Virtual teams are quickly becoming the new normal for plenty of workplaces. This can be seen as a good thing, creating a more efficient working environment that offers exceptional work-life balance.

However, working virtually creates more distance between team members.

This can be a problem when it comes to synergy, coordination, and team-building, especially since there are no physical spaces for members to connect, communicate, and socialize.

This is why companies have devised ways to improve virtual team collaboration and boost morale in the workplace.

Here are some of the best strategies for creating better, more effective virtual team collaboration.

Virtual Team Collaboration
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1. Select Appropriate Communication Tools

There are now a plethora of different ways for companies to communicate online. Some of the most common internet-based applications to use for communication are Discord, Trello, and Miro.

Select a communication tool that is most appropriate for your company. It should be accessible to the whole team.

You can also consider the features of these applications and which may be more popular with the age groups you are working with. This will help them feel comfortable using the communication tools you plan on integrating.

How you use these tools is also vital. It is crucial to balance efficient communication while preventing overcommunication and micromanagement of the team.

Reliable communication tools are a great way to connect with your team, engage them in discussion, and improve collaboration among your colleagues.

2. Implement Flexible Working Hours

More people are starting to prefer working remotely because of how it provides them with a better work-life balance, assuming work does not bleed into their personal schedules. 

Research shows that 34% of employees and 40% of employers agree that implementing flexible working hours is perceived as one of the most beneficial for remote workers. 

This is why it is important to have flexible working hours to accommodate the different time zones and personal schedules of team members.

Flexibility allows the team to establish their personal deadlines that will fit into what they can manage in their everyday lives. It also helps them balance personal needs with work better.

Flexible hours also help prevent burnout within the team, especially since it gives them more time for self-care and to address their personal needs and concerns.

This also helps you have a more productive team in the long run, allowing them to make the most of their work hours and boost their productivity, knowing they have the rest of the day to look forward to.

3. Utilize Effective Project Management Tools

There are many ways to track and manage your team’s progress. The most common are online productivity tools like Evernote and Trello.

These tools help you know who is currently handling each task, the deadlines, and what you can do to better work on the tasks at hand.

It also ensures that your team will not be overloaded or lacking in tasks. You can quickly move tasks around and know when to establish deadlines for each team member.

You may also consider using software to monitor your team’s progress. Eight of the 10 largest US companies have incorporated such tools to track the individual activity of their remote team. With this, you can ensure that every member is productive. 

These tools must be easy to integrate and use as part of an employee’s workflow. This will allow for seamless transitions between team members and ensure tasks go to the right person at the right time.

This also ensures that your team monitors these tools whenever necessary and takes charge of improving their productivity at work, as their effort will help make the lives of other teams and the entire company easier.

4. Foster a Strong Virtual Team Culture

Having the occasional team-building activity can help build friendships and improve how you work with your co-workers, especially in a remote setting where you may not even know what your teammates look like.

Virtual team-building activities have become more popular as they provide a space for people to connect despite the distance.

There are many team-building ideas you can try out, from competing with facts to having a virtual Olympics to bring out each member’s competitive spirit.

These activities are a fun way to encourage members to work together in different situations. It also allows everyone to step up in ways they would not usually, given their roles in the company.

It is also a great way to build everyone’s confidence and team spirit while getting to know each other in a more casual setting.

5. Encourage a Meritocratic Approach

People work better when treated fairly and receive recognition when it is due. It helps boost their morale and encourages them and those around them to strive to do better.

It also provides a healthy environment for work and learning, allowing team members to be inspired and motivated by the actions of their peers despite their distance from one another.

It often helps to give public recognition and praise during team meetings or on your digital platforms to show that the hard work of members pulling their weight is noticed and appreciated.

Peer recognition and providing reviews can also help improve work performance and ensure that their contributions to the company are recognized.

These little acts of positivity help ensure team members feel like they belong and genuinely make a difference in their workspace.

After all, without them, no tasks will be completed, and the company plummets.

6. Prioritize Clear and Effective Communication

Having the tools for communication is not enough for people to get the job done. It is important to clearly and effectively communicate with one another to reduce mistakes and avoid misunderstandings with your team.

Being concise when speaking in a virtual setting is important, especially when providing instructions and corrections on tasks and projects.

If things are unclear through your application’s chat, hopping on a call may be a great way to communicate your needs and instructions further, as long as it fits both of your schedules.

Clear and effective communication is also vital when it comes to sharing problems and how they can be solved in the workplace. 

As a team, you must be open to airing these out and putting your heads together to address issues, whether they be about clients, work practices, or even fellow teammates.

Finding ways to better communicate than just a simple chat does more than get the job done. It helps you connect better with your team and encourages cohesiveness throughout your tasks.

7. Support and Train Remote Leaders

Leaders are important for any team. However, remote leaders have to endure the stress of handling people far away from them, often in different time zones and countries, which may be a challenge.

Training these leaders and providing them with the support they need to lead their teams to success is vital.

Encourage them to find ways to connect with their team, like quick virtual activities they can share or have them perform check-ins to let their team know they are doing great work.

Helping them learn the importance of working as both a superior and an equal to their peers is an excellent way for them to manage their team better and lead them to new heights.

Key Takeaways for Virtual Team Success

There are many ways to ensure collaboration within any team, even those with a more remote setting.

While distance may seem like a huge problem, technology and humans have evolved to go with the advances and changes in our work lives, taking it all in stride and even enjoying the opportunities online employment brings.

It is our job to use the tools we have and take the initiative to better communicate and collaborate with each other to get things done and ensure our companies prosper.