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How to Manage a Virtual Team Effectively?

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Baskar Sundaram

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The rise of technology has helped businesses to create teams that cross physical boundaries. Virtual teams offer great flexibility and potential. But working in a globalized work space has its own unique set of challenges.

Given below are a few tips on how to effectively manage and guide a virtual team:

Encourage communication

Proper and adequate communication is necessary for the success of a team. Ensure that there is a free flow of information. Schedule regular meetings and discussions to clear doubts and define goals. Define a proper mode of communication that removes ambiguity and language and time barriers. Informal conversations and socialization can build trust among the team members.

Recruit the right people

Hire people who have the required communication skills and share similar interests. People who had previously worked on similar projects and undergone the same training activities are ideal candidates. Conduct proper interviews that help in identifying the candidate’s communication skills. The aim is to bring in diversity into the team while still ensuring that members can build trust.

Establish a goal

It is important to establish a common goal that is understood by all team members. These goals can be decided based on the broader business goals. Setting goals also helps in measuring the progress of the team. The entire team should have a meeting and work through a strategic planning process. Having a proper goal will make the team members’ more accountable.

Well defined tasks and roles

It is important that the team members understand their role within the team and the tasks that they are required to complete. Give the members a detailed description of the final goal. The best way to manage the productivity of the team is to set clear expectations for role and to conduct regular check-ins to measure the progress.

Choose the right tools

Choose the right software and tools that greatly benefit the team. Virtual teams depend of the latest technological devices for easier communication and management. When picking new software have a small trail period. Provide training to all the members on how to use the tool. Using multiple communication tools will ultimately benefit the team. The right project management tools help in tracking deadlines and provide an overview of the project.

Create a professional work space

Having a team that is spread globally makes it difficult in having a proper professional work environment. Nonetheless, try having a fixed time period daily where most of the team members are online to discuss problems. Being online at the same time encourages team collaboration.  All team members should be aware of the cultural differences within the team. Being aware of the cultural differences within the team will prevent future misunderstanding.

Virtual teams are the future of the modern world. The team leader must modify his methods to suit the needs of the team.

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