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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Make Virtual Teams Work for You | The Zula Blog


10 Simple Ways to Make Virtual Teams Work for You

Home Office
Virtual team members engage with one another on a more personal
level, than they would face-to-face. Why? Because crystal clear
communication is what it is all about! It is essential for team members
to speak their minds in order to progress more efficiently. But can
virtual team settings work for most industries? ABSOLUTELY! And we’ll
tell you how!

Make Yourself Available

The number of remote workers worldwide are increasing, and the
location of each worker is becoming more dispersed for all companies.
With that in mind, the most successful teams make themselves available
(at least for quick questions) well outside of traditional business
hours- keeping different time zones in mind. This includes
weekly/monthly team meetings at different times, and even non-business

Promote Collaboration

It’s easy to make collaboration happen. People love sharing their
insights, so give them opportunities to shine by holding brainstorming
sessions as needed. Our team usually has meetings to run through
different prototypes, and we love it because it keeps things exciting
and adds meaning to our efforts.

Unify the Team

Don’t let distance get in the way of a great working relationship!
According to Unify Insights, 68% of teams have more than half of their
team members in different locations. How do they still manage to work as
one? Communication is key. It is also important to be considerate of
different time zones, the location of each team members, and any
national/cultural/religious practice they may be observing throughout
the year.

Make it Personal

Don’t let things be robotic by only talking business. Schedule phone
calls, or have quick chats about what’s going on in their lives that
isn’t business-related. The human touch means a great deal, and plays a
significant role in employee relations.

Be Considerate with Conference Calls

Okay look, we understand that no one really likes conference calls.
Especially in virtual team settings where the timing of the call is of
inconvenience to some team members. But face it- it has to be done time
to time. The way to make it work is to make the calls quick and
painless. If it is scheduled to be 30 minutes long, keep it no more than
30 mins long. Also, if you would like to have dialogue take place
between each participant, keep the group small. It’ll get pretty noisy
if too many team members are on a call, and many people with great ideas
might hesitate speaking up.

Encourage Engagement between Groups

There are many virtual teams that stem from office-based teams. But
the bottom line is that they are all a part of the same team. As such,
it is recommended for office workers and remote workers to collaborate
with one another and engage for a more positive work environment.

Don’t Put Off for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

Its a good practice for team members to exchange ideas and
information with one another as they come up. Oftentimes, people tend to
wait till the next conference call. The downside to that is a drop in
enthusiasm and the broken chain of thought from waiting. Don’t hold off
on discussions!

Be Aware of Tone

If you notice something is off in the way a team member is
communicating, call them. You will be amazed at what a difference it
makes in their day, as well as how they may feel towards the rest of the
team. Don’t let anyone feel isolated. Give them the little pick-me-up
they need to happily move forward.

Avoid Information Overload

Don’t expect your team to take notes as you speak. Make an outline
for them, so they can have something detailed to refer back to. You can
also grant them access to PowerPoints, or record the presentation itself
for them to access later on.

Make Time for Break Time

Encourage the team to take mini-breaks as they would in a typical
office setting. We all need a little break to look away from the screen,
and have a refreshment, or stretch, or run a quick errand. It’s okay!
And it helps let out some steam or even eliminate other distractions.

Let us know if you have any other tips you’d recommend!

Make Virtual Teams Work for You | The Zula Blog

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