Working virtually has become the norm in many companies worldwide. In fact, 67% of people working in white-collar jobs work virtually at least part of the time. While these virtual environments have allowed for more flexible work and better work-life balance, they can also create issues when it comes to communication and building relationships.
Luckily, there are ways to overcome these challenges. In this blog, we will discuss best practices for creating a positive, efficient virtual team environment for your workplace.
How Do You Create a Virtual Team That Works?
If you want to create a virtual team that works well together and gets tasks done in a timely manner, you will need to build relationships among your team. This is one key area in which many virtual teams in the workplace struggle in comparison to their in-person counterparts. Without a shared breakroom or passing each other in the hallway, interacting with coworkers in a virtual setting proves more difficult. By improving each of the following areas related to communication, though, your team can have relationships that are just as strong as those who work in-person.
Whenever your team works remotely, you should make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to what they need to get done. Let your team know before working on something what goals they should work towards and on what timeline. When you establish these up front, your team will have a clear understanding of what their day-to-day schedules should look like to allow them to complete all of their projects. Having regular meetings will also help team members establish a goal-oriented schedule and ensure these tasks are completed on time.
Establish Virtual Team Roles and Responsibilities
You need to make clear to each person on your team what part of a project they are in charge of. Doing so will allow team members to hold one another accountable and will prevent one person from having to do all the work when projects are reaching their deadline. This, in turn, will prevent hostility among coworkers. Picking leaders for each project will also allow team members the opportunity to gain some leadership experience and will allow other team members to experience different types of leadership styles.
Mix Up Small Groups
Because your team will not get to interact much, if at all, in person, try to adjust who is working with whom for each project. Put people together who don’t always get to work together. This will allow for more relationships to be built across your team and will help with creating innovative ideas. Alleo is a great tool for collaborating on work projects.
Checking in on your team helps build trust and improves mental health. If your team members feel that you care about them, they will more likely open up to you and express their concerns. Check-ins can be anything from taking a few minutes at the beginning of meetings to ask about how people’s weekends went to asking how people are managing their workloads.
Also, make sure to express that you are open to questions, comments, or concerns about the work environment and, if any of these should arise, make an effort to make changes if needed. Do not attack or punish someone for opening up to you. Your team members should feel safe bringing these types of things forward.
Another effective way to check in on team members is to have one-on-one meetings. These meetings are especially ideal for team members who tend to be shy in groups and feel more comfortable opening up in a private setting.
Have Remote Team Building Activities
Work shouldn’t only be about work. It can wear people out and hurt overall productivity. Remote team building activities help combat this issue. They not only break up the grind of the workday, but they also allow for team members to get to know each other since they do not regularly see each other.
What is remote team building? It is the way in which remote teams connect and build relationships despite where they are located. Some great remote team building activities your team could consider include asking ice breaker questions that everyone answers, having everyone present a slide about themselves, or hosting a virtual book club. Alleo offers pre-built templates with ice breaker activities or you can customize your own. If your team lives fairly close to one another or has the means to travel, getting together after work every so often can also help improve rapport.
Offer the Right Tools
To effectively communicate online, teams need a way to collaborate on projects and to chat with one another about both work and their personal lives. Some of the tools your team might find useful are:
- Video conferencing tools
- Shared documents and presentations
- Messaging tools
- Project management tools
- Shared calendars
- Water-Cooler style boards in Alleo
While all these tools can help build relationships amongst your team, using all of them can be overwhelming. Switching between tabs and apps to find something can cause confusion and wasted time. Alleo can help with that.
Build Communication in Virtual Teams With Alleo
Alleo is a virtual collaboration platform that allows teams to communicate and work on projects all in one place. Our platform offers customizable dashboards, so you can choose what your team will need the most and get rid of anything distracting or unnecessary. During presentations and meetings, team members can interact and contribute using polls and sticky notes or sharing documents and images. Alleo offers many tools to assist with the creative challenges of effective team building, regardless of the location of your team members.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today to tell us to schedule a demo.