Best Tips For Managing A Virtual Team

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Tips For Managing A Virtual Team

Best Tips For Managing A Virtual Team

The COVID-19 virus has affected the lives of millions of individuals all over the globe. It is likely to disrupt many more services and functions of daily life, including employment, as it develops. Many companies are now faced with the difficulty of maintaining productivity while working from different places.

 

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We at Hitachi Solutions are committed to assisting our clients and partners in preparing for the challenges of working in new ways. We've learnt a lot from our colleagues throughout the globe, and we'd like to offer some critical tools at your disposal that might help you keep your company running during this difficult period.

How Are Businesses Using Virtual Workspace During The COVID-19 Outbreak?

Many big corporations, like Qualcomm, Google, Twitter, Chevron, and Lufthansa, have made it mandatory for workers to work from home. As a result, businesses are looking for practical ways to make this new work environment easy, productive, and efficient.

While some telecommuting technology solutions may become overburdened, Microsoft Teams has the capacity to guarantee that no firm, wherever in the globe, misses a beat. People may talk, meet, phone, IM, create and share data online, including on mobile platforms, using this full collaboration and communications tool.

Microsoft has observed a 500% rise in Teams meetings, calls, and conferences in recent weeks, as well as a 200 percent increase in Teams use on mobile devices.

We can assist new and current Microsoft cloud clients set up and improve their Microsoft Teams application at Hitachi Solutions. In reality, Teams is already included in Microsoft 365. There are a few things you can do to get your virtual teams up and running:

For new and current clients, try the Microsoft Teams Cloud Solution Provider Trial. This will benefit businesses with 1,000 or more prospective users. Office 365 E1 allows you to create a virtual team that matches your requirements if you have more than 1,000 prospective users.

For students who must study from home, Microsoft Teams may be utilized to conduct online learning and construct virtual classrooms. The Office 365 E1 program may be deployed by your IT staff; Microsoft is also offering a free trial to assist schools in dealing with the coronavirus epidemic.

 

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Individuals may rapidly set up their Microsoft Teams account if they work from home. You may join up immediately with this link if you have an email address from your work or school. Team signup is accessible here for people using different email addresses.

Using Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), in addition to Microsoft Teams, is another excellent strategy to prepare your remote workforce for success. WVD is an Azure-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) service that allows businesses to build up a multi-session Windows 10 deployment so that customers can enjoy the complete Windows 10 experience whether they're on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

You can supply corporate desktops in the cloud with WVD without the expense, complexity, or operational overhead that typical VDI systems need. With all of this technology, telecommuting and working from home has never been easier. However, leading virtual teams is a different story. We've developed a handy list of recommendations for leading a successful virtual team, as well as how to prepare for the problems you may encounter, to make this period as stress-free as possible.

12 Virtual Team Management Tips

12 Virtual Team Management Tips

1. Utilize The Most Advanced Communication Technology

Virtual teams are viable due to the multiple communication channels available to businesses today. Choose a communication style that works best for your team to help them achieve. Employees may use channels like video, chat, email, texting, and more to keep in touch and cooperate successfully from distant locations.

2. Treat All Time Zones Equally

Businesses with many sites are probably used to working around time zones, but those with new work-from-home plans should be aware of the changes. Expect a California employee to be on a conference call at 8 a.m. EST – flexible hours will help everyone be more productive.

3. Clarify Tasks And Procedure

Tasks and procedures not simply objectives and responsibilities, should be clarified. The key to managing virtual teams is to explain objectives, responsibilities, activities, and procedures in a clear and consistent manner.

There is a greater risk of distraction or misinterpretation when individuals operate remotely. Virtual teams may be just as productive as in-office teams with frequent reminders and communication.

4. Remember To Spend Time With Others

It is recommended that virtual teams meet in person as often as feasible. Individual time with managers allows employees to ask questions, learn more about their jobs, and get the assistance they need. If in-person communication isn't possible, video chat is an excellent option for distant employees.

5. Make Your Own “Virtual Water Cooler”

Virtual teams lose out on social interaction and personal touch since they are just that: virtual. Encourage casual talks using your company's internet communication platforms to address this.

6. Be Accessible As A Leader

If you're in charge of a virtual team, you must be a source of support and leadership, which requires you to be accessible to your team on a frequent basis. Sharing your mobile phone number with people outside of your workplace may not be a bad thing.

