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The five tips you need for virtual team management

They may be in different time zones, but managing your remote team doesn’t have to be difficult

Today, about 35 percent of American executives consider millennial workforce entrants to impact their daily management approaches. Another 83 percent plan to increase the use of digital teams digital teams, beefing up workplace flexibility within the next three years. Virtual teams can be challenging. Really challenging. These executives aren’t taking the task lightly, either. They’re rebalancing entire business cultures. Can you?

Below, we’ve collected the top tips needed for virtual team management. Take them to heart, influence your workers, and redefine your business for the technology age.

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Make the hours overlap

Likely, your virtual team’s members have varied schedules. That said, your time zones will overlap in some places. Team meetups are absolutely important—especially if each member intends on having digital nine-to-fives. In a collection of nine business owners recorded by The Next Web, leaders considered schedule overlap to be one of the most important factors—particularly during problem solving sessions.


Learn more about managing virtual teams and the key principles that will help managers achieve success with these groups with our Managing Virtual Teams eBook!

Use Skype, not email

Todays incoming workers are a tech-savvy bunch. You’re not dealing with email-list employees, anymore. Across every industry, virtual writers—more often than not—have a Skype app on their smartphone. More than ever, fast-paced tech calls are completed via mobile. Facetime isn’t a go-to resource for visual mobile calls, anymore. This, alone, says a lot. Skype is favored, and it’s instantly accessible for pre-meeting checklists.

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Utilizing Google Docs

Google Docs, too, is an important resource. If you’re operating with deadlines, have a hefty content management campaign or are simply managing memos, Google Docs is a lifesaver. Why? Because it doesn’t need a file transfer. It’s clickable as a link, fully editable and can be locked for privacy. Your virtual workers may not have Microsoft Office, but they’ll have an internet connection. Remember: Instant access is priority number one for on-the-go workers.

Use a screen sharing tool

Among the many “instant access” tools you’ll need, a screen sharing tool is the best to have in tight scenarios. Programs like Join.me and TeamViewer can make a difference, especially if your team handles software, tech support and social media marketing initiatives.

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Use a project management system

Finally, you should strategize everything—your projects, conversations, shared files and planning opportunities—via a project management system. If you only manage your virtual team when it’s feasible, you’re not running your team effectively. Make it easy for your workers to locate, share, and plan your business’s resources. While your actual conversations are best suited to Skype, a little cohesive planning goes a long way. Start by checking out top-rated project management tools like Smartsheet and Mavenlink .

Be prepared for little bumps in the road. Managing virtual teams takes time. In fact, a lot of businesses are still adapting to it. At the end of the day, your team’s ability to remain effective will rely on communication. Productivity relies on quick communication, a creative work environment and visual chat. 60 percent of communication is nonverbal, and every sliver of discussion should be available to your workers.

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