In this current scenario many of us find ourselves suddenly part of a virtual team. If you have not worked in one, then it is not easy to get used to.
Having a virtual team meeting is totally different from having a face-to-face meeting. This YouTube video demonstrates some of the difficulties quite clearly.
So what is the solution?
Virtual Teams, even more than co-located teams need to have ground rules and communicate better. A great way to start is to come up with a Team Charter together - together being the key word - where it is laid out, how the team will engage, which meetings to be held when, are we having computers open and mobiles on, are we sitting in coffee shops etc.
Another few great ideas that I am picking from discussions with clients and colleagues are:
1. A daily huddle - have a 15min meeting every day, where you brief each other on
- what you are working on
- what your issues are - just mention them and say with whom you will meet afterwards to resolve them
- whether you will be available the whole day
- whether you had a major lesson learned
- share creative ideas how to make working from home work out
2. Daily individual catch up - talk to each team member to see how they are doing with their work and how they are coping getting used to remote work
3. Be available for your team, even to talk about personal problems. Often just having someone you can call prevents these from becoming overwhelming
4. Have a group whatsapp - again with ground rules
5. Have fun together, share some jokes, tell each other about the things you do with your family to make this work, how you exercise etc.
This article below has a few more ideas. Just remember it is written for a scenario when you can actually build a virtual team from scratch. Our current scenario, where we are forced into becoming virtual over night, is different in some areas.