Looking for creative ways to improve your online team management skills and help employees connect on a deeper level? No matter how far apart they are, the right mix of strategies and tools can help bring teams together in genuine and productive ways. Here’s everything you need to know about the best remote team management practices as well as the number one tool you’ll need to achieve your management goals. 

Understanding the basics of online team management

Most project management global team challenges can be resolved by doing the following:

  • Set the tone. Aim for a mix of friendly, productive, and personable. For example, try adding a virtual “water cooler” space to your digital tools so participants in remote meetings can have an opportunity to chat at least once before working together. 
  • Establish the right environment. The best way to build a positive work culture for your team is to empower them to make more independent decisions. Also, focus on overall team goals to eliminate competitiveness on an individual level. 
  • Actively facilitate community. Online team management is all about bringing people together, no matter where they are located. This takes time and careful planning. 

Now that you know the core principles of online team management, let’s talk about concrete ways to implement these ideas.

How to manage virtual teams in project management

Regardless of your team’s size, history, or locations, you can use the following suggestions to help team members bond with one another in digital spaces. 

1. Create a space for daily rapport. 

This is often referred to as creating remote water cooler moments. Simple activities like weekly team check-ins (to celebrate wins, big and small) and virtual team activities for adults, as well as special interest sub-channels (for things like podcast recommendations and fitness motivation groups), are easy to implement. For example, if you already use Slack, consider integrating it with the Wrike app to organize real-time project communications. 

2. Clearly define individual responsibilities and how each person contributes to the project as a whole. 

Use project management communication software to define and assign roles and individual tasks within each project. It’s especially motivating for employees to know how their work affects the big picture. It’s also necessary for everyone to see that opportunities and responsibilities are evenly distributed. 

3. Set clear expectations for performance.

When we say clear expectations, we mean transparency about what is required, when it must be done, and how everyone’s performance will be measured as a group. Also, make progress fully visible for all team members. They’ll be able to evaluate themselves against others and create a culture of accountability in their virtual workplace

4. Provide more opportunities for healthy debates.

This can mean anything from friendly sports rivalries to open forums on how to improve returning client satisfaction. As long as the exchange is respectful and focused, your team can bond over shared ideas. If certain employees dominate the conversation, feel free to directly ask quieter team members for their opinions on the topic. Small gestures like an invitation to speak will help everyone feel included. 

5. Pair up diverse team members. 

Allocate time for your employees to learn about cultures that are vastly different from their own. It’s interesting, educational, and also gives your team an opportunity to openly discuss cultural differences if or when they come up during projects. 

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to improve remote team management. But, if you plan to successfully execute any of these ideas, you’ll need one very important tool: project management and team collaboration software

Why use project management communication software?

In a nutshell, it helps leaders effectively improve the performance of virtual teams in project management. These tools allow users to lay the groundwork for business relationships to grow. They also provide practical benefits like better organization, higher team efficacy, and deeper opportunities for real human connection. 

For example, Wrike helps users collaborate better with international teams through features like master calendars, which accounts for multiple time zones, national holidays, and personal days. As simple as it sounds, having a system like this in place can make it easier for members to coordinate convenient meeting times amongst themselves even if they’re located on opposite ends of the globe. 

Team members can also learn about major celebrations in different parts of the world and celebrate each other’s personal wins like marriage, vacations, and family additions. 

Understated features like these can make a big difference when it comes to online team management. 

Project management communication software is the key to better online team management

Project management communication software is a digital oasis of shared interests and ideas. It fosters empathy for those whose experiences are not like our own and can solve major unspoken communication issues. Most importantly, it establishes trust in a group and individual level. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Give Wrike’s free trial a go and see for yourself.

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