7. Keep Track Of Your Work Production

Metrics are important when it comes to measuring work-from-home performance. Management must monitor the timeliness, quality, and success of job production to assist a) keep everyone on target and b) establish that working from home is productive.

8. Encourage Successful Project Cooperation

Documents! Spreadsheets! PowerPoints! All of these activities may be done remotely with the help of internet applications. Because today's technology makes virtual collaborating simpler than ever before, managers can feel certain that work is being completed as effectively as possible.

9. Create A Project Management System (And Utilize It!)

Change is tough in general, but it is especially challenging when it comes to work procedures. However, project management software ensures that all staff are on the same page and that work does not fall through the cracks. There are several platforms available, so conduct your research to choose one that is right for your company.

10. Make The Appropriate Hires

While remote work is readily accessible and frequently used by many businesses, it may not be suitable for everyone. With the help of their virtual team supervisors, workers in this sort of work environment must be self-sufficient and motivated. Make sure you employ individuals who can operate and flourish in a remote environment when forming your teams.

11. Protect Your Systems

Although it may be some time before remote workers can work from coffee shops or other public locations again, it's still critical that you use a virtual private network to safeguard their connection (VPN).

VPNs extend a private network over a public network via encrypted connections, allowing workers to access business data and resources from any device and from any place as if they were physically linked to a private network. By keeping all corporate and employee data in the cloud rather than on local computers, a VDI solution like Windows Virtual Desktop offers another degree of protection.

With WVD, you receive enterprise-grade security from Microsoft, including Azure Identity Management and access restrictions like multi-factor authentication and conditional access, which consider identity as a new security perimeter. Furthermore, Microsoft uses reverse connect to create secure communication to the WVD service, removing the requirement to open incoming ports.

12. Consider The Future

Many businesses have recognized the cost reductions and skill pool diversification that come with a totally remote staff. It's critical to have tools in place that can expand to suit your increasing remote workforce if you want to remain totally remote long after the epidemic is over or establish a flexible work policy. WVD, for example, is a highly scalable solution that allows you to scale up or down capacity as required.

There's no need for procurement, lead time, or supply chain concerns with WVD since it's a cloud-based solution – just a few clicks and you're done. In addition, unlike typical VDI systems, WVD only asks you to pay for the resources you use, rather than purchasing large blocks of hardware to handle peak demand.

5 Potential Challenges For Virtual Teams

5 Potential Challenges For Virtual Teams

1. Choosing The Best Options

This is a wide topic, but current and future virtual teams may confront difficulties in a variety of areas. Managers of virtual teams must be proactive in establishing a culture of communication, implementing the correct technologies, setting out clear procedures, and building a team of the right individuals to help ease some of these difficulties. When all of those boxes are ticked, it's much simpler to work together on any issue or project.

2. Creating A Trustworthy Team

It's much simpler to conduct an effective remote business when virtual teams trust their supervisors and feel trusted in return. Using solutions that promote cooperation, shared ideas, and open communication will aid in the development of team trust. It will also assist everyone in getting on the same page and working together to achieve corporate and individual objectives.

3. Increasing Productivity

When it comes to trust, the perception of work-from-home possibilities is that individuals will be less productive or not work at all. While this may be true for some workers, many others flourish in virtual environments.

Virtual team managers should use established virtual work technologies and set clear procedures and standards for everyone to help them achieve. This helps establish responsibility and ensures that the job is completed.

 

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4. Creating Clear Directions

As previously stated, things may fall through the cracks in virtual teams, but this occurs significantly less often in virtual teams that use effective project management tools. One of the advantages of virtual teams is that everyone can see what the others are doing, cooperation can happen quickly, and work can be done from anywhere. To keep things moving smoothly, these teams' leaders should check in on project progress on a frequent basis.

Creating A Culture Of Virtual Offices

5. Creating A Culture Of Virtual Offices

Human nature craves contact, which is understandably a struggle while working remotely. While face-to-face interactions with the whole team are recommended, business connections may also be nurtured online.

Encourage your virtual team members to talk about subjects other than work and learn more about the people they work with. This will enable them not only to feel more connected, but also learn how to work together more efficiently.

The number of employees working in teams with colleagues and supervisors separated by thousands of miles (and frequently different time zones) is increasing as firms expand abroad. Working online is less institutionalized, and firms typically lack clear procedures on how to manage virtual teams.

13 Virtual Team Management Suggestions

Here are ten management suggestions for getting the most out of virtual teams:

Tip #1: First And Foremost, Be Available

Working digitally may be lonely. Don't give the impression that you're not available. keep in touch on a frequent basis to discuss not just their daily tasks, but also their moods and social lives.

