Tips for Increasing Productivity in Virtual Teams
With remote working prominently on the rise, there are a lot of changes that are being made and a new normal is being set up. But not everyone is made for it and therefore a lot of employees, as well as managers, are having a hard time to adjust and this is causing the productivity of the employees to go down. Therefore, here are some tips to have increased productivity in your teams that will help you rise amongst the crowd.
There are a few things that are paramount to teamwork and needless to say, one of them is communication. There needs to be a few things that you need to keep in mind with a virtual team, especially one that can’t occasionally meet-up.
- Have a weekly virtual meeting involving everyone to get updates, set up goals, discuss the next week’s work and to discuss the agendas. There aren’t ‘collisions’ in virtual teams where you can know what Raj from marketing has been up to and it just makes it very difficult to get updated in virtual teams amongst other things.
- Keep instant messaging groups for obvious reasons – quick updates, small discussions, collaboration and communication in real-time regarding work and outside of work.
- Try to encourage people to communicate in person more so that they can have better work relationships as well as maintain an office culture.
- Use the right communication tools, that’s extremely important. Use video calls when the tone of the message and the message itself might be unclear through the mail. It will help you know if the employees got the right message about the work.
- Avoid extremely frequent emails for updating about the smallest things as it leads to an overload of emails and causes mass havoc.
- If the members are from different time zones, make sure to prioritize scheduling calls and communication in order to keep the members of the team on the same track.
Without tracking the progress, it would be impossible to know who’s doing the work and who is slacking off. Keep a system where you track the progress of each employee and keep a lookout for people who aren’t completing their work as efficiently. But make sure to not micromanage as it leads the employee to think that you do not trust them to complete the work and that discourages them which leads to a decline in productivity.
Virtual Team Building Games
This is a holistic approach to improving and enhancing every aspect of virtual teams. It helps in forming better work relationships which lead to increased and enhanced communication and collaboration. Additionally, it helps the quieter employees in opening up. Along with that, virtual team building activities also helps in maintaining the work-life balance which would encourage the employees to work better. It helps to bridge the gap that the lack of social life has created and hence keeps the employees motivated. Apart from that, it helps the employees to resolve any cultural and language barriers, promotes mental health, helps with alignment, and guides the employees through several problem-solving strategies. All of this combines inevitably leads to the members of the team having much higher productivity.
Have a Meritocratic System
What the managers often dismiss is the advantages of a meritocratic system and the negative impact of not having one. A meritocratic system ensures that the employees are motivated to work as they know they will be rewarded for it later. If you don’t acknowledge their hard work, they will be discouraged to continue working the same way. With a meritocratic system, there’s also a light competition going on which ensures that the members of the teamwork hard enough and the work produced is efficient.
Appropriate Collaboration Tools
You need the appropriate collaboration tools that make collaboration as real-time as possible due to the lack of face-to-face interaction. Moreover, you should leverage technology in a way that you use it to its full potential and make virtual collaboration even better than the face-to-face version. Use online whiteboards that enable stickers, notes, images, texts or even drawings. Use techniques like brainwriting where the members would split up and individually write out all their ideas so that everyone can equally participate and then later each idea can be analysed over. If the teams are big, split them into smaller groups to collaborate as that would be more efficient. There are various platforms that enable all of this and more like Microsoft and Wrike which would help you and the team members in meeting the requirements of collaboration.
Efficient Project Management
One of the other essential things in any teamwork is direction and alignment. The team doesn’t stand a chance if they don’t know where the project is headed. When the project is discussed, there need to be clear goals set. Apart from that, there needs to be certain standards and expectations that the members need to be informed to set the pace and efficiency of their work. Additionally, as the project progresses, there need to be regular updates and instantaneous notifications for any required changes to be made. Additionally, the team members all need to have the same direction and goals as that of each other and the company to avoid conflicts, confusions and misunderstandings, and misdirection in the team.
Suggestion: The Best Ways To Engage A Global Virtual Team
If you follow these tips, you are sure to get higher productivity. It is becoming increasingly difficult to lead a team due to the distractions caused and the lull of crisis looming over everyone but it is essential to keep moving on and keep the good work up. These tips will help you forge a better team that would be more encouraged and motivated to perform better.