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Managing virtual teams: 5 tips for leading a high performing remote team

Cubo writersOct 11, 2022

In recent years, companies have embraced remote work, something you already know if you're managing virtual teams. Even with time and technology on your side, there's still the challenge of how to make your remote work team as — if not more — productive than an in-office team. The answer lies in following the five tips designed to help you lead a virtual team effectively, saving yourself and your team from threats of having to return to work.

How do you manage virtual teams effectively?

Although virtual teams can be high performing, only under a unique set of circumstances can you unlock your virtual team's productivity and improve performance. 

The truth is while there isn't a wrong way to manage virtual teams, there is only one provably effective way to manage remote teams, and that's to implement these five pillars into your remote work strategy.

Choose the right SaaS tools

The software you use shouldn't only assist with your remote team's core function but also with your virtual team's communication.

Remote teams collaborating on Cubo Because the SaaS tools you use will have the most significant impact on the remote team's performance. That's because the tools improve collaboration by:

  • Creating seamless communication channels

Several instances exist where communication with your virtual team cannot be scheduled in advance. Brainstorming and troubleshooting are perfect examples. 

With a SaaS tool like Cubo, impromptu brainstorming or troubleshooting is seamless.

  • Enabling real-time project tracking

When you want to know how far a team is on a project, you can listen in on their meetings using Cubo's listen-in function. 

  • Improving Schedule Coordination 

Downloading a SaaS tool like Cubo helps you take the guesswork out of managing your team's schedule. You can see where they are — if they're in a meeting or online, and so on. 

Organize strategic meetings

Virtual meeting among colleaguesVirtual meetings can often feel very time-consuming because of their setup. This doesn't mean you need to scrap them; rather, update the meeting's format, making it feel more collaborative and focused on strategy. 

Group meetings are most effective when they focus on finding solutions to problems or fine-tuning your team's workflow. The result is an increase in productivity. 

Focus on reporting

Rather than dozens of daily or weekly meetings, utilize your SaaS tools to allow your team members to report on progress, concerns, and victories.

You can have quick one-on-one calls, focusing on the cliff notes of the team member's week.

Set goals 

Whether teams are working from the office or remotely, they'll only feel motivated if they're working toward something.

These goals should also resonate with them, giving them a vested interest in accomplishing the task, project, or objective. 

Not every team member will be motivated by better compensation; some in your team may feel more vested in a goal with a social or environmental impact, the opportunity for promotion.

If you understand what motivates your team, you will achieve goals and objectives in record time.

Reward self-leadership

Micromanaging can be the most detrimental to a virtual team's success. When employees feel they have little autonomy — especially within the remote work environment — work feels less rewarding and more like a chore. You can change this dynamic by encouraging self-leadership, self-motivation, and accountability. In combination, these three elements make team members feel a greater sense of freedom, which results in better performance.

Don't only reward one type of employee; offer rewards for the most common types of productivity meters:

  • Little time off

  • Regularly working after hours

  • Accomplishing tasks on time

  • Relaying hindrances efficiently

You can determine what a suitable reward is: whether that's recognition, bonuses, more time off, or longer breaks; rewarding performance encourages the individual to keep performing and motivates the team to perform.

Now that you know the five pillars of remote team management, implementing these pillars should become the backbone of a strategy to manage virtual teams effectively.