Challenges in establishing collaboration in virtual teams

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collaboration

Have trouble connecting with everyone on your team? With more remote workers, has the number of virtual team challenges increased? No remote workplace can thrive without effective online collaboration, so ensuring its smooth implementation should be a company’s top priority.  

Workers were accustomed to face-to-face Monday morning meetings, chitchat around the coffee machine, and after-work drinks near the office. They are now forced to work from home, regardless of how many children, dogs, or other distractions they have. Sure, there are many advantages to working from home. Some of the most important reasons why virtual teams work well are: 

  • Cheaper team outings and less expensive office space 
  • The ability to hire talent from any location on the planet 
  • More work-life balance flexibility 
  • Employees will have lower commuting costs. 

Although there are many advantages, there are also some drawbacks. 

Virtual team challenges may differ from one company to the next depending on team structure, project types, and company culture. However, as more employees work from home, remote teams are encountering several issues. Do not worry just yet. We have highlighted the most common virtual team challenges and solutions. Let us get this started. 

Virtual team challenges and solutions 

Virtual team challenges are both common and manageable. Everyone can succeed if you can create a system that supports the entire team, regardless of their location. Follow this list to learn how to overcome virtual team challenges:  

  1. Communication styles 

Communication is one of the most difficult aspects of virtual teams. Some people prefer to be contacted by email, while others prefer instant messaging. 

You must effectively manage your virtual team’s communication style and establish a structure that encourages online collaboration

It is a good idea to have set business hours when teammates must be available online. Make sure your employees understand the expected level of communication. When someone encounters a problem, welcome online collaboration and brainstorming like you would with a physical team, demonstrating the value of teamwork. 

2.  Lack of structure 

A lack of defined structure, like a lack of communication, can cause issues with virtual teams. To be as efficient as possible, ensure that you constantly review your processes and procedures. Workflow analysis can help you understand how to improve online collaboration processes. 

3. Trust 

In any team collaboration, trust is essential. Team engagement and collaboration occur naturally when your team members believe they are working toward a common goal. However, it isn’t easy to achieve in a situation where face-to-face interaction is rare. Trust can be instilled in your team members through a shared collaborative spirit, mission, and strategic team building. 

Teams should frequently meet via video conference, as these virtual face-to-face meetings can aid in the development of a sense of community and familiarity. Communicate your expectations to each team, so everyone works towards the same goal. 

4. Lack of office culture 

This can be a difficult task to complete. It isn’t easy to create an office-like culture for your virtual team. Teammates may go days without “talking” to one another and never meet in person. 

Regardless, it is important to establish an office culture. Having message groups for your offices and team can aid in developing an ongoing discussion. Send memes, share weekend stories, and inquire about your team’s interests whenever possible. 

You can use Clariti software, where you can often get into a direct chat or group chat and get an immediate response from your colleagues, irrespective of their geographic location. Most importantly, you can always chat in context. This way, you can keep in touch with your colleagues and feel like you are at work. 

5. Managing disputes 

Online collaboration and sharing between members from different cultures and backgrounds frequently promote innovation and growth when you manage them virtually. 

One of the most common causes of conflict is an apparent imbalance of power. You must ensure that everyone understands their specific role within the team. Miscommunication about who is supposed to do what can lead to conflict as team members compete for control. 

6. Nurturing team relationships

 Another virtual team challenge is the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with coworkers and team members. When working at the office, employees catch up during their lunch breaks, chat while getting coffee, and engage in small talk at their desks. 

Remote teams will find it more difficult to talk quickly with distant colleagues. In fact, according to a Smartsheet survey, 80% of respondents felt less connected when working from home. When teams feel disconnected and lonely, it affects their motivation and overall satisfaction with an organization.  

7. Remotely managing tasks and projects 

Managing multiple projects with different team members is difficult when everyone is not in the same room. Trying to learn everyone’s status on a single project or task can quickly become time-consuming. When your team is demotivated or unproductive, tasks take longer, resulting in unhappy clients.  

8. Maintaining high productivity levels 

Productivity is important in a remote working environment. Without it, team members may become distracted by television shows, housework, or anything else that allows them to procrastinate. While it is one of the negative virtual team aspects, interestingly, most employees find working from home more productive than working from the office. 

9. Holding teams accountable  

Miscommunication or leaders failing to hold employees accountable for project tasks are common causes of virtual team challenges. When everyone is spread out, it isn’t easy to ensure that every team member puts in the necessary effort. 

Remote teams, in general, rely heavily on trust. Leaders must trust their remote workers to carry their weight on the team or complete a project on time. As a project manager, you must hold each team member accountable. Working from home makes it easy to slip under the radar, which is why remote managers struggle to hold their employees accountable. 

Choosing the right online collaboration tools 

Use the best technology available to overcome the challenges of building trust in a virtual team. Using file-sharing platforms or project management tools to encourage online collaboration can help employees understand how each other works. This best practice sharing can increase knowledge and productivity for everyone involved. Furthermore, making both local workers and those working from home accountable for task completion promotes communication and accountability. 

To ensure everyone is working toward a common goal, communicate frequently and provide status updates. Each team member must understand how they are performing and how their progress is being tracked. 

Conclusion 

Even the most experienced business leaders face challenges when moving to a remote work lifestyle. You can build strong teams regardless of where the employees are located by communicating openly with them, encouraging team cohesion, and using cutting-edge communication technology. 

Just make sure to address remote team issues as soon as possible. With the use of Clariti, a messaging-based online collaboration tool, you will soon have a motivated, happy workforce that understands how to communicate and use the necessary resources to succeed. 

Clariti is one of the best free apps for digital collaboration that uses content-rich subject chat, a unique feature, to help teams improve instant messaging by providing a dedicated space for discussing specific topics. This chat feature allows team members to easily discuss a particular topic without getting side-tracked, and the context behind each chat ensures that everyone is on the same page by providing relevant information about the chat’s subject matter. This makes it easy for team members to find the necessary information and avoid misunderstandings quickly. As a result, Clariti’s content-rich subject chats can help teams improve instant messaging by providing the context needed to understand the topic without having to search. This helps teams to achieve greater efficiency and productivity.  This is not possible with other digital collaboration apps.

Clariti is a free cloud-based software where you can sign-up and start using it. 

Also Read: Exploring The Impact Of The Exxon Chemical Plant.

 

 

 

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