Virtual Team Communication – Best Practices
A virtual team Communication or a session is defined as a meet where individuals are connected via the internet and not physically. This is a likely scenario across many organisations who have operations across the length and breadth of the planet. Virtual Team Communication is also a necessity in the times when the physical presence of employees is not possible due to several reasons. The primary advantage of such a methodology is to overcome the limitations of physical presence and continue the business processes as usual.
Virtual Team Communications are an essential part of every Business Continuity Plans or BCP and organisations create a robust infrastructure to ensure the process kicks in when most needed.
Virtual Team Communication Tools
One of the most important parts of Virtual Team Communication is the tools that are used to maintain the flow of information. Most of the modern tools are an ensemble of hardware and software meshed together to form a single unit. Present-day technology has made it possible for users to have live meetings through visual communication. There are plenty of Virtual Team Communication tools which enable video calling:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
These tools are the ones that are most in-demand at the moment. Their collaborative capabilities have transcended boundaries and are used by a majority of organisations across the globe.
Apart from instant video calling tools, there are instant messaging tools which business use a lot.
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts
These are the most in-demand Virtual Team communication tools for instant messaging. The primary feature of these tools is that they can integrate with most third-party software to create a communication ecosystem.
Other than the first two, there is a third category of tool which enhances team collaboration. These are the Team Collaboration tools. These Virtual Team communication tools are essential for the systematic spread of situation awareness, a vital cog in the business wheel.
- Click Up
These Virtual Team Communication tools are project management softwares that are at the forefront of the collaborative spirit binding virtual teams.
- Google Drive
No tool has been as effective as Google Drive, OneDrive or DRopBox when it comes to virtual team collaborations. Transcending all geographical boundaries, a team can get access to a common drive and to complete assigned tasks.
These Virtual Team Communication apps are indispensable in a modern economy since organisations are slowly moving to an environment where physical distances are being eliminated via technology. This helps in the company saving both travel expenses and time and yet ensuring that profit margins do not get affected. With the advent of technology, an entire industry has emerged which build, support and maintain Virtual Team Communication apps.
Virtual Team Communication Methods
Virtual Team Communication can be done in various ways using the tools mentioned above. There can be real-time video calling where every individual team member logs in from the respective systems and become a part of the meeting. With instant messaging systems, one can also simply chat while working on the tasks assigned.
Most companies have adapted to project management tools with integrated emailing systems which allow the admin and the users to participate seamlessly. These project management tools are handy since all team members can have real-time knowledge of the work at hand and also how much is being done. These tools have instant updating scheduling areas which highlight the percentage of work done and the one that needs to be done.
The Virtual Team Communication Methods used by the organisation or team depending on the urgency of the moment.
Virtual Team Communication Strategies
Which brings us to the most important aspect of collaboration: Virtual Team Communication Strategies. Without an effective strategy, the entire premise of team building and business continuity will fall flat.
Here are some sound Virtual Team Communication Strategies:
Usage of Appropriate Technology
The usage of proper technique is paramount to the success of team Virtual Team Communication and Collaboration. Without it, the chances of success dwindle rapidly. The head of the meeting needs to decide the method that needs to be used to connect across the teams. If he or she feels that instant updating of tasks is essential for the moment, then project management tools will be used. However, if a face to face team meeting is required, then instant video calling tools have to be used.
Every meeting needs to have a proper structure. This is all the more significant whilst working from remote locations. There has been an appropriate schedule which will mention the working hours and the meeting sessions. Due to different time zones, this will need prior research and planning. Also, the manager will have to understand that not all employees will be available at all hours. One of the advantages of virtual collaboration is providing the employees with individual spaces to thrive in and create a work-life balance.
This is in continuation of the earlier point, Virtual Team Communication should aim at unifying the team and provide them with a common objective. This leads to individual investments and employees than feel a sense of togetherness. This further helps in building a team. One of the most central features of virtual collaboration is to acknowledge the existence of each member and celebrating their accomplishments together. A virtual birthday celebration is also an imperative team-building exercise that needs to be undertaken.
One of the pitfalls of Virtual Team Communication is consistent bandwidth. Not all remote locations will have a stable internet connection. Or in some cases, weather too plays a spoilsport. Under these circumstances, the meeting leader has to accept the challenges and respect the effort put in by the individual for attending the meeting. This boosts employee morale as well as provides the individual with an extra onus to share responsibilities and fulfil them.
In the End
Communication is an indispensable part of every organisation. A breakdown in that would spell doom. Organisations have gone to great lengths in creating robust and scalable systems which would guarantee business continuation. Heeding to the clarion call from the industry, the tech world too has geared up to create Virtual Team Communication Apps.
Modern technology has assured that no matter how far the soul is, the heartbeat will always be heard. In business parlance, that would mean that all terrestrial challenges are now a thing of the past and the world has become a close knot village, bound together by bytes.