Tips for Virtual Teams

I’m here today to talk about a work practice that affects every student, every staff member, and every faculty member, and that’s virtual teams can be a challenge misunderstandings missteps hurt feelings can be more likely, and people need virtual it like stress or communicate via email. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Attention to communication accountability and serendipity event can increase the engagement and effectiveness of your team. 

Here are four research-based tips that can help your team be as effective as possible.

Tip one for using the zoom, use the speaker view or the gallery view to track, who has done speaking. Google has found that equality and turn-taking is the one thing that makes teams really successful. So remember to Invite in the people who you notice have not spoken yet.

Accountability and follow-through is critical in teams. If you’re using the zoom, you can use the chat function to have everyone at the end of the meeting record what their next steps are. That way, they know what they’re planning to do before for the next meeting, and they can see how it fits with everyone else’s tasks.

The third tip is something that goes back to kind of the kindergarten show and tell, but I call it Ask and Tell. This is a time when we don’t know a lot of what’s going on in other people’s lives, they’re working from home, what are the challenges, what are the small wins and workaround, they’ve discovered. So, asking how people are, what wins they’ve had, what challenges they had, it’s going to be important, but equally important is that everyone’s willing to step up and tell and advocate for their perspective. What’s going on in their life, what their challenges are and what they would like to see happen in their team. An important part of asking and telling is remembering to listen; affirm what you’ve heard, and then figure out how to brainstorm solutions to challenges, or share great ideas that your team members have so, they can be institutionalized within your team.

TIP # 4

Schedule Casual Conversations Or Serendipity

This is serendipity isn’t usually planned, but in the zoom world, we need to plan this. So you can have water cooler conversation, lunches, coffee hours, pictures. You can even use zoom elevators, where everybody meets at a certain time, and then put this up into random elevators or zoom rooms, so that they can have this casual conversation with people that they don’t normally have in the office. These opportunities for small talk and talk with where we call consequential strangers or acquaintances, it’s very important for people’s emotionally emotional well being. It also builds trust, and the trust you might need when your team hits roadblocks or has an unexpected events, that ability to respond with flexibility and keep going, something that’s really strong here at the University of Iowa is often built in those small moments of interaction.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips, and GOOD LUCK Virtual Teaming!