Best Practices for Managing Virtual Teams

There’s no getting away from it – virtual teams have become part and parcel of conducting business and will remain the way forward. 

Businesses have been struggling during the past two years to effectively manage their workforce virtually while everything across the globe goes virtual.  Conducting meetings, setting goals and attaining targets, whilst battling with connectivity issues, time management, innumerable uncertainties and personal struggles, could turn out to be a nightmare if teams are mismanaged, resulting in loss of revenue and utter chaos. 

Are you desperately looking for effective solutions? – or perhaps you are coping reasonably well.

Either way, these simple, yet highly effective best practices are bound to be hugely beneficial to any business that operates with virtual teams.  

#1 Be Smart When Using Trendy Technology

Businesses easily get caught up with the rapid speed of technological advancements – more features the better.  Ask yourself these simple questions before you decide to board the bus with your team:

  • Is the new technology necessary for the task at hand?
  • Does it add value as opposed to being merely trendy?
  • Would it make things easier for your team or stress them out?
  • Would it simplify systems and make them more efficient or complicate them and make them white elephants?

Once you weigh the pros and cons and decide to go ahead, take steps to ensure that your team actually uses the tools and systems you invest in – encourage training and learning where applicable.

#2 Be in Tune

Working in rhythm helps teams stay focused and get things done more efficiently. Simple things such as scheduling weekly team meetings or having a working pattern and platform that suits everyone would be some ways of achieving this.

Virtual teams don’t have to be all work – set up a virtual tea session or lunch together dedicated to banter and team building!

#3 Speak the Same Language

Ensure that everyone on your team virtually understands what’s going on – time wasted is money wasted.  Having team members sitting at your meetings unable to comprehend head or tail of what’s going on will cost your organization – they could be engaging in a task more beneficial to your business. 

Likewise, the facilitator should speak in a language suited to all participants.  For example, if you call a general meeting, using complicated calculations or hi-tech language would make little sense to most of those gathered. Use simple language and explain only what is necessary, and hold a sectional meeting to deal with the more complicated issues.

#4 Avoid Burnout

Leaders should be careful how they manage their teams in a virtual environment where people are just a click away.  Refrain from communicating on official matters out of work hours unless the matter is critical.  Give yourself and your team a break to rest their minds. Give priority to personal space and return rejuvenated the next day. Let them have their holidays and breaks.  Motivate them to give their utmost best during their work hours and accept nothing less.  

Needless to say, if your team appreciates that you are concerned about their wellbeing, they will rally round when required and give your business those extra hours ungrudgingly, and what’s more, their quality of work will be far superior.  

#5 Trust is Imperative

Trust is the cornerstone of remote work. Trust breeds trust. It would be wise for leaders to take the first step in establishing trust. Do what you say and refrain from making grand statements you have no intention of keeping or haven’t thought out well. 

Your team needs to know they can count on you – be around when your input is needed. Keep your word and you won’t have to second guess their loyalty.  


By incorporating the suggested practices, you will be able to overcome some of the challenges that are part and parcel of managing virtual teams.  They will contribute significantly towards creating an environment in which your remote teams thrive and give of their best towards the success of your business.  


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