Collaboration, Digitization

How to get the best out of virtual teams

Andreas Eichhorn04/02/2020

Working from home is still somewhat of a controversial issue. Many millennials already consider it part of daily life, whereas in conservative businesses, people are still rather skeptical about it. Especially in light of the current coronavirus outbreak, this discrepancy becomes glaringly obvious. While some companies deal rather well with the requirement to have employees work from home, others are simply overwhelmed by this development. Especially teamwork among colleagues becomes quite challenging in such a situation: no more office grapevine, no informal chats while making coffee, no more joking with coworkers.

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Video conferences are more efficient than phone calls

Under these difficult circumstances, keeping up productivity and boosting people’s motivation is a real challenge which calls for new concepts. That’s why it’s important to find ways to exchange ideas in virtual teams rather than in the usual office setting. Given that traditional meetings at the office can no longer take place, video conferences provide the best alternative and can be organized using collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams.  Thanks to the use of webcams, colleagues can see each other, which provides for more familiarity and a certain feeling of closeness. Since you look into each other’s eyes when holding a video conference, it’s easier for everyone to stay focused even during long meetings. In case of traditional conference calls, however, participants tend to lose their train of thought.

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Virtual teams require new management methods

As far as team management is concerned, new approaches are required: Whereas information might have previously been exchanged primarily during team meetings, it is doubtful to what extent these meetings are actually helpful for virtual teams. In order to make the exchange of information between employees working from home more efficient, we have combined agile methods such as “Objectives and Key Results” (OKR), SCRUM and Kanaban - and have obtained surprisingly favorable results.

Would you like to know more about our approach? In our free webinar “Digital Team Management: Working Efficiently and Productively from Home”, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Register now, as the number of participants is limited.

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Author:
Andreas Eichhorn
Senior Project Manager & Business Development Manager | COSMO CONSULT