In order to successfully manage or work within a virtual team, you need to be motivated, disciplined and able to follow your own initiative. And it’s worth developing these characteristics, as the benefits of virtual teamwork are becoming widely apparent.
The proof is in the statistics, with reports showing us that:
- Virtual teams are actually more engaged than office workers
- Virtual teams provide businesses with access to top talent
- Virtual teams offer better work outcomes, such as an increase in knowledge sharing
However, it takes more than certain characteristics in order to effectively work within a virtual team. There are also habits that can be adopted that will boost productivity even further when enabled across your department.
If you’re currently working as part of an online team, see if you can try any of these tips to give your productivity a revamp.
1. Keep the chat rooms open
Whilst you’re working as part of a virtual team day-to-day, it’s all too easy to isolate yourself from the rest of the dispersed workforce. By staying active within your group chats, you’ll be strengthening the relationships with your co-workers whilst being an active participant in any impromptu brainstorming sessions.
2. Create a virtual water cooler
The “water cooler effect” is the idea that working in close proximity keeps teams inspired and innovative. It’s important for virtual teams to recreate this, in order to stay motivated. This could be achieved by touching base with employees early and often, or even by developing a company rewards scheme.
3. Utilize team member time zones
It’s natural to fall into working the traditional 9-5, even when working remotely. After all, if you’ve been working in an office for years previously, old habits tend to stick. But now you’re faced with teammates working 5 hours ahead and 6 hours behind – so make the most of this by mixing up your own hours to cross over with your team members’, giving your daily routine a refresh.
4. Gamify the work
Gamification makes work more competitive and fun. This is achieved by setting rewards for employees who hit targets or predetermined objectives; creating a leaderboard or points system could be two ways of doing this. However you choose to carry it out, gamification has become a popular technique for motivating and engaging virtual team members.
5. Make use of collaboration tools
The use of the cloud has made it easier for virtual teams to come together from all over the world, with everything from video conferencing and chat, to project management and collaboration tools. These tools encourage virtual teamwork by allowing you to collaborate in real-time with the rest of your team, so make sure you’re using yours.
So, as you can see, there are loads of ways you can ramp up the productivity of your virtual team – you can try one, or all of them. Either way, the benefits of working virtually are there, you just need to ensure you’re making the most out of the opportunity.
Clinked can bring together your virtual team with customized and secure portals. Team members can access their documents, discussions, events, calendars and more – all from within a centralized environment. Get started today.