Remote working is becoming the most suitable way of operation in the current world as most organizations are making it the new normal for their employees. Managing a virtual team can be challenging, especially when communicating with a diversified group of people in different regions.
Virtual working no longer lives in the fantasy. Most people must have seen how the move was extensively adopted in 2020 when the pandemic intensified across the globe. Most employees loved the new move, as evident from the number of organizations that have adopted virtual working. The only main challenge with virtual working is achieving effective communication. However, a company can overcome these barriers by emphasizing its goals and priorities to every team member.
There are ways of achieving successful virtual team communication in the workplace. Here are eight best tips for virtual team communication:
Tip #1: Choose the right channel of communication
The right communication channel has remained a challenge for most virtual teams, as most channels fail soon after implementation. Choosing the right channel for your team has a significant role in the effect of communication and minimizes cases of team breakdowns and other problems.
To ascertain whether your preferred channel is perfect, you should test its effectiveness days before fully adopting it for your team. You can use other communication platforms if your preferred channel doesn’t perform as expected. Gmail is a great tool for virtual communication, but it requires to be strengthened with other communication channels.
Tip #2: Embrace digital communication platforms
Technological advancements have made virtual teamwork easier than ever before. A digital workplace solution can help a virtual team adopt effective communication and collaboration. Some popular digital communication platforms include WhatsApp, Gmails, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and many more.
Video chats and messages can be conducted conveniently through the platforms to achieve effective virtual team communication. Another advantage is that the platforms are easily accessible and manageable, requiring a smartphone or desktop and an internet connection.
Tip #3: Make the goals known
Making the organization’s goals known to the team members is essential for effective communication. That way, members will understand what is expected of them even when working remotely.
As the team leader, you must explain the company’s goals to your members, covering every detail, even the pettiest. Hence, open channels for further explanations and questions to avoid misunderstandings. Essentially, ensure the goals align with each member’s strengths and the organization’s past performances.
Tip #4: Offer timely feedback
Lack of timely and adequate feedback significantly deteriorates the effects of communication, and it can be worse for a virtual team. While providing feedback in a traditional office set-up is easy, the same can be quite challenging for a virtual team, which involves different locations and other possible obstacles.
However, adequate feedback can be achieved by saving enough time to reply to each message comprehensively. You can also delegate the powers to your juniors to provide feedback whenever you’re occupied with other work issues or meetings.
Tip #5: Team collaborative software
When you’re managing a remote team, there can be endless obstacles, especially with communication due to different time zones, unfamiliarity, backgrounds, and other aspects. Experts have designed various team collaboration software that strengthens the effect of virtual team communication and operation.
Some popular tools include Zoom, Skype, GoTo Meeting, Viber, Google Hangouts, Asana, Zoho Projects, Trello, CloudTalk, PhoneBurner, and Aircall, among several others. These tools have made remote working easier, creating a personal feeling and improving communication.
Tip #6: Occasional physical meetings
Virtual working doesn’t mean you and your members cannot meet physically. Occasional meetings play a vital role in strengthening the existing communication foundation through interactions away from the screen.
You don’t always have to discuss job matters whenever you meet physically; sometimes, you can organize for lunch or coffee dates to free each other’s minds. The positive impact from such events is then transferred to work, achieving effective virtual team communication.
Tip #7: Offer equal opportunities for everyone
Effective communication in a virtual team can be achieved by providing equal opportunities for every member to express their ideas, abilities, grievances, and talents. Conducting regular rotations across the team members has proven beneficial in achieving equality, so no one is left out of the group.
Additionally, you can plan for various virtual meetings, delegating the powers of chairing the meeting to different members for every session. This boosts their confidence and communication skills while encouraging them to work harder towards increasing productivity.
Tip #8: Provide the essential communication components
Effective communication requires various tools and equipment to be achieved. Provide your virtual team with the appropriate requirements, such as laptops, stable internet connection, smartphones, office furniture, and anything else your team will require to operate conveniently without straining their pockets.
A tip: It’s essential to lay out different rules and regulations for organization-provided equipment to avoid misunderstandings in the future.