5 Mistakes To Avoid When Managing A Virtual Team


The internet and technology have revolutionized the way we work. Gone are the days where employees had to trek back and forth from their homes to company headquarters.

Now, companies are hiring remote workers all over the world, enabling employees to complete their tasks outside of a designated office space.

And this trend is only growing stronger with each passing day as technology continues in its rapid development.

Unfortunately, not all workplaces are embracing this reality with open arms- in many cases management struggle fighting for control over their remote staff members when they should really be adapting to them.

Here are a few management mistakes you want to steer clear of in order to keep your team happy and productive:

1. Not allowing flexible work hours

Working from home allows employees to choose when to work- this is very important, especially for those who desire a greater work-life balance. But when you are managing a remote team, flexible working hours aren’t just desirable; they’re critical.

If staff members need to take care of their children or tend to any medical issues, then allowing them the freedom to work when they want is essential to ensure that productivity is maintained.

However, some companies have strict policies that do not allow flexible work hours. These companies are missing out on the benefits of a remote team and are more likely to make mistakes. This is because they often don't have the opportunity to communicate with their team members. Companies should not be afraid of change. Error situational awareness is significantly enhanced by using workers working remotely but without the advantages of a team.

2. Not listening to your team

When managing a remote team, no matter where they are based, you need to get to know your employees well. It would be best if you listened to their ideas and suggestions.

After all, they may better grasp what is happening in their area than you do, especially if the two of you have never met in person. If you want your remote team members to work hard and do their best work possible, then this is crucial advice to follow.

Failing to listen to your coworkers is your first mistake. It would help if you got to know them and understand their needs, what motivates them and what they are looking for in a work environment. A virtual team is more challenging to manage than a traditional office-based team. This is because no physical boundaries restrict the flow of information or communication.

3. Not allowing flexible working location

Some employees may choose to work from home, but others would prefer to be out and about. Working amongst others in coffee shops or co-working spaces makes their creative juices flow. Or perhaps they want to spend more time with their children.

You may want to restrict where your remote employees can work from, but doing so could be counterproductive- you’ll limit productivity and make it harder for your staff members to do their best work if they can’t choose the optimal working space for them.

The mistakes that happen when an organization doesn't allow flexible working hours are

  • Loss of productivity: Employees get frustrated and stop trying to do their best work.
  • Less engagement: Employees feel like they don't have a say in their work.
  • Lack of creativity: Employees feel less satisfied with their jobs and are less motivated.
  • Poor decisions can result in mistakes, missed deadlines, and other negative consequences.

4. Bringing in the wrong team members

This section is about mistakes that are often made when a virtual team is being managed. The most common mistake made by the management of a virtual team is bringing in the wrong team member. The administration should know the skillset and personality traits needed for the role and not just hire someone because they have a similar skill set as another team member. It's also important to consider if the new team member will be able to work remotely or if they will need flexible working hours. If not, there may be an issue with their ability to work on this project.

Another mistake can be made by focusing too much on communication channels and not enough time managing relationships. This means having face-to-face meetings with your remote employees at least once a month is essential.

5. Not scheduling meetings at convenient times

Managers often neglect to set up meetings early. Lots of time and effort are lost on the input into, and the output of, such a dialogue. Managing a virtual team can be challenging, mainly if you're not accustomed to working with remote team members. If you want to avoid making mistakes, here are some tips for managing a virtual team:

Set up regular check-ins with your remote team members - Schedule meetings at times when they are most likely to be available - Ask them what works best for them in terms of meeting times and locations

Give them the opportunity for flexible working hours.

In conclusion, a few critical mistakes to avoid when managing a virtual team

  • First, avoid micromanaging and instead trust your team to do their jobs.
  • Second, keep communication clear and concise to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Third, be flexible with your team's schedules and allow for some personalization.
  • Lastly, make sure you tend to all your teammates' problems and concerns.

By avoiding these mistakes, you'll be on your way to managing a successful virtual team.

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