6 Problems With Virtual Project Teams (And Solutions)

Ashley Halsey
4 min read
August 11, 2020
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When you hire remote workers, you’re trusting that they’ll get their work done on time, and they’ll get in touch with you if anything goes wrong. However, having a remote team can be easier said than done. In fact, a lot of challenges can occur within the team, whether you’re aware of it or not. Need help managing your virtual team? Here are six problems that can occur in your remote team, as well as solutions that can help you be ready for such issues.

  1. Not Updating Communication Methods
  2. Miscommunication
  3. Very Long Meetings
  4. People Multitasking During Meetings
  5. Work And Life Are Off Balance
  6. Not Enough Engagement
  7. Conclusion

1. Not Updating Communication Methods

Email is growing more obsolete when it comes to communication.” says Summer Fisher, a project manager at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. “In fact, it takes longer to email someone than it does to chat on the phone or simply walk over to their desk. In that case, you’ll need to find a communication that’s not only convenient but also effective. For example, people have taken to using apps like Facebook’s Facetime and Zoom, or any other instant chatting app on the market, to keep in touch with people better. If a chatting app isn’t applicable in your company, or if one or a few employees don’t have the equipment for such apps, then make sure that other means of communication are available and consistent.

2. Miscommunication

Miscommunication in a virtual team may occur when you put together the following factors:

  • Cultural differences
  • Language barriers
  • Working with different generations
  • Carelessness

You may want to ask for clarification in these areas. In other words, educate yourself on who your remote workers are based on the above factors. Never assume that everyone will understand one message with one format. And, if necessary, follow-up with your workers in writing after you give out the initial message.

3. Very Long Meetings

When it comes to virtual meetings, you don’t have to take up much of your workers’ time and attention span with a really long meeting.

First, you should give your workers a bit to settle into the call/conference. Then, keep the meeting at 30 minutes or less, or else you’ll lose your workers’ attention. Plus, make sure that all of your remote workforces knows when to tune into your video conference – keep in mind the different time zones that they might be in. Finally, test out your technology in advance, so that everything is working properly.

4. People Multitasking During Meetings

In addition, you have to make sure that your remote workers are paying attention to you during virtual meetings. Multitasking may cause your workers to be distracted, while the meeting is still going.

The best thing to do is to stick with your agenda. Make sure that you engage with your workers by asking them questions, and allowing them to make any suggestions or offer feedback. In these ways, people are more focused, rather than simply listening and not participating.

5. Work And Life Are Off Balance

“For virtual teams, it can be hard to maintain a balance between work and life,” says Jill Jones, a leadership blogger at Draft beyond and Last minute writing. "Sometimes, people rather be watching Netflix than deal with the day’s work. And at other times, they may want to get started on work, so that they can have more time to tend to errands and chores."

So, what can virtual teams do to keep a balance in work and life?

“Virtual teams need to have boundaries in place, so that workers don’t need to work after hours unless necessary, and they can get compensated for the work that’s been done,” adds Jones. “Plus, all workers need to be okay with the amount of work that they’re doing, so that it doesn’t interfere with their off-hours.”

6. Not Enough Engagement

Engagement should be the heart and soul of your meetings – virtual or in-person. Here are some good ideas on how to engage with your remote team:

  • Photo sharing
  • Sharing personal stories
  • Fun games and quizzes
  • Teamwork exercises
  • Other icebreakers

You can also check out online resources that specialize in leading and engaging teams if you’re looking for more inspiration. These activities tell your workers that they matter.

Conclusion

Having a virtual team can be productive and beneficial for your business. Just keep in mind your remote workforce, since their contributions are vital to production. As you work with your team through effective communication, you’ll all work together and be ready for any obstacles that come your way.

Author's Bio: Ashley Halsey writes for Assignment writer and Gumessays.com. As a professional writer, she has managed many writing projects nationwide. In her spare time, she loves to travel, read her favorite books, and spend time with her two children.

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