Coronavirus has forced many businesses and institutions to embrace remote working. Although this might be a new strategy for some employees, it has been around for a while and it is effective. More firms are using virtual teams in the UAE during the COVID-19 pandemic because the staff can work from various locations, and it’s effortless to source talents beyond their community.

Virtual teams are now popular as most companies practice social distancing. Employees work and communicate remotely using digital tools. They work together regardless of their locations. Team members have to work on their communication skills and develop trust to avoid misunderstandings.

Types of Virtual Teams

There are different types of virtual teams, depending on objectives, lifespan, goals, and team members’ responsibilities. For instance, networked teams consist of cross-functional team members; they are in this category because of their skills and experience on specific subjects. You can add new members to the team and remove existing members when they complete their roles.

Product development teams are made up of individuals who are experts at accomplishing a specific task. Members have clear roles and work independently, but their contributions accomplish the goal.

Parallel teams consist of members from the same firm, and their goal is to develop recommendations for a system or process. They work for a short time, and all members are involved until the task is completed.

Management teams include managers from the same corporation. They work together to develop strategies to achieve corporate goals. Action teams are formed to work for a short period to deal with an immediate problem.

Useful Tips for Managing Your Virtual Team during COVID-19 Pandemic

It can be challenging to manage a virtual team for the first time. It requires collaboration between the members and the leader. Here are useful tips to help you work smoothly.

Set Clear Goals

Some people don’t take change positively; it can be confusing for some workers to transition from working at the office to working virtually. In times of uncertainty, it’s necessary to outline the guidelines and expectations of each team member.

Managers need to learn how to deal with various problems at the workplace; that’s why many executives find leadership training Dubai programs beneficial. Enlighten the team on the differences between remote and office working. You can also set rules to avoid confusion.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is crucial when managing remote teams. Work changes when you can’t chat with your coworkers at their desks or in the break room. However, this does not mean that communication has to cease.

The best managers keep learning by attending seminars or leadership training Abu Dhabi workshops. This teaches you how to listen and communicate with the staff in various situations. Effective communication also involves asking for feedback. Your team needs to give their ideas, concerns, and needs. This promotes unity and helps you to support them better.

Communication Tools

Effective communication is necessary for a successful virtual team; however, this is impossible without the right tools. You can’t always rely on emails, and text messages are not effective in this situation. Invest in an effective video conferencing tool for virtual meetings, for instance, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Google Meet.

Chat tools like Skype are crucial for virtual teams; they promote cohesion and maintain work relationships. You can also use scheduling apps like Google Calendar to update the team on upcoming meetings and events.

Be Empathetic

The pandemic has affected everybody in different ways. Some workers are working remotely for the first time; this might confuse and frustrate them. Schools have also closed, and kids are at home. It can be a chaotic time for some people.

A good manager takes this into account and tries to understand that some team members might have a difficult time transitioning and adjusting to working virtually. Check up on your team and see how they are adjusting to remote working. Talk and address any obstacles that they may face.

Recognition and Rewards

Recognizing and rewarding your team is crucial for the organization and individuals. A good leader appreciates members who work hard or put more effort to achieve the organization’s goals. This makes the employee feel seen and value and is motivated to work harder. It also inspires others to outdo themselves. When employees feel appreciated they develop trust in the organization.

Recognition and praise also foster healthy competition among team members. It also creates job satisfaction; you don’t want employees to spend work hours venting. Job satisfaction leads to better outcomes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work as more organizations are working virtually. Most people are working remotely for the first time; this might confuse them. However, managers can coach and guide their teams through the process. Virtual teams are easy to coordinate when everybody is on the same team.

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Mashum

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at MashumMollah.com.