With remote work becoming standard practice, team leaders need to rethink their communication strategies. Virtual teams tend to be culturally diverse and studies show they have the advantage of being more innovative and able to easily move quickly out of their comfort zones; but bringing them together to collaborate can be challenging. As globalization increasingly requires people to work across borders, innovation relies more on cross-boundary collaboration and cooperation, therefore instilling a need for organizations to break down silos and improve communication. These are key for virtual teams to succeed.
There are, however, many factors to consider when bringing together virtual teams – technology barriers, time zones, and different cultures, languages and values, to name a few. So, what does it take to have a fast, flexible, and creative team in the age of digital transformation? With over ten years of experience managing a diverse team – the majority of which is spread across Europe – Speexx’ Beate Gallist tells us more about her experiences working with virtual teams, and shares some tips for improving communication.
‘’Looking back at our history, at first, we were all working from the same location. But over the years the development team grew and spread around between Munich, Madrid and Paris. We knew from the beginning that a constant flow of communication would be vital to our team’s success – because if you don’t see each other at the coffee machine every day, there might be things that you are missing. It’s often the unplanned, face-to-face interactions – like lunch with a colleague – that result in tremendous value, like unprompted creative sparring or sharing important information that might not have been effectively communicated at a structured ‘official’ meeting.’’
Below are four best practices to consider when working to improve communication for virtual teams: