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September 26, 2021

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Home » Managing Virtual Teams- Top Challenges And Tips You Need to Know

Managing Virtual Teams- Top Challenges And Tips You Need to Know

5 min read
Managing Virtual Teams

Advancing technology has increased the productivity of virtual teams and enables project managers to track the activities of all team members. But then, it is possible that managers have to face some hurdles in managing virtual teams even with the most advanced task management tool. Let’s understand these challenges and tips to overcome them effectively. But before moving forward, let’s understand why do issues occur in managing a virtual team?


The success of modern-day managers lies in managing virtual teams effectively and productively. Managers should have the ability to manage the team sitting across the globe from the convenience of their headquarters. It is necessary for a project manager to keep every team member on the same page and collaborate with all of them efficiently. In such a scenario, every project manager has to cope with some challenges or issues.


Virtual team management has different types of challenges. As globalization and diversification have become new norms, many companies have global offices with central headquarters. As a result, various teams are working remotely from different corners of the globe. It makes the management of virtual teams a herculean task. Here are the key challenges companies and project managers have to face while managing virtual teams.


Major Challenges and Tips for Virtual Team Management


1. Lack of Communication or Communication Gaps

This is one of the most common challenges project managers face. Communication gaps lead team members to the feeling of negligence and project managers to frustration as things are not getting done as per expectations. Eventually, a minority of workers tend to quit the job and managers have to relocate their offices. If the same cycle repeats there, companies just fail to meet the deadlines, and productivity suffers.


Tip to Address this Challenge

Effective communication is the key to addressing this challenge. Apart from traditional phone calls and emails, a task management tool offers quick chat and project collaboration features to establish real-time communication and data sharing. It is useful for eliminating unnecessary hurdles and resolving queries of employees in real-time.

All you need to select the right team management software for your virtual teams. But then, there is no need to buy something too expensive or with many useless add-ons for managing the team virtually.


2. Difficulty in Arranging Impromptu Meetings

Gone are the days when managers came out from one cubicle and informed team members about an impromptu meeting. These days, things are getting advanced and feature-rich communication tools can enable them to arrange a video conference. However, when the virtual team is working remotely from different locations with different time zones, arranging impromptu meetings can be very difficult.


Tip to Address this Challenge

A team collaboration or task management tool can lend a helping hand in addressing this challenge. As per the recent study based on the correlation between virtual team management and team management software, many managers rely on a task management tool. Simply put, online interaction between a manager and their team is no longer dependent on chat and calls. Work boards, offered by project management software, are widely used these days. The work board has a 24/7 cloud synchronization and public chatbot to keep everyone in the loop and accomplish various tasks quickly.


3. Difference in Timezone

Technology has resolved some issues related to communication, but still, time zone differences and the lack of effective communication channels pose some challenges. As virtual teams are scattered across the world, there is the difficulty of defining a balanced schedule. A manager cannot take conference calls in the middle of the night even if the team is situated in the part of the world where there is daylight and vice versa. It is necessary to handle this challenge.


Tip to Address this Challenge

Let’s face it. Time zone is a universal barrier and there is no software or any real solution to eliminate this problem directly. However, the ‘follow the sun’ rule can help managers to implement practices for managing virtual teams. As per this rule, you make a solution where your team members can pick up right from the most recent team left. It enables project managers to stay away from putting unnecessary pressure on different team members across various time zones.


Also Read : Important Project Management Facts Marketing Students Should Know


The project management software can enable team members and managers to work on the same project sheet or a work board. Team members join and leave as per their time zones and the entire project gets synchronized. A task management tool facilitates team members to anticipate, understand, and follow the context before their involvement in the task. It makes it easy for them to maintain the flow of tasks.


4. Delegation-related Issues

As compared to in-house teams, virtual or remote teams remain more challenging to handle when it comes to task delegation. Issues emerge when managers divide and assign work between different teams. The reasons are simple- some workers feel that they are underrated while assigning tasks and some remote employees feel that they are overburdened.


It may cause organizational resistance due to the lack of trust. Managers witness workers blaming one another when the goal is not achieved, and as a result, the entire management of virtual teams collapse.


Tip to Address this Challenge

A dedicated team management software or a task management app can be useful in resolving issues related to task delegation and trust among your team members. As a manager, you need to build cognitive trust with your team members. You can go through their records and get insights related to their skills before assigning tasks. A team task management tool can be useful to achieve this objective. You can also motivate and appreciate the work of remote employees periodically through common boards to build the trust factor. Gradually, managers can develop cognitive and effective relationships with their team members.


Concluding Lines

These days, virtual team management has become the need of the hour. Project managers have to address certain challenges by using the tool and their inherent skills. Here we have mentioned a few top challenges, but there are tons of things related to managing virtual teams, and smart task management tools can assist managers in addressing them.


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