The uncertainty of the coronavirus has impacted everyone. From businesses to individuals, no one is immune to the effects of the pandemic.
While it’s true that the world was slowly moving toward a virtual workspace, the sudden onset of the coronavirus put us on a fast track to it even before we could work out its kinks. As such, businesses and organizations face a set of new challenges as they transition to remote working.
Let’s take a look at the challenges of virtual workplaces and how organizations can overcome them.
Virtual workplaces lack informal everyday communication between co-located employees. The small talk next to the coffee station and the light chatter in the cafeteria are all experiences that are absent from virtual workplaces.
Additionally, the employees no longer have access to non-verbal cues and communication, such as an exasperated look from another employee or a smile of approval.
The lack of it all can lead to the employees feeling isolated, which hinders productivity and innovation. To combat this, a strong one-on-one relationship should be established between the managers and their team members to reduce feelings of isolation. Research shows that frequent communication can improve coordination and innovation in teams by 40 percent.
Virtual working breeds mistrust due to the simple reason that coworkers are unable to see what everyone else is doing. Trust is a vital component that holds a team together, and the lack of it can hamper the team’s productivity to a great extent.
Distrust can also lead to stereotyping coworkers as lazy and unresponsive, which can further lead to discontentment within the team.
Awareness of the team members’ contribution is a good way to build trust in a virtual workspace. The team leaders should set clear goals and expectations, specify and publicize individual roles and responsibilities and develop a strategy to communicate in a collaborative setting, so everyone is aware of what’s going on within the team.
This transparency builds a team’s belief that their colleagues are focused and competent, which will make them more supportive of each other.
Virtual teams aren’t too different from globally dispersed individuals working on the same project. This means that building cohesiveness requires more than just a joint email that calls the team ‘one big, happy family.’
It’s the responsibility of the team leader to create a unified and compelling direction. They must ensure that each individual is connected and working toward the team vision. But team spirit can’t be materialized overnight and has to be honed through everyday interactions and increased communication.
Research also shows that if a virtual team leader lets the members take responsibility for the team’s success by evaluating their performance and contribution, they can keep team spirits high.
If your organization needs more help to overcome any negativities in the virtual workspace, get in touch with Steve Gilliland!
The Hall of Fame motivational keynote speaker uses state-of-the-art virtual experiences to help organizations maintain a productive, diverse and inclusive workforce. “The theme EMERGE helped each of our operators to be more grateful, confident and determined,” said Bioclean Systems and Supply, Inc. after hiring Steve to present at their recent video conference.
The comedy motivational speaker wields humor to create customized virtual keynote experiences that unite people when they’re physically apart.