Industry thought

The RemoteReps Guide to Building an Effective Virtual Team

Posted by Alex Rossman
Mar 15, 2021

2020 introduced a new era for work teams. The days of meeting in physical conference rooms and thinking spaces are behind most people, and a future of Zoom rooms is ahead. While this new routine may seem relatively simple, it does bring about a new set of issues for your virtual teams.

Some people just aren’t geared to communicate and work without face-to-face interaction. That means you have to fill your remote teams with the correct kinds of people, or you’ll be facing significant losses in productivity. But if you do get that formula right, you’ll join the happy ranks of companies who’ve seen up to 25% increases in productivity!

If that sounds like a good plan to you, here’s our simple guide to effective remote and virtual team building!

  1. Figure out what kind of virtual team you need. There are many different types of remote teams, and you need to know which one your company needs before you start building it.
    • Network teams generally bring together worldwide experts to share their knowledge and recommendations on a specific project. As each person’s role ends, they leave the group and may be replaced by another expert for the next step. The team exists until the problem is solved or the project is completed.
    • Parallel teams are small groups created by workers already in your company. They will band together for short periods to solve problems or advise on processes they are familiar with while still performing their daily duties.
    • Project development teams function similarly to network teams because they also bring experts together from around the world as needed. However, this group works to actually create and develop products or systems, not just give advice.
    • Work or functional teams are comprised of people with the same job that work individually for the group. For example, your customer service workers are a team unit that works toward customer satisfaction. This is a continuing team that may bring on new members from time to time.
    • Service teams include members from multiple time zones that may never actually meet. However, they all do their timed part to complete an ongoing task, such as 24-hour customer service.
    • Action teams are essential but (usually) less used. Each member of an action team may have a particular job in the company but is always ready to respond immediately to a problem. When problems happen, they drop everything and become a task force until the issue is resolved.
    • Management teams bring your leadership together from all locations to discuss strategies and planning for seamless, consistent workflows.
  1.  Once you’ve identified the type or types of teams your company needs, be selective in recruiting for those teams. During your interviews, consider how that worker would fit as a team member in the group you need and look for team-centric skills such as:
    • Good communication skills
    • Expertise in applicable areas
    • Quick response times
    • Team spirit
    • Acceptance of the work culture
    • Willingness to learn
    • Discipline
    • Time management
    • Unique perspective and critical thinking
  1. Don’t compromise. The right people for your team are out there! With the advancements of virtual technology, you literally have the world to choose from. So don’t settle for “filling a spot.” Be thorough in your search, and find a group of people who will work great together. When you find the right group, they’ll maximize efficiency, develop profitable solutions, and be happy enough to stay around long term to keep up the excellent work.
  2.  Set clear and early expectations. The best way to help your teams function effectively is to be very clear on each person’s role. Be sure to define work hours, processes, goals, and points of contact from day one so that everyone is on the same page. If your new recruits need specific training for their new role, be sure to provide appropriate remote learning resources and training to help them adapt. Especially when your groups are working from a distance, it’s safer to give too much information than not enough.

Correctly building your team takes work and dedication, but the payoffs for your company will be huge! Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a team that works better than you thought possible.

And remember, once you’ve figured out step #1, you can always outsource steps #2 and 3 to a remote hiring company, like RemoteReps. We eliminate the hassle out of your employee search by bringing top talent from around the world right to you. We take care of the “hunt” and vetting process in advance to immediately provide you with the right people for the job.

Contact us today to learn more about building a virtual bookkeeping, customer service, or sales-based team with us! Call +1 (855)-311-REPS.