For starters, virtual team members aren’t always in the same country, let alone the same room. That’s why learning to communicate effectively and organize your team is key. But as a manager, how do you make sure your team is working together and shooting for the same goals? And as a team member, how do you make sure you’re productive and staying on task from your remote work space? These are all good questions, and we’re going to help you find the answers.
Virtual Team Organization Resources
Whether you’re working from home or a shared co-working office space, here are some books that can help you be get organized and be more productive:
- Organize Your Home Office for Success: Expert Strategies That Can Work For You, by Lisa Kanarek. This guide includes photographs and advice for creating a functional, inspirational and efficient home work space. Website: www.workingnaked.com
- Organizing From the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern. The author helps readers identify and develop an organizational system that suits specific needs, keeping individual habits and goals in mind. Website: www.juliemorgenstern.com
- Remote Workers Guide to Excellence, by Eryck K. Dzotsi. Specifically written for remote workers, this guide offers advice about everything from communication skills to logistics, and helps readers develop a daily routine. Website: www.goodreads.com/
Communication Resources for Your Remote Team
When virtual team members are able to write and communicate well, organizations save time and money. These books focus on the basics, and are good references for anyone who spends the bulk of their day in front of a keyboard.
- On Writing Well, by William Zinnser. A resource offering basic writing principles and fundamentals, helping readers learn to write about a variety of topics in an engaging, effective style. Website: http://www.williamzinsserwriter.com/
- Teams: Mastering Communication and Collaboration in the Digital Age, by Terri R. Kurtzberg. Detailing the science behind communicating online, the author explores cross-cultural environments, inspiring trust within teams, and collaboration within virtual settings.
- Virtual Teams: People Working Across Boundaries with Technology, Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps. The authors focus on organizational communication, structure and teamwork in this book that also includes case studies. Website: www.netage.com
Collaborating with the Right Technology
The bottom-line is that social, collaborative technologies are changing the way we work and collaborate. These tools are vital to building a collaborative culture. In fact, the business research firm McKinsey & Company released a report on Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Technologies, which touches on how collaborative technologies will change the speed and scale of how companies do business in the future. Our E-book, 10 Steps to Creating a Collaborative Culture, is a great resource for you to improve virtual team collaboration.
Resources for Managing Virtual Teams
Whether you’re an experienced virtual team manager, or you’re just learning the ropes, consider the following:
- A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams, by Yael Zofi. The author covers what she considers to be the top four areas of team success. They are: trust and accountability; communication; conflict management; and, deliverables. Website: www.yaelzofi.com
- Cultural Intelligence: A Guide to Working with People from Other Cultures, by Brooks Peterson. Written by an educator and cross-cultural trainer, this book offers advice for anyone who works internationally. Website: www.acrosscultures.com
- Building & Managing Virtual Teams: Five ways to Create a High Performance Culture for Remote Workers, by Chris Lema. With an emphasis on the manager’s role, Lema’s eBook offers basic advice for teams working on group projects. Website: www.chrislema.com
We have also provided a few resources on this topic on our blog. Check out our guide to managing virtual teams.
Additional Virtual Team Resources
Find an expert. If you need help managing a virtual team, consider hiring a consultant. Whether it’s in the form of a virtual team coach, or a consulting firm, you can benefit from a variety of services, including: management training; team building and coaching; decision-making strategies; goal assessment; project organization and structure; and tips for positive team communication skills. Research. If you’re wondering if telework is good for you or your company, take a look at this statistic-packed report, “The State of Telework in the U.S.: How Individuals, Businesses and Government Benefit,” by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish.
- The American Telecommuting Association. Website: www.yourata.com
- The Telework Advisory Group of WorldatWork – an association committed to advancing telework. Website: www.workingfromanywhere.org
- The Telework Coalition. Website: www.telcoa.org
What’s Your Favorite Virtual Team Resource?
Did we miss something? What is your go-to resource for keeping your virtual team running smoothly? We would love to add it to our collection – share it with us in the comments or add to our list.ly.