Collaborative Work Management Guide
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What Is Virtual Team Collaboration?

Virtual team collaboration means using online collaboration tools to plan, execute, and track ongoing projects with team members, whether working in the same office or in different locations. 

Effective and productive virtual team collaboration is highly dependent on using the right collaboration platforms and tools. From planning meetings to approving deliverables, these tools streamline the collaborative work process by organizing, storing, and securing files, documents, and conversations for team members to access easily.

Challenges of virtual team collaboration

It's important to note that virtual team collaboration faces challenges, too, just like offline collaboration. When not executed with care, virtual team collaboration can reinforce bad practices just as much as it can create good ones. 

Establishing processes and policies for virtual team collaboration is crucial to achieving success and delivering successful projects. Challenges in virtual team collaboration include: 

  • Managing work with collaborators across multiple, conflicting time zones
  • Communication mishaps 
  • A lack of cultural understanding when working across cultures
  • Technical glitches, e.g., being unable to connect to an important video-conferencing meeting
  • Feelings of isolation in teams that rarely meet in person
  • Smartphone distractions, e.g., social media notifications

Virtual team collaboration guidelines

To overcome some of these challenges, here are a few virtual team collaboration guidelines:

  1. Define your work systems: Decide exactly how your teams would collaborate. Note the collaboration apps you'd use, times team members are online, and other critical details to ensure smooth collaboration.
  2. Create communication processes: Team members may have different communication styles, but a virtual team must have standard rules on sharing and storing information so no important updates or instructions are lost or overlooked. 
  3. Be clear about project deliverables: Provide precise task descriptions and other details to ensure the quality of work from all team members is up to standard and ready for delivery. 
  4. Establish accountability measures: Create accountability measures to ensure remote team members are aware of the standards and remain committed to contributing high-quality work within the expected timeframe.
  5. Curate your collaboration tools and tech stack: Carefully curate your virtual team collaboration tools to ensure your team can stick with your proven processes without switching to new tools as the team grows. For example, select a premium project management software like Wrike, which makes it easy to scale your teams and manage international operations without any hassle.
Further reading
article

What Is an Enterprise Collaboration System?

article

What Are Remote Collaboration Best Practices?

blog post

The Complete Guide to Cloud Collaboration in Project Management

article

What Are the Advantages of Online Collaboration?