As virtual groups become the norm, advice on how to effectively manage these teams is invaluable. Engaging remote workers, ensuring productivity, and keeping the team united are critical to the success of a remote team. Continue that collaboration by setting up regularly scheduled team meetings to keep remote workers from feeling alienated and disconnected from the group. But the company’s culture suffered until the staff figured out ways to maintain a sense of community and connectedness through virtual and in-person meetings and get-togethers. One of the most effective ways to build team morale remotely is to invest resources in virtual team building. The following is a short list of ways you can do team building with virtual teams. You should consult our list of virtual team building games/activities for more comprehensive information.
Another effective practice of managing remote teams is modeling work activities around your employees’ working hours. Keep in mind, team updates may vary based on time zones and preferred work hours, so set expectations for team members in regards to communication. Besides sharing tips from business experts, I’ve also covered a number of remote team collaboration tools that help improve workflows. These tools help streamline daily tasks so team members can look at their progress holistically and at an individual level. It’s an excellent tool to communicate with your employees and quickly understand their needs and feelings through different surveys. Atlassian provides tools that help remote teams plan, connect, collaborate, and work together better.
“Most people don’t have the organization, focus and motivation to be productive working remotely,” Turnbull said. “Successfully working from home is a skill. It takes time and commitment.” Remote employees and their managers both struggle with feeling invisible. While managers may want some proof that employees are actually working, virtual employees worry that “out of sight is out of mind.” Eikenberry asks new virtual team members to initiate 15- to 30-minute get-to-know-you phone conversations with each existing team member .
Kohlenberger emphasizes the need for “cascading communication”—when managers make sure every team member stays in the information loop. “You must proactively reach out to people regularly to create a sense of teamwork and community.” “You need someone with a progressive leadership style who is not a micromanager.”
Organizing virtual team-building activities, such as online games, trivia sessions, or even virtual coffee breaks, can help team members connect on a personal level. These interactions, while informal, can strengthen bonds and improve collaboration in professional tasks. According to their research, managers with remote team members need to be more intentional, more organized and work harder to establish trust than traditional managers.
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Our marketing team, for example, starts and ends each day with a video call. This lets them share their planned tasks achievements & coordinate support from other team members.
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Most office workers who have switched to remote work for the first time aren’t used to zero social contact. For remote workers, isolation can have a huge impact on productivity and motivation. Be open and understanding of what your remote workers have to say, and offer any advice or support that you can. By setting up a few of these ground rules, you bring definition and clarity to your remote communication framework. Remote work increases employee engagement, especially when employees spend a mix of time working at home and in the office. Our research found that 76% of new hires felt less equipped to do their job compared to 85% of tenured employees.