Virtual teams are commonplace in a WFH culture. We examined some tools to take the burden off the upper levels of management.
Virtual teams are the new normal. There is no getting around the fact that the days of office culture are behind us – at least for now. Up until the last two years or so, the remote team has depended on a handful of small sites, each offering varying degrees of quality video linking and meeting software. Now, a global boom has seen companies vying to be first place.
What does this mean for the modern remote team? It means that there is a plethora of opportunities out there to help you manage in a WFH environment.
The Problems of Working from Home
The WFH culture is serving us well now, but we are still in an in-between space. In this corporate grey area, employees more used to the office are being kept at home and asked to work remotely.
Meetings are conducted via vide and microphone, deals are done via telephone call, emails, memos, and projects are all collaborated on via Cloud, Google Docs and One Drive. The fact that we have technology enough to do this is a marvellous thing – but it’s not without its drawbacks.
Some of the main problem’s employers cite about working from home include:
- Loneliness – your employees have had limited social interaction. This leads to loneliness and isolation, which causes low morale.
- Technology – internet usage was blamed on stretched network capacity as everyone switched to WFH at once (Forbes, April 2020).
- Time Management swiftly becomes a problem among remote employees.
- Disorganisation, collaborative differences, and difficulty maintaining a health work/life balance, were all given as other issues with working remotely.
As managers and employers of these remote/virtual teams, the onus is on us to do something about it.
The 5 Best Virtual Team Management Tools of 2021
Here are our top tips on management tools that are going to be a big help in the coming months.
1 – Education
Before we go into specific apps and software systems, we want to take a minute to appreciate that this is the perfect moment to study up on our management skills. Remote Team Management courses can be done online and will arm you with the information you need to help increase production in a way that won’t tax your team.
2 – Zoom
Top of every firm’s list of video communication suites should be the Zoom package. They offer competitive rates for unlimited use of software that can handle higher capacities than the servers can. Zoom meetings can be used for free if meetings are kept to a 40-minute maximum.
Out of all the tech firms on the market right now, they have grown the most in the last year. If you need video provision solutions and you don’t want to fork out for Skype Business, this is the next best thing.
3 – Slack
Messaging platform Slack has become a successful addition to the business messaging market. Slack is an essential tool for managing your remote team because it allows ease of collaboration. This service has calling, file share, ease of flow in conversations, and comes with a whole array of compatible apps that can be run almost like mods within the program.
Slack is favoured by nearly three quarters of a million firms because it lets all departments communicate with one another directly. It makes the flow of business smoother, while simultaneously allowing management to keep a close eye on each area of the corporation they turn their attention to.
4 – Google Drive
Cloud storage has never been easier to access from multiple points so that teams can work together in real time. Share spreadsheets, copy documents into Google Docs and share the links, and use all of Google’s features, integrated into one place.
Google files can be accessed from any devices, anywhere in the world. You can create presentations, you can build templates, you can manage any aspects of online business that you would manage from an office. It’s a nifty piece of software with the bonus of being Google technology… so you know it has staying power.
5 – Kickidler
This employee monitoring software is one of many new technological innovations which are emerging in this area. Understandably, employers want to make sure that employees are working their designated hours. Software like this, monitors how much screen activity, productivity, and time spent idle, that each person uses.
It seems callous, but this is just a new way of gaining analytical data. If you’re not intruding into their personal lives, monitoring how much time your employees spend working while you are paying them is nothing new.
The Softer Approach to Remote Team Management
No matter which of these tools you find invaluable, keep in mind that everyone deserves a softer approach right now. Times are hard and people are under pressure they have never had to endure for long. A positive, healthy working environment is all that is keeping some of them sane right now. Be gentle and use your newfound team management skills wisely in the days and weeks to come.