Managing a virtual team can offer challenges that you won’t experience in-person teamwork. It can be harder to schedule meetings, show demonstrations and build connections. However, having a virtual team offers convenience, opportunity and freedom for the team members, so here are some tips to help you make it work…

Define goals and roles
At the start of the project, outline the project goals and objectives so that everyone is working towards the same thing. Delegate roles and obligations to each team member to avoid confusion and overlap. This will keep the team on track despite not physically seeing what each other is up to.

Stay engaged
In-person teams have many opportunities to check in with each other and see each other’s progress. As a virtual manager, it is important to create opportunities to stay in touch with your team, such as having regular phone calls or checkpoint meetings. This will provide your team with regular reminders of work that will help keep them on track and meeting checkpoint deadlines.

Use online tools
While you’ll most likely already be using online messaging tools, there are plenty of other apps and platforms you can also use to improve organisation and productivity. You can search for collaborative tools for things like mind mapping, video calls, sketching, calendars, to-do lists and schedules. These online tools can help your team see each other’s ideas, progress and deadlines.

Create time for casual interactions
Building connections between team members can be difficult with exclusively online work. If appropriate, you can consider creating opportunities for your team to get to know each other on a more casual basis to improve moods and collaboration. If everyone in the team lives very remotely, you can have more relaxed video calls where everyone can introduce themselves and chat as well as work. If the team lives in the same city, consider having in-person meetings and outings.