Managing a virtual team can be a daunting task since the team members are not only geographically disbursed but may also belong to diverse cultures and may be working from different time zones.
Managing virtual teams can be a little difficult for the manager as they have to give consideration to a lot of factors when it comes to managing the team. Below we will offer a guide on how to manage virtual teams
Make sure that you are Available
Since you are not physically present there it does not mean that your team members have to feel that you are not there. Make yourself available and let your team members know that you are there for them. You do not have to restrict your conversation with them to only professional matters also consider discussing informal subjects with them like weather etc.
This allows your team members to develop a relation with you.
Build and Nurture Relationship with your Team Members
Build and nurture a personal relationship with your virtual team members. Find out their date of birth and wish them on their birthday. Similarly, you can also wish them at festivities and similar other occasions. Inquire after them if they are not well and consider sending them bouquets, e-cards etc to add a personal touch to your relationship.
Use Technology to Stay in Touch
Make use of technology to stay in touch with individual team members as well as your team as a whole. Though you are encouraged to talk to individual team members separately once in a while also consider getting them on board together to help them bond like a team.
Obtain an Insight into the Culture and Demonstrate Cultural Sensitivity
Since you are heading a virtual team chances are that it would entail team members from diverse culture. If this is the case with you, you need to obtain insight into their respective cultures and demonstrate cultural sensitivity
Give Due Consideration to Time Zones
Give due consideration to time zones. Virtual team members are usually from diverse countries which gives rise to time differences. Once you sit down to distribute tasks, follow up or give feedback or undertake any effort for team collaboration make sure that you give it due consideration.
Make sure at least a few working hours overlap
In an effort to boost team collaboration make sure that there are at least a few hours daily, weekly or monthly in which the entire team sits online to work as a team. The time that the team spends together is not exclusively meant for work but will also help them to bond as a team and develop team spirit.
Make use of Project Management Tools
A variety of project management tools are available today that make it easier for the team to collaborate, no matter where they are located. Therefore, make use of these project management tools to work together and collaborate as a team.