How to overcome the challenges of virtual working? How working virtually and managing virtual teams? And how developing your skills for virtual working? Find below some of the tips shared by our expert trainer Eugene Piccinini, who has over 25 years’ experience leading training solutions for high-impact and quick results. He has worked with companies such as Coca-Cola, Dell, HP and Orange.

Managing the communications

  • Be clear in what you want from your team members
  • Demonstrate active listening skills (paraphrase, summarise the key messages).
  • Be visible to your team members.
  • Make sure all team members know their role.

Managing the isolation

  • Organize regular check-ins.
  • Don’t just rely on email.
  • Have team and one-to-one check-ins regularly: short, focussed online meetings work best.
  • Ensure: out of sight is not out of mind.

Managing the trust

  • You can be social – build the community, it shouldn’t only be transactional communications
  • Build contractual trust: people do what they say they will do.
  • Trust your team and employees are competent and start there: don’t assume people might not be as productive at home as in the office.
  • Build trust with self-disclosure: you can build bonds by talking about things outside of work and be open and honest with your information: we are all human.

Practice self-leadership

  • Be self-aware who can be supportive, aware of your own productivity levels and adjust accordingly. Show your team how to be a self-leader.

Further reading

Managing Stress In Ever-Changing Situations: Tips for HR and L&D

The Future of Work: The Need For Virtual Skills

How to Organize Better Virtual Meetings

8 Tips for More Effective Virtual Meetings

Lack of collaboration?

  • Use collaborative tools so it is easy to see if someone is not contributing.
  • If someone is not contributing, talk to them one-to-one and ask why, perhaps they are struggling with the technology or interpreting instructions in a virtual environment (remember the way we take in information might need to change when switching to working from home).

Be coordinated

  • Work inclusively: make sure you make this an opportunity to include people
  • Identity: Make sure your teams have a clear identity and sense of belonging
  • Use a task-focussed approach and when working remotely, an agile approach works and helps to eliminate isolation
  • Rotate roles to encourage collaboration and contribution
  • Use one (and only one) chatter channel, for example, Yammer to build momentum

Cultural intelligence

  • Be mindful that, even in a mono-cultural organisation, there can be different cultural mindsets or approaches to work.
  • Remind people about the culture of the organisation: mission, vision, values and goals.
  • Be clear on where the organisation is going, even in uncertain times.
  • Be open, honest and transparent with information when working virtually.

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