Virtual teams are fast becoming the norm in today’s environment, where a physical office is no longer necessary in many cases. However, not every team can be successful just because you take it out of the office and call it a team. Here are some qualities of a successful virtual team.
There is an extra level of accountability needed when dealing with virtual teams since they often cannot be monitored in person. According to Gust, “high performing teams have a sense of purpose where members internalize their piece of the mission, thereby transcending the isolation that defines working in a virtual environment. Team members develop an understanding about their mutual dependence to achieve objectives.” Teams require each person to do their job because one person failing at their duties can impact the productivity of the entire group. These days, works is often iterative, meaning that one team member’s work builds on another team member’s work. It is important to hold everyone accountable because one breakdown in the process can kill the entire process. This is even more true when dealing with virtual teams, so accountability is a must.
According to The Hire Talent, “it is important to understand one’s interests and preferences in terms of their personality because it’s these very interests that will ultimately keep them engaged in whatever task they’re expected to perform over an extended period of time.” Further, it is important for your virtual team to be engaged in the work. Engagement naturally increases productivity in any team because it is a force multiplier. However, engagement does not automatically occur in a vacuum. Rather, it is something that comes about because people make it so, and they do that with their personalities and attributes.
Effective leadership is more difficult when teams do not always see each other in person. Virtual team leadership is a difficult balance to strike, and it takes the right kind of person to be able to pull it off successfully. According to EZ Talks, “strong virtual team leaders can help to foster trust and good rapport by putting more focus on relationship building, demonstrate exemplary communication skills, and also develop emotional intelligence.” A strong virtual team leader is a master communicator because they will have to use many different mechanisms in order to track and stay in touch with the team. In addition, motivating employees uses a different calculus when it is not done face-to-face. You should carefully consider who you want as the team leader in order to set the right tone at the top for your virtual team.
Virtual teams can take advantage of economies of scale and efficiency in order to add a new element to your business. However, not just any team can get the job done so it is important to give some forethought before you decide on a team.