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Virtual communication breakdown: 5 Ways to get your online team back on track

Obbaatt AngadiaMar 17, 2023

Working remotely is becoming increasingly common, and virtual communication has become the norm for many teams. However, even with all the technology available to us, virtual communication breakdowns are still common.

Misunderstandings, technical difficulties, and a lack of clear communication can all lead to a breakdown in virtual communication. When communication breaks down, it can lead to frustration, missed deadlines, and even project failures.

But don't worry, in this post, we're going to show you five ways to get your online team back on track. From setting clear expectations to using the right communication tools, we'll provide you with tips and tricks to help you improve virtual communication and get your online team working together effectively.

Angry black man having video conversation via laptopSo, let's get started!

The importance of virtual communication in today's workforce

Virtual communication has become increasingly important in today's workforce, especially amidst the current global pandemic. With more and more people working remotely, it has become necessary to establish virtual communication systems that enable teams to collaborate effectively.

Virtual communication refers to the use of technology to facilitate communication between individuals or groups who are geographically dispersed. This includes video conferencing, email, instant messaging, and project management tools.

The importance of virtual communication lies in its ability to bring people together despite physical distance, allowing teams to work together and achieve common goals. It also eliminates the need for face-to-face meetings, reducing travel costs and saving time.

A man on a virtual callTherefore, it is critical for organizations to invest in virtual communication tools that are reliable, secure, and easy to use. By doing so, they can ensure that their teams remain productive, engaged, and connected, regardless of physical distance.

The challenges of virtual communication

Virtual communication comes with its own set of challenges that can easily lead to breakdowns in communication within online teams.

One of the biggest challenges of virtual communication is the lack of face-to-face interaction. When communicating online, it can be difficult to pick up on nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expressions, which can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

Identifying communication breakdowns

Identifying communication breakdowns within your virtual team is critical to getting back on track.

Without clear communication, deadlines are missed, tasks fall through the cracks, and team members become frustrated. There are several common communication breakdowns that can occur when working remotely.

One of the most common is misinterpreting tone or intent. Text-based communication like email or instant messaging can be easily misunderstood, leading to confusion or even conflict.

Another common breakdown is a lack of clarity around goals and expectations. Without clear guidelines, team members may work on different priorities or misunderstand the scope of a project.

To identify communication breakdowns, start by regularly checking in with your team members. Ask them how they are feeling about their workload, if they have any concerns or questions, and if they feel they are receiving the support they need to do their job effectively.

Strategies for improving communication with your virtual team

When working with a virtual team, communication can be a major hurdle. It's important to establish clear and consistent communication channels that work for everyone and to keep those channels open at all times.

One strategy for improving communication with your virtual team is to establish regular check-ins. You might schedule a weekly video call or set up a group chat where everyone can touch base and share updates. This can help to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that everyone is aware of what's going on.

Another strategy is to use project management tools that allow everyone to collaborate in real time. Platforms like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp can be great for keeping track of tasks, assigning work, and sharing files. This way, everyone can see what's been done, what needs to be done, and who's responsible for what.

It's also important to establish expectations around response times. Make sure that everyone understands how quickly they should respond to messages and emails, and what to do if they're unavailable. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is aware of what's expected of them.

Encouraging everyone to use video calls instead of just messaging or email can also be helpful. Seeing each other's faces and hearing each other's voices can go a long way in building a sense of connection and collaboration.

Use the right communication tools

When it comes to virtual communication, using the right tools is crucial. With so many options available, it can be hard to know which one is right for your team. Some popular communication tools include Slack, Cubo, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

Before deciding on a tool, consider the needs and preferences of your team. For example, if you have a team that prefers video calls, then Zoom or Google Meet may be the best fit. If your team is more chat-oriented, then Slack or Microsoft Teams may be the way to go.

It's also important to consider the features of each tool. For example, Zoom and Google Meet both offer screen sharing, while Slack and Microsoft Teams both offer file sharing and integration with other tools.

Regardless of which tool you choose, make sure that everyone on the team is comfortable using it. Provide training and support, and encourage team members to ask questions and provide feedback.

Create clear communication guidelines and protocols

When working with a virtual team, clear communication guidelines and protocols are essential to ensure everyone is on the same page. This is especially important when working with team members from different time zones and cultures.

Creating a set of guidelines and protocols will help to establish expectations for communication and avoid any confusion. This includes setting expectations for response times, preferred communication methods, and how to handle urgent messages outside of regular working hours.

Set up regular check-ins and virtual team meetings

Setting up regular check-ins and virtual team meetings is crucial to ensure that your online team is on track. These meetings will help you to stay informed about the progress of different projects, discuss any issues, and provide feedback on the work done so far.

Schedule these virtual meetings in advance and make sure that everyone is aware of the time and date. It's important to ensure that everyone attends these meetings as they are essential to keeping the team aligned and moving forward.

During these meetings, make sure that everyone has an opportunity to speak and ask questions. Encourage team members to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

Provide opportunities for informal communication

Working in a virtual team can be isolating, and without the benefit of face-to-face interaction, it can be hard to get to know your colleagues on a personal level. Providing opportunities for informal communication can help to break down barriers and foster a sense of camaraderie among your team members.

One effective way to do this is through the use of messaging platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, which allow for casual conversations and the sharing of non-work-related content.

A coaching talking to a client via videoEncourage your team to create channels dedicated to hobbies, interests, or even pets. This can help to create a sense of community and provide a space for your team to bond over shared interests.

Encourage feedback and open communication

Effective feedback and open communication are essential to getting your online team back on track. Encourage your team members to share their thoughts and opinions on the work they are doing, and to provide feedback on what they think could be improved. This will help you identify potential problems before they become major issues, and allow you to make any necessary adjustments to keep things running smoothly.

One way to encourage open communication is to set up regular team meetings where everyone can share their progress, discuss any challenges they are facing, and brainstorm solutions together. You can also use online collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to facilitate ongoing communication and keep everyone up-to-date on important developments.


In today's day and age, with more and more businesses moving online, effective virtual communication has become critical to the success of any team. With the rise of remote work, freelancers, and distributed teams, it's more important than ever to have effective communication channels in place to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.

We hope you enjoyed our blog post on how to get your online team back on track when virtual communication breaks down. Virtual communication can be challenging, especially when working with a remote team. 

These tips can be a game-changer for any team working online, and we hope you'll implement them and see the results for yourself.

Let's keep the communication flowing, and the work going! Try Cubo for free!