Building a Thriving Virtual Team: Expert Tips for Remote Leadership

Remote Management

Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by bhakti

Managing your teams is always a big part of running a successful business. But leadership has become even trickier, with teams becoming more diverse in unique ways. Not only do you have a lot of different types of people in your teams, but you might also even have your team members dotted around the world and needing remote management!

The workspace has changed massively over the years. Digitalization has made the way we work and communicate unique. We started to become more diverse and slowly tested different ways of working. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for remote management. Suddenly, you had every single team working remotely. While many companies have noticed the benefits of working remotely, many have come face-to-face with the challenge of managing remote teams. 

The Pros & Cons of Virtual Teams

Companies have been leveraging virtual work during the pandemic and especially after it. As more and more of the world has gone back to ‘the new normal, many organizations have realized the value of remote work. 

That’s mainly down to the main benefits of virtual teams. These are:

  • Cost-efficient and bigger talent pool available
  • Happier and more productive employees
  • Easily scalable
  • Healthier work-life balance
  • More availability

On the other hand, there are challenges to managing virtual teams. The main cons of remote work are:

  • Communication problems and misunderstandings
  • Depersonalization due to lack of connection
  • The blurring lines between work and home life
  • Poor performance and decreased productivity

As you can see, some of these things can be both a pro and a con. The reason is often down to a lack of good management. Remote management can truly be the blessing that leads to your team’s success. 

Read More : Remote Work Benefits for Employees and Employers

12 Best Tips to Succeed in Remote Management

How can you make remote management a success? Here are 12 best practices to keep in mind when dealing with your remote workers.

  1. Let Them Be Flexible

Virtual teams are already often a lot more flexible. But flexibility is more than just allowing teams to work from home. Workers have voiced their opinions and shown in studies they are happier and more productive with flexible work hours as well. You want to let your team be flexible about their hours – the main thing you need to worry about is that tasks get done on time and to a good standard. 

  1. Pick the Right Communication Tools

Communication is at the heart of successful virtual teams. You need to get all the right tools that make it easy to get things done and stay on top of the different tasks. Since you can’t physically pop into someone’s office for feedback or queries, you must create this type of environment online. 

There are numerous tools at your disposal. You need to have team messaging tools that make sending instant messages easier, as well as set up video conferencing tools for meetings with the team. The key is to establish communication with these two principles in mind: have a set place where the team communicates and create a predetermined schedule for meetings.

  1. Don’t Forget to Build Team Spirit

It can be harder to create a sense of belonging to a team if you never meet your team face-to-face. Your job as a leader is to cultivate team spirit. You can do this by ensuring you have regular meetings where everyone is present and gets to talk. Don’t just organize work meetings but have regular team building nights. These can be to hold an online quiz or play other games. 

  1. Organise 1-on-1 Meetings

Good leadership requires you to pay attention to each team member. You shouldn’t just talk to your team in big meetings or when assigning tasks. Have regular one-on-one catchups with each person. Get their feedback on different things, like how they are managing the virtual work. 

  1. Reward Teams & Team Members

Remote workers can be more productive but suffer slightly from less competitiveness. Since your colleagues don’t surround you, you may not have the same drive to succeed. The best way to combat this is by creating a reward system. You can boost the team’s desire to achieve great results by regularly incentivizing certain practices. Rewards can range from monetary benefits to cool gifts. 

  1. Keep Time Zones in Mind

If your virtual team is multinational, remember this when creating schedules. You don’t want to organize team meetings by always favoring the same region, for example. Make sure everyone also knows each others’ time zones – for instance, make sure they show up in your scheduling and communication tools. 

  1. Put Security First

You should ensure security is at the heart of everything your virtual team does. Some remote workers might work in different locations, which may not always be the safest. Provide them secure connection using a virtual private network (VPN). Make sure everyone also uses multi-factor authentication to access company files. 

  1. Provide Virtual Team Training

Remote management requires you to understand the challenges mentioned earlier. Some of your team members might have different skills and abilities when dealing with virtual environments, from using the tech to dealing with a unique environment. Ensure you provide enough training in the digital tools you use. But you also want to provide training to help deal with the challenges of virtual work – from dealing with time management to staying motivated.

  1. Clarify Your Goals, Roles & Processes

Clear goals, roles and processes are always vital when dealing with teams. But you need to emphasize them when managing remote teams. You need to have consistency in what’s required. Since you’re communicating remotely, miscommunication can happen more frequently. Therefore, you have to remind your team regularly about the expectations and objectives. 

  1. Track the Right Metrics

Metrics are essential to success, and you need to pay extra attention to them with remote management. The most crucial metrics are the timing, quality and success of work output. By knowing these, you can help your employees be more productive. 

  1. Hire Talent Suited for Virtual Work

Remote work is not for everyone. If you need new people, you need to hire with the work environment in mind. Build your teams knowing that they will work in this unique environment. 

  1. Be Available for Your Team

Whether you are leading a virtual or non-virtual team, you need great leadership skills. Part of this is being available to your team. You don’t want to just send out tasks, respond to queries and hold meetings. Make your team feel like you are reachable and empathetic to their needs. The 1-on-1 meetings help, but you also want to check in regularly. 

The Bottom Line

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There are a lot of things that can go wrong with remote workers. But there are also plenty of good things that come from leading a virtual team. It’s up to the management to step up and make the right calls with remote management

The above tips and the right communication and team-management tools can help with success. When you value your employees and their input and time, you can create an environment for them to foster. 

A comprehensive HRMS software will always help you implement the above tips. You can provide your employees with the right environment of trust and friendliness!

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