Top 9 Virtual Teams Challenges and Solutions for Businesses

All businesses and companies that could, shifted to remote work. The danger of catching the coronavirus is real and until things get calmer, physical distance is recommended. But as teams start working exclusively online, the way communication is made, tasks are discussed and conflicts are solved change instantly. Face-to-face communication is the most effective form of communicating with others because there are body language signs and para verbal cues that make it smoother.

Virtual Teams Challenges and Solutions

But virtual teams work in a completely new environment and adapting to it can be a challenge both for team leaders and team members. Even though remote workers are known to be more effective, virtual teams are facing challenges until they reach the best way of organization and communication. Scroll down below and read about the 9 greatest challenges virtual teams are facing now.

Top 9 Virtual Teams Challenges and Solutions for Businesses

1. Not Having the Right Tools

This shift to remote and online work took many businesses by surprise. Some of them were ready for a complete change of scenery, while others are still trying to find the must-have gadgets for online work. Not having the right tools to work remotely is one of the greatest challenges many virtual teams are facing now.

They need to have the proper software to ensure communication is done effectively. This includes the possibility of sharing files, organizing online meetings, and chatting. Virtual teams need to have the collaboration tools they need to work efficiently and productively.

2. Diminished Productivity

Working in an office is something almost all people were used to. They got used to the waking hours, commute time, lunch breaks with colleagues, and their own working space. Even though employees can take breaks during their working hours, the office atmosphere usually urges you to work. It helps you enter a flow state where you reach a high level of concentration that helps you solve complex tasks.

But what happens when you no longer do this? Even though at the beginning many people feel happy about saving the commute time and working from the comfort of their own house, their productivity level might drop. This usually happens because people do not have a space dedicated solely to working and are easy to distract. Virtual teams need to adapt their working space from home, eliminate distractions, and have a working schedule to reach a high level of productivity.

3. Meetings

Even though the technology now allows for communication across cultures and countries, scheduling meetings might be a challenge many virtual teams are facing now. As virtual teams are made of international people, each working from its own country and time zone, finding a time when everyone is available is difficult.

However, online meetings are the only viable option right now for virtual teams to meet and communicate "face-to-face". They are a great way of keeping the team united and cohesive, say experts from online assignment help on leadership and team membership topics.

4. Managing Tasks

Managing tasks is one of the nine greatest challenges virtual teams have to face now. Before face-to-face meetings were conducted to discuss the progress towards the team's goals, delegate tasks, and set deadlines, now all these need to be done online.

Even though virtual meetings can be organized, following the progress of the team becomes increasingly difficult to be done in remote work. There are project management software and apps that allow teams to organize their work efficiently when working remotely.

5. Response Time Slows

Working remotely comes with the flexibility of organizing your schedule however you want. But sometimes this flexibility is misunderstood by virtual teams and this could lead to conflicts and an efficiency decrease. Some team members organize their working schedules according to other plans they have but this can slow the response time.

When working in a team, communication and collaboration are essential because many tasks depend on each other and team members need to share ideas and support colleagues. But what happens when the working schedule is not the same for every virtual team member? The response time slows down and so do collaboration and progress.

6. Communication Differences

When everyone is working in the same office, communication is done easily. But when people are working in virtual teams, communication is more difficult to do. This also interferes with communication preferences. While some people prefer e-mails, others communicate easier through an audio call.

These differences in communication can halt the collaboration of virtual team members. This is why it’s important to have a time slot when every team member is available and all issues can be solved.

7. Lack of Personal Connection

Some people are more introverted, while others are more extroverted. You cannot be just introverted or just extrovert, but a combination of these two. Either way, talking with people and being around them can boost your mood and supply you with the energy and motivation you need.

When working in a virtual team, this is difficult to achieve. As every team member works from his own space, coffee, or lunch breaks do not happen anymore. And this lack of personal connection can make the feelings of loneliness, sadness, and anxiety intensify, which will negatively affect the productivity and efficiency of virtual teams.

8. Suspicion and Distrust

As virtual teams do not face-to-face meet anymore, there is enough room for suspicion and distrust to appear. This is especially the case of virtual teams that do not communicate effectively. When a team member needs the input of a colleague who does not respond, he might come to think that he is working more than others.

Working in a virtual team does not have the same transparency as an official one, but this can easily be solved with the appropriate tools. Project management tools help virtual teams organize their tasks better and also follow the progress done by each member. Transparency can solve the problem of distrust and suspicion which can negatively affect the way a team member communicates and collaborates.

9. Not Having a Clear Structure

Lack of communication and structure can negatively affect the way a virtual team works. The lack of structure is one of the greatest challenges virtual teams need to face because it can make the workflow chaotic. And this will leave the team confused and not knowing what to do. It is important to know that the procedures and processes within the team are clearly defined and that everyone is on the same page.

Conclusion

As many people have started working online due to the world pandemic, the challenges posed by working in a virtual team are greater. Many people were ready to work remotely, while others were negatively affected by this change of scenery.

Some of the greatest challenges that virtual teams need to face are the lack of efficient communication, structure, and personal connection. At the same time, some virtual teams might lack the necessary tools to ensure good collaboration and workflow. There might also be a decrease in productivity which slows down the response time and the collaboration.

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TechGlobeX: Top 9 Virtual Teams Challenges and Solutions for Businesses
Top 9 Virtual Teams Challenges and Solutions for Businesses
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