focus as leaders come and go. They provide continuity through inevitable ebbs and flows in the volatile, uncertain business climate. With institutionalized processes for regularly resetting, communicating, and reviewing objectives and key results, organizations stay centered on the handful of big bets that matter most while retaining the flexibility to evolve tactics as needed.

Annual goal setting is table stakes for contemporary organizations. But without concerted efforts to turn those goals into measurable action plans, little changes amid organizational complexity.

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