LAST UPDATED ON October 14, 2020

Best Practices For Virtual Team Communication

By understanding the mechanics behind virtual team communication, you can wipe out a lot of the roadblocks of using this type of workforce.

Telecommunication and virtual team communication are part of the new wave of work environments.

This goes beyond self-service portals and other similar areas to the point that the bulk of a daily workload is actually done remotely or in a virtual environment.

We’ve covered in the past some of the benefits of using a virtual team for your small business, but now the time has come to get into the nuts and bolts of virtual team communication. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to ensure things run smoothly.


Virtual Team Communication Pain Points

One mistake that people make is thinking that the technology and platforms they use are automatically going to improve their virtual team communication overnight. Studies have shown that the bulk of the time, success in these areas is more established on how said technology is used. This means knowing how to establish best practices ahead of time.

This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Say that you invest in any one given virtual team communication platform. Every single person on your team probably has a different mastery of said platform, as well as different communication habits. If it helps, try and compare this to the makeup of a general in-person office. Everyone can think of that co-worker or employee who sometimes doesn’t report issues until they are too far gone. There’s also the other extreme—communicating every single minor issue that pops up to the point of inefficiency. With virtual team communication, this can be even more aggravating, hence the need for best practices to try and keep things uniform.


Improving Your Virtual Team Communication

One key thing that you want to do when it comes to virtual team communication is be very explicit early on about tasks and processes. In-person, some small business owners try to position their jobs as more of a role, and then fill in the parameters of that role as time goes on and needs change. This doesn’t work for virtual teams. As a result, when trying to communicate a task that needs to be done, the first thing that you should be thinking about is about the basics of task design as well as the processes to execute them. Another good idea is to try and do reviews after the fact to see  how your explanations were interpreted and where you can improve.

Another good thing you want to do with your virtual team communication is, even if you keep the lines open, try to keep superfluous conversations to a minimum. Everyone has a memory of a meeting that ate up valuable time while serving little purpose, and the same applies to virtual team communication. Try to be as efficient as possible when sending out emails or scheduling virtual meetings.

One of the best assets you can have here is creating a sort of virtual team communication charter. This is basically a set of guidelines on what you expect from team communication and what tool is the best for what circumstance. For example, setting a clear demarcation for what is worthy of an email vs what requires a Skype chat will save time, energy, and frustration for your team.

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