Tip #2: Schedule Frequent Meetings With Individuals As Well As The Whole Team

This should be done at least once or twice a year, both online and face-to-face, using IT technologies such as videoconferencing, social networking, or Skype. Even if firms are lowering expenditures, the money invested on connections is money well spent.

Tip #3: Encourage Casual Talks

Humans are social beings, and when they don't know what their neighbors are up to, they tend to assume the worst. Encourage your employees to communicate their emotions and converse informally whenever possible to help create connections and trust.

 

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Consider Pete's message to Maria: “I hate coming in on wet days because the traffic is terrible and I feel like I'm wasting valuable time, plus it worries me out.” This, Maria believes, explains why he is so cold and direct on sometimes… It's unfortunate that he lives in London. Perhaps we can be more flexible with his working hours.

Tip #4: Rotate

Try to guarantee that at least one team member spends some time in another place to further tear down barriers between team members.

Tip #5: Be Inventive When It Comes To Team Bonding

Organize a virtual award ceremony once your team meets a certain target, for example. Send a tiny gift to everyone on the team and have them all unwrap it at the same time during a video chat.

Tip #6: Be Considerate Of Time Zones

With teams distributed throughout the globe, you may only get a brief opportunity to meet some or all of them. Rotate meeting hours every week to ensure that no one person is constantly getting up early for meetings and no one is staying up late.

Tip #7: Put Cultural Sensitivity First

In a virtual context, where individuals are located all over the globe, cultural awareness is even more vital than in face-to-face situations. It's critical to be conscious of your team's cultural differences and to encourage cultural training for all employees.

Susan, for example, writes brief and “very straight” emails to the rest of the team. Others may feel uncomfortable and believe she is treating them badly if they are unaware that this is part of her culture.

Tip #8: Put Money Towards Socializing Current Teams

If you inherit a strong pre-existing subteam (everyone knows each other and works well together), keep in mind that these teams may generate even more hurdles when working online with new team members.

People in strong pre-existing teams are less willing to exchange knowledge since they have a ‘working' technique. Invest in developing connections throughout the whole staff, or hire someone fresh in each location and start again.

Tip #9: When Recruiting, Look For Common Understanding

When hiring, seek for persons who have worked globally and who have comparable backgrounds and experiences. Not necessarily in terms of culture, but in terms of comparable training activities, similar project experience, educational background, and so on. The goal is to have some variety while still making it simple to create trust via some point of contact.

Tip #10: Keep Expectations In Check

Certain worldwide prospects may be anticipated by team members (like moving to headquarters at some stage). How do you keep your staff motivated? What happens if the squad performs admirably? You'll have to deal with this with HR, so you should know what you can provide them from the start.

Tip #11: Ensure That Your New Recruits Share Your Vision

Have a clear vision for your firm and ensure that the individual you're hiring wants to be a part of it. We undertake something called “job-crafting” at my organization to ensure that not only do their skills and experience match their function, but that they can also stand behind it.

Tip #12: Have A Good Communication Platform In Place

There are several instant messaging programs available. Slack or Discord are used by certain firms, while Skype is used by others. Choose the one that you believe will best suit your demands and those of your virtual workforce.

You may also use a project management program to keep track of your company's process (think Asana, Trello, ActiveCollab et al).

These tools may assist you in creating projects and tasks, assigning due dates and assigning individuals to these tasks, enabling you to define deadlines and hold everyone on your team responsible.

Tip #13: Create A Hands-On Application Procedure

Nowadays, everyone seems to be an expert. Because “B-Players” have learnt how to produce “A-Player” resumes, they all look the same. Allowing candidates to demonstrate their knowledge is an easy approach to find out who knows what they're talking about.

The goal of an experiential application process is to provide candidates a real-life scenario in which they may show their ability to perform. To assess their ability to take notes and decide what the relevant points from the call are, we have our candidates listen to a 15-minute conference call and ask them for important information from the call.

I trust you enjoyed this article on Tips For Managing A Virtual Team. Would you please stay tuned for more articles to come? Take care!

JeannetteZ

 

 

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Your Opinion Is Important To Me

Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experiences, remarks, and suggestions about Tips For Managing A Virtual Team, in the comments below. You can also contact me by email at Jeannette@WorkFromAnywhereInTheWorld.com.

 

 

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