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Building and Managing Virtual Teams

Building and Managing Virtual Teams
September 02, 2021

You are not alone if you are in charge of one or more virtual teams. According to the Workforce 2020 survey, 83 percent of executives want to increase their consultants or temp work from home jobs usage over the next three years.

Because a company culture must be established online, virtual teams can be challenging to manage.


What are virtual teams?

A virtual team can be defined as a team of individuals who collaborate using information and communication technology (ICT) to accomplish a goal or activity. They're also referred to as distributed or dispersed teams. Remote teams are the most common name for them.


We always think of teams as a collection of physical things that happen to be in the same place! In the year 2021, virtual teams are the order of the day. Virtual teams disregard distance as an impediment to collaborating and achieving a common purpose by forming global virtual teams.


Types of virtual teams:

Virtual teams are grouped into the following categories based on the members' roles, aims, goals, and lifespan:


Networked teams

A networked team is made up of a group of people with varying levels of functional competence. They are hired to contribute their knowledge and experience toward a common aim. Members are added to the team based on the requirement and then deleted once their duty is accomplished. This form of a virtual team is commonly seen in business and remote it jobs consulting firms.


Parallel teams

In an organization, parallel teams are a strategy for tackling challenges in research and development, innovation, and related projects. The squad stays together until the very finish, with no one leaving in the middle.


Project development teams

This is a form of virtual team in which individuals are brought together worldwide to work on a product or system. Various subject specialists from all over the world get together to create something truly unique.


Production teams

When the members of a team are required to fulfill a single task, they form these teams. The teamwork members are separately, and the final product is the total of all of their contributions. The job responsibilities are well stated.


Management teams

Within a functional division of a corporation, management teams collaborate daily. Big MNCs have management teams made up of people from all over the world who come together to make crucial decisions, come up with new ideas, and solve problems.


Things to be taken note of while building and managing a virtual team:

Regardless of its benefits, I think we can all agree that forming a successful virtual team is no stroll in the park, but we must also remember that we are surrounded by limitless potential at this time. Simply putting a sentence into Google's search bar leads to an unending supply of ideas and information.

Here are some techniques for forming a successful virtual team that may be utilized right away.


Organize regular meetings.

Scheduling briefings can establish a routine at the same time on the same weekday. Patterns develop a familiar environment and aura for the team. Consequently, the team is evidently less stressed and troubles. Video calls and conferences are some of the most efficient ways to increase productivity since they simulate the familiar office atmosphere remote teams miss out on.


Define work systems.

Different people working remote jobs online approach tasks in different ways. Setting standards can help cut down on the time it takes to get the desired result. By establishing benchmarks and establishing repeatable work methods, the team will have fewer inquiries and a better idea of how long specific jobs should take. These work methods must be standardized and personalized to permit optimal efficiency and the liberty to perform tasks to the best of one's ability.


There are mainly two advantages to establishing various communication methods. First and foremost, your virtual team has a mechanism to transmit an urgent message to the appropriate person quickly. Secondly, it streamlines operations like deciding what to use for conference calls, screen recordings, and other similar tasks. It's obvious which tool is used for what, which helps to foster a sense of belonging on the inside.


Detailed deliverables.

Typically, ordering or demanding obedience from someone to do something is not the preferred method of team management. Micromanaging isn't either, which is why some bosses avoid giving detailed directions.

It is preferable to provide more specific descriptions of the duties and examples of how the final product should appear. Instead of giving the team fewer instructions and dealing with any misunderstandings, could you provide them with the freedom to carry it out?


Video calls and conferences.


With Skype and email at everyone's fingertips, it's easy to chat and send a short email anytime something has to be discussed. This can easily lead to miscommunication. Video conversations, or at the very least regular talks, are more than a technique to avoid misunderstandings in virtual collaborations. They bring the team members closer together on a more personal basis.


Project management tools.

Project management software can help you stay on top of deadlines. They also offer deadline notifications and reminders and a daily, weekly, or monthly summary of what has to be done, by whom, and when. Google Docs, for example, can still be a helpful addition, and the same can be said for time-tracking software.


Find the right employees.

Not everyone is made out for remote work-from-home jobs, and not everyone's personality fits with the team's. There are various professional personality tests available, and they can be a valuable tool in determining whether someone is the appropriate fit for you. However, the best approach to evaluate whether someone is the right fit for you is to ask yourself whether you are particular about them. It's usually advisable to move on to the next applicant if you aren't. Additionally, double-checking all references are essential to ensure you understand all you're getting yourself into.


Cultivate trust.

Building a sense of trust within a virtual team can be one of the most challenging tasks for a virtual team manager. Because members of virtual teams rarely meet, the concept of a work buddy with whom you can talk about anything under the sun is seldom seen. In such a setting, the manager's responsibility is to support team-building activities to foster trust.

Virtual Team managers are encouraged to create a brief checklist of actions to ensure that every employee doing home-based work feels included and committed to the team's objectives.


Final thoughts:

Agreed, virtual teams undoubtedly miss out on a lot, but we've arrived at a point when virtual teams are critical for many enterprises. Eventually, you'll have a successful virtual team if you learn from your mistakes and keep iterating your method. Globalization, a worldwide pandemic, and other events merely served as catalysts. It's past time for you to join the growing number of firms embracing virtual teams and part-time remote jobs.

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