How To Effectively Manage A Virtual Team

Virtual teams are a great way to develop, deliver and grow your business. Unlike managing your regular staff, virtual team management and communication require a different approach and mindset altogether.

Shift your perspective

This is the first thing that you should do before managing or even starting a virtual team. They are unlike your regular employees, with whom you maintain an employer-employee relationship. Virtual resources feel more like independent entrepreneurs who work for you in achieving your set objectives/tasks.

Understand their culture

If you are engaging virtual teams from different geographical and cultural locations, you must understand their culture, lifestyle and communication patterns to effectively get the best out your team.
57% of respondents mentioned culture, language and inability to read people’s expressions as the primary challenge in managing virtual teams (The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited).

Clear communication of your objectives

This is a very important aspect of the whole relationship. You have to receive acknowledgement that they have understood what you are expecting. This is important because of language barriers, cultural barriers, assumptions, preconceived notions and inconclusive physical expressions.

Setup conducive time tables for meetings and status updates

This is important if you are working from different time zones. You have to zero in on the right time slots which are easy for both the parties. Also ensure that the status updates are regular and work progress is logged as per schedule.

Create and maintain communication norms

Keep a strict tab on your communication procedures like ensuring that an email is answered within 24 hours, meetings are not skipped, updates and work logs be uploaded, expectations and feedback be communicated and so on. This will avoid discrepancies and ensure smooth flow and completion of work on time.

Effective use of Google Apps

Google is a great and easy way to manage and track your virtual team. Google provides you email, docs, calendar, chat, etc., which are all required on a daily basis to communicate and manage your team.

GoToMeeting

This is an effective platform if you require frequent meetings with your team. You can convey your ideas, conduct trainings and even share applications on your system. All this goes a long way in reducing the distance between you and your team.
“In a research conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, more than half of executives say that their virtual teams use video conferencing on a regular basis.”

Useful online tools

Make maximmum use of online tools which can enhance your communication and assist you in the whole process. Some notable tools are Webex for meetings, Yammer for social media like communication, Dropbox for documents, photos, videos, Skype for communication, desktop sharing and so on.

About the Author

Dave Otfinoski, CEO of My Business Assistant or “MBA”, has more than twenty-five years of executive, hands-on experience with small and mid-sized businesses. As CEO of MBA, Dave manages a team of experienced virtual assistants who have extensive expertise in the realms of small business operations, bookkeeping services, website design, SEO, content creation and call center operations. Outstanding client service and quality performance are the hallmarks of both My Business Assistant and the MBA team. We look forward to providing you with the Virtual Assistance that you may require to enhance your own business strategies. Please feel free to contact us at http://www.MyBusinessAssistant.com or call us at 800.993.9622 with any questions or inquiries that you may have.