Is pandemic-style of working from home going to be a next-normal? Or is it going to be a mix of on-site and virtual working modes? Many companies are, indeed, reported as planning this combination.
In this hybrid work model, a section of employees will work from home while the other section will be on-premises. This model promises increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility and improved employee experiences, among others. While these potential benefits are exciting and look lucrative, it’ll equally be challenging for managers to maintain successful team collaboration and teamwork all the time and ensure increased productivity.
However, there are ways to successfully collaborate with virtual teams and make the best out of their work. Companies adopting this work model should consider the following ways to increase work productivity.
1. Establish Effective Communication
Effective communication is the key to improve virtual team collaboration. It’s a determiner of the fate of the organization to a great extent. So, when your team works remotely and can easily connect team members with chat tools and video conferencing tools, you will see they still feel working on the same floor. But, most of the working hours for remote teams are spent connecting to people, answering emails, or conducting meetings. That’s why you need to use the right remote communication tools that suit your culture and needs and also the project management tools to maintain the workflow of your virtual team.
2. Set Common Work Rule
Remember that every remote team is different, and so are their work processes. Which is why, in order to keep everyone on the same page, make some work rule that everyone could follow.
3. Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Team leaders and managers should set clear goals and objectives for their teams. Virtual teams must know what is expected from them and how to work along to boost team productivity. To ensure it, they need to implement collaboration tools and conduct regular virtual team meetings and update each other on the progress and tasks to run the processes smoothly. Conducting team meetings works great and helps everyone stay on the same page.
4. Extend Support To Team
It is one of the most important things when it comes to collaborating effectively with virtual teams. Extending support to each other should be more of a company’s core value that needs to flow from the company leaders. This often looks missing reportedly in virtual teams and experts found out a few factors as responsible, such as loss of morale, having a feeling of being ignored by peers, and lack of appreciation, among others. That’s why maintaining open communication is always an important thing to manage a virtual team and to foster a sustainable, productive, and collaborative team.
5. Maintain Transparency
Team leaders and managers need to ensure transparency in all aspects is maintained. If it lacks in their team management, it will lead to the worst scenarios like low employee morale, lack of trust and enthusiasm. That will reflect in the company’s productivity sheet. So, build a culture of trust and togetherness. Wondering how to maintain transparency in WFH mode? It may be a bit difficult but quite possible too. For instance, leaders can conduct short video chat sessions with the team to appreciate their work, send emails to all the team members on important updates and developments at the end of the day, etc.
Remember that virtual team collaboration and teamwork does come with its challenges, such as team members not communicating well with each other or having disagreements on decisions. But, for the sake of team progress and productivity, team leaders and managers need to promote teamwork and positive work culture. Virtual activities may be too much fun since those can give you many ideas to play with. Consider online trivia games, building a story together, sharing bucket lists or a tour of your garden, etc.
Do you have more ideas to improve virtual team collaboration and increase productivity? Feel free to share with us.
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