Creating a productive work environment for a virtual team is not easy to accomplish. However, the rise of remote work has made it a necessity for businesses to have virtual teams and make sure that they work together productively.
There is no doubt that there are several benefits to having remote workers and virtual teams. However, it does not come without its challenges too. In this essaygeeks article, we will be discussing some of the greatest challenges facing virtual teams.
#1 Communication style difference
Everybody has their preferred means of communication. For example, while some love instant messaging, others prefer email messages. Yet, the virtual team manager has to manage the team’s communication style and have a structure that enhances collaboration.
Communication is crucial to the success of a virtual team, so it has to be irrespective of personal preferences. For example, it may be good to create set business hours for the teammates to be online so that communication is smoother.
#2 Absence of structure
The absence of a defined structure is another enormous challenge. You must ensure that you are reviewing your procedures and processes constantly and efficiently. Everyone has to understand how the organization’s processes work and so a workflow analysis is crucial.
Ensure that an online workflow and well-defined standards support your processes. This gives a sense of structure, and the availability of several online tools also aids collaboration among teammates.
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#3 Absence of the right tools
Everyone thrives when they can access the necessary equipment – which is something the office environment provides. However, things are different with virtual teams. So, you must try as much as possible to provide everyone with what they need. Investing in these tools will increase your team’s productivity, and your company will be able to provide customers with better services.
#4 Lack of trust
Distrust is a common feature of remote teams, and not seeing each other promotes that. You may start to become distrustful if you do not see the expected results from your virtual team, significantly when you have invested so much already.
It is also easy for some team members to feel like they do more work than others, or the management is harder on them but easier on others. Managing distrust is you walking on an eggshell. You need to be extra careful so it does not blow up into a misunderstanding which reduces productivity and causes failure.
#5 Distracting environment
Working from home is far more complicated than an office setting because of the many distractions in the supposed working environment. Distraction is something that virtual teams struggle to combat, and every time they are distracted, it affects their performance and overall productivity levels.
Learning to minimize distraction is a critical part of working from home.
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#6 Slow response time
This is a common problem of virtual teams. Virtual workers have to realize that some degree of structure comes with a flexible work location. Working within this structure prevents setbacks and delays that slow the team down and potentially reduce productivity. There are schedules to follow and deadlines to meet, and everyone must be on board.
#7 Absence of office culture
Creating an office culture becomes an arduous task when there is no office, but this is a problem that virtual team managers have to deal with. Teammates may never get to see each other in person, and they may never speak to themselves too. It is challenging to create an office structure in an environment like this. Yet, it is crucial for the productiveness of the team.
#8 Budget management
If you lack proper management, you easily overshoot your budget for many of your projects. You will also have some teammates spending more time on a project than they should, especially at the expense of others.
Although having a virtual team helps the organization save as much as $2000 per year on each employee, teammates can quickly lose track of the length of some processes. So, you must do frequent checks to ensure team efficiency. In addition, proper guidance on timeline and budget management is often very beneficial to the employees.
Make sure that your team has a good structure in place to ensure scalability in your business. According to an essay writing help for students, you may start losing some of your virtual team’s profitability if you are not managing your projects on an hourly basis.
#9 Meeting scheduling
Another problem with virtual teams is setting meeting schedules because the team members work from different places and may live in different time zones.
If your team is working on different schedules, everyone must be willing to compromise. For example, some teammates may need to be online in the middle of the night to meet up to the meeting time, while other team members are in the afternoon. That’s one of the compromises that people have to make, and it may be difficult at times, especially if you are holding regular team meetings.
Meetings are essential to bring the teams together, ensure human interactions, and ensure everyone is on the same page. Whether daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, they are crucial, and everyone has to be on board.
#10 Employee accountability
The absence of accountability is a huge challenge for virtual teams. It’s hard to tell if your team is truly working or they are charging you for their idle hours. In addition, not seeing your employees and virtual team members makes it hard to track accountability, which may affect the employee’s performance.
The lack of direct supervision for virtual teams means that team members may not have enough motivation to work and be productive, especially for those used to the traditional office and its monitoring. As a result, they may not be able to manage this newfound flexibility, which may negatively affect their results.
These are some of the challenges that virtual teams face. Overcoming these challenges is crucial to the team’s success.
About the author:
Tiffany Harper is a training coach who’s been working in the corporate sector as a technology expert for several years now. She is a management graduate and loves to share her experience through blogs and expert articles with Essay-reviewer.com. For her love of writing, she provided online consultations for professional writing services while working with Dissertation-Service.org. Please do not hesitate to contact her on LinkedIn.