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Managing Virtual Teams – Top 5 Tips

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Virtual team management can get a whole lot easier when you apply the right tips and tools. Truthfully, managing a virtual team is a whole lot of work and has more challenges than just psyching yourself up to get out of those nightclothes and into something snappy.

Here are five Servcorp Singapore tips on making virtual team management a whole lot easier:

Communicate Via the Right Channels.

Communicating through appropriate mediums is key to managing a virtual team. There are many medium which are best suited to certain types of communication, for this communication to be effective. The more sensitive the topic, the more personal the communication type should be. Here are the six best ways to communicate with your virtual team and the most effective medium to use:

  • Financial News – Telephone is just fine.
  • Hiring and Firing – In-person is best, telephone can work, as long as it is followed up by an in-person meeting.
  • Updates on Products or Sales – This is perfectly fine to do via emails.
  • Under Performance – In person is preferable, but a telephone call can be just as good.
  • Updates on company policies – Preferably through telephone, but an email should follow up the information.

Company-Wide Virtual Call.

Team calls should be made at least twice per month, especially if the company is 100% virtual. Team calls should update your team and discuss the following:

  • Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones
  • Financial updates
  • Meeting objectives
  • Morale boost and team praise
  • Team training or drills

Daily Huddles.

Managing virtual teams should include a daily huddle or boost. Meet with your team daily, if not at least three times per week to conference about weekly goals for fifteen minutes or less. These daily huddles should include:

  • Accountability of you, the team, and performance.
  • Alignment of weekly objectives for the whole team.
  • Action emphasizing speed of weekly objectives.

In-person Meetings.

Effective team management includes meeting up with your virtual team in-person at least once per month. If your virtual team is in another city or you are out of the country on business, every other month may work too. At the very least, quarterly in-person meetings are a must for every successful virtual office. A virtual team is all about doing things via online tools or other the phone, remove some of that stress by meeting face to face with everyone in your team. Use these meetings to:

  • Brainstorm new ideas
  • Set Long-term goals
  • Tackle larger problems and hold accountability
  • Provide team building exercises

Sharing Virtually.

Every virtual team is all about sharing data online and on the phone. However, there are many tools you can use to make collaboration easier. Here are eight basic virtual team tools to add to your virtual business’ tool box:

  1. Basecamp – This is an online collaboration tool to effectively manage projects, tasks, lists, and communications.
  2. Dropbox – This cloud-based software does a little more than Google Drive can do for your documents,. Drag and drop and access any file from any device connected to your drop box for real time team sharing.
  3. FreshBooks – This is one of the most widely used invoicing, billing, time-sheet, and estimates programs available for virtual businesses.
  4. Google Drive – Free Online document, spreadsheet, and presentation software that shares in real time and can be as private or public as you need.
  5. Jing or Team Viewer – This is a screen-cast software that allows you to share anything on your desktop as a video in real time and then turn it into a simple link later for easy reference material in documents, spreadsheets, and more.
  6. Mantis – This is online and real time bug, improvements, and feature tracking software.
  7. Skype – This is the quintessential free virtual telephone software that allows you to call for free anyone on any country,. Pay a tiny monthly fee for each phone number you wish to add to your account and have them act like regular land-lines phones without the worldwide calling fee.
  8. Time Doctor – This is a virtual infrastructure for your whole virtual business.

Leading Virtual Teams.

Leading your own virtual team can be a rewarding experience and save your company thousands of dollars in the long run. That’s money you can reinvest into your business for successful entrepreneurship. Mastering a virtual team and making it efficient takes time, use these tools and tips to make yours a more effective machine.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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