A virtual team can be described as a group of individuals who are working together across both space and time via the use of electronic communication technology. This is to mean that members of a virtual team work with each other in quite diverse environments, time zones and cultures. The life of a virtual team is not problematic as long as they can overcome differences in time zones, difficulty in accurately measuring engagement and limited nonverbal communication.
Virtual teams have since become an undeniable fact of the business life and this is the reason why it has become important to establish ways of making them effective, the notable ones include the following.
Tip 1: Review Virtual Team Communication Tools
It is common knowledge that excellent communication begins with the use of great tools. This means that good virtual team tools help easily collaborate on code, store collectively used assets and write notes used in group thinking as well as all works in progress. Members of a good virtual team should all have exemplary headsets. This is because good headsets contribute to high quality calls during video conferences.
Tip 2: Video Conferencing Solution
Communication in virtual teams requires investment into good video conferencing solutions, such as ezTalks Cloud Meeting. This top notch video conferencing solution is available on Android phones, Windows, iPad, iPhone and even Mac. It is a very good option with regard to virtual team communication, this is because it has the following useful features:
• Super audio quality and HD video. These are the most basic features for any conference meeting. It is characterized by 1920* 1080P HD resolution that translates to audio and video transmissions which are crystal clear.
• Screen sharing as well as annotation. ezTalks Cloud Meeting allows for the presentation and consequent discussion of ideas with screen sharing. Annotation is also a feature that significantly saves time.
• Recording online meetings. ezTalks Cloud Meeting is as one of the widely sought virtual team communication tools facilitates the easy recording of online meetings. It allows members to record the proceedings of a meeting for later perusal and review.
• Online meeting scheduling. This unique video conferencing software allows users to schedule meetings in advance and even to send invitations to the participants. In this way, virtual teams are guaranteed of everyone having an idea of the meeting.
• Control participants and settings of a meeting. ezTalks Cloud Meeting gives managers control over virtual team meetings, this means that any participant can be muted or locked out, thus making meetings professional.
• Text live chat. Virtual team communication tools include text live chats. This feature of ezTalks Cloud Meeting allows for texting at a private or public level. It is convenient as it avoids disturbances in virtual team communication.
Tip 3: Physical Meetings
It is important for virtual teams to meet physically once in a while through summits. These summits can be held at a neutral location to discuss group goals and even share ideas for any back-end tools and front-end features that need to be built and developed. Frequency varies from one virtual team to another, but once a year or twice is good.
Tip 4: Replicate Normal Office Elements
For effective communication in virtual teams, the virtual team should partly replicate some of the elements found in a normal office. For instance, chats can replace conversations. There can be a channel whereby members can post GIFs to mimic fun, pointless debates, interesting articles and random news.
Tip 5: Hotspot for Everyone
The Wi-Fi at the location of the remote worker may be experiencing challenges. This is why it is important for all members of a virtual team to possess a portable WiFi hotspot for communication.
Tip 6: Expectations for Behavior during Teleconferencing
Virtual team communication can only work if everybody has a similar expectation. This means that video conferencing should be planned, cell phones should be off, participants should not use the mute button.
Tip 7: Spotlight a Member of the Team
An excellent way of developing informal social bonds is to put a member of the virtual team in the spotlight every week, so that they can share hobbies, family and professional background. It is an effective way of enhancing communication and trust in global virtual teams.
Tip 8: Getting a Room
This is important for members of a virtual team, as it allows them to control their working environment. The room should have a door. It allows participants to join meetings without any distractions and is also important for work development.
The above 8 tips for effective communication in virtual teams should be useful to managers as more workplaces are hiring talented individuals in virtual work environments that are flexible.