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The number of people working remotely has been increasing progressively across the globe. An employee benefits report narrates that around 60% companies in the US offer telecommuting opportunities.
Telecommuting not only benefits people but also presents several advantages for organizations. Research has attributed an increase in savings of around $2000 per employee each year on real estate costs, enhanced productivity, and lower attrition rates to telecommuting. Employees have been found to focus better on work and take less days off while operating remotely.
Building effective teams is difficult, but it can even be more so when these teams are remotely managed. For managers and leaders who constantly deal with virtual teams, it is communication that is one of their biggest concerns, in the absence of face-to-face settings. Some of their other concerns include ensuring all team members are connected and striving towards the same organizational goal, recording accurate hours, assigning appropriate tasks, trust, and teamwork. Therefore, having a Communications Strategy and structure approach becomes critical.
Addressing these challenges and properly managing a virtual team requires the managers to establish clear goals, conduct frequent team meetings, leverage team members’ strengths, and communicate clearly. However, most leaders believe that the increasing sophistication and proliferation of collaborative technologies enable better virtual communication. On the other hand, studies on globally scattered teams relate performance not with technologies but with effective utilization of these technologies.
Research has revealed 5 best practices to enable effective communication between virtual teams. The teams that embraced these communication approaches were found to produce quality deliverables, complete tasks timely, collaborate productively, and meet or exceed their targets:
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