Virtual Teams are becoming a part of life slowly and steadily. This concept has picked up the pace in the past 5 to 6 years. It is becoming a trend now and a good alternative for traditional management systems. With the inclusion of technologies in our life virtual teams have become an essential part for organizations. Although there also come certain challenges. Here we will discuss certain Virtual Team Management Challenges. What can be the measures an organization can take up to tackle these challenges?
Let us first discuss what does actually Virtual Team means?
When people from different areas or locations come together with the help of technologies like telephone, video call, voice call, e-mail or fax and work together forming a team for a specific cause being at where they are can be termed as Virtual Teams.
So, here people are assigned different tasks on the basis of their hierarchy. So they can perform them virtually through different locations. Nowadays, video calls are the best alternative as it helps people to interact in a better way. It also helps in creating a better environment as compared to phone calls. It creates a more interactive session.
Virtual Team meetings are also an efficient and effective way to conduct meetings. It helps a person to save cost of traveling and setting up an office.
Types Of Virtual Teams
|Types Of Virtual Teams||Meaning|
|Networked Teams||Under this people from different expertise and knowledge comes together to solve a particular issue.|
|Parallel Teams||It is formed for a short span and is usually formed among the people in the same organisation regarding any specific issue.|
|Product Development Teams||Teams takes part from different countries and contribute their ideas towards a new product development|
|Production Teams||In this every individual does his own work and at the end all indiviiduals works are combined for the end product|
|Service Teams||Under this the work is done in different countries according to their time zone. Suppose one country's work is done then the other country will take it from that position according to their time zone|
|Management Teams||These teams are formed at different geographical area. Managers forms this and takes the decision under the same organisation. Big decisions of the organisations are taken under this.|
|Action Teams||These teams are formed for a quick solution to a problem and when the problem is solved these teams are put off|
So, let us discuss about some of the challenges we face during virtual team management.
1) Focusing On Tasks
First of all, while developing a team proper instructions should be provided. What task to perform, time management, and about the resources that will help them to reach a certain goal. But the main emphasis should be on how should the process takes place. They should be taught how tasks can be tackled. Focusing on the goal is important but should not be given primary importance. Also, as a team leader, you have to simplify the processes and tasks to your team members. Each individual should be clear about the task assigned to them.
2) Developing Rhythmic Communication
While managing a team virtually good communication is a must. When people are located at different places it is easy to get distracted. And as a manager of the meeting you have to take care that the focus of the people does not get away. Try to make the other people feel comfortable and create a healthy decorum. Also, if you are doing it on a regular basis try to fix a certain time. They will try to clear out their minds from other daily routine tasks which will help them to focus on the meeting.
3) Start Off With An Informal Communication
Whenever you are starting off a virtual meeting do not directly jump in into the formal part. Start with a healthy gesture and ask people that what were they doing before this or how are they holding up. It will help the other person feel more involved and comfortable. First few minutes you can ask them what is going on around them. This will make them feel important and will provide a better output during work.
4) Allowing Flexible Work Hours
When a virtual meet is conducted it is important to provide them with flexible work hours. Asking them to submit the task assigned within flexible hours will help you create a good bond. It will also help them provide better work with less amount of stress. Although try not to let them lose too much. Give them flexible hours but in a preferred amount of time. The time provided should be beneficial to both you and your workers.
5) Ask Your Team Members To Share Their Opinion
Whenever a virtual meet is conducted make sure all your co-workers feel involved. When a task comes under you and your team tries to listen out to everyone's opinion. Ask them how they can do it better. If anyone comes up with a great solution try to reward that worker and praise him. This will help in creating an involved environment and also will help them to boost their morale.
So, Managing a virtual team can become a great alternative if you and your teammates become used to it. More and more organizations are shifting to this type of team management.