Virtual Team Communication & Top Challenges

Published On : 01 February 2021

When it comes to learning necessary social skills, maintaining effective communication is one ability that ranks at the topmost position in the indefinite list. Yet, we generally don't put a lot of thought and effort into upscaling and enhance communication skills because it is a never-ending practice.

The current landscape demands the companies to use digital support from skilled professionals who can help build robust virtual programs to keep them connected at all hours. And, lacking such tactical and communicational adroitness in this networking and interaction world means that the candidate has chosen to remain static throughout his/ her life.

Even companies are now exploring new probabilities to keep everyone connected without any hindrance. This presents them with new opportunities to empower the company professionals and upskill in these technologies and maintain the world-class state of communication during any and every unprecedented situation. We are thriving in an age where modern technologies have redefined communication dynamics with their new possibilities. One such off-spring of communication is Virtual Communication.

What is Virtual Communication?

Virtual communication is any communication mode that utilises technology – audio and video-based communication with members who are not physically present in one room, and our joining the conversation remotely. The best-known examples of virtual communication are video conferencing, webcasting/ webinars, e-learning, etc.

What is the Outcome?

Communication is the bane of any thriving virtual or physical workplace. Hence, effective virtual communication provides the ability to communicate more efficiently and quickly. A successful and effective virtual communication outcome includes a message that is clearly sent via technology and accurately received by another person. As part of our focus on developing, members need to take the full-initiative in managing virtual meetings or events.

What are the Requirements?

Leading virtual communication requires strong management skills to pull things together and create a productive team. It enables us to become multi-faceted software engineers with a deeper understanding of virtual and digital applications, and interdependence.
Now that we know what Virtual Communication lets discuss some of the challenges faced by virtual teams while asserting these activities. These challenges mainly come with two facets that are expected and manageable.

Challenges of Virtual Communication:

Know What You're Doing:

Communication is not just essential but even more challenging for simulated teams. The very first and most important thing to understand is that there is a significant gap in interactive contact and workplace engagement. Hence, make sure that the employees understand the expected level of communication when someone encounters a problem, welcome collaboration, and brainstorm just as you would with a physical team.

Understanding Different Communication Styles:

In the absence of facial expression, body language and speech sounds, the underlying meaning is not always apparent as everyone has different communication preferences when some prefer to be reached via email, while others do best with instant messaging.

Lack of Systematic Structure:

There needs to be effective handling of the entire team's communication style for which the hosts need to create a structure that supports collaboration. Much like any other communication form, a lack of defined structure can put a virtual team at its own disadvantages. Hence, organisers need to continually keep reviewing the process and procedures to be as productive as possible. We suggest conducting a workflow analysis before the meeting/ event as it gives you a heads-up and method of online workflow that supports the process and has clearly defined standards.

Use of Right Tools & Skills:

Keeping things up-to-date gives you an upper hand on your situation. This can be in terms of brushing up your skills and also your tool. Even if you never see a person in your real life, the communication should be as seamless as meeting them in person. Using updated tools and skills can also add up to be presentable. Also, many online devices allow teammates to collaborate with ease since a single tool will not work for everyone. By investing in the right set of tools and skills, the companies boost their ability to deliver outstanding services from any given location. So, make sure that everything is scheduled and planned out from keeping technology updated to upskilled employees.

Latency:

It's also good practice to have set business hours when teammates must be online — keeping the most efficient workflows possible means maintaining semi-regular business hours. At some point in the daily schedule, there has to be a certain period when everyone's available to communicate.
Slow response times are also the most common challenge when it comes to leading virtual teams. Any disruption or slow response is the biggest drawback for virtual communication, so you make sure that you have checked everything around you for a no-errors meeting. Each member should join the team understanding that their flexible work location does come with some structure.

Here are some key takeaways/ tips for effective virtual communication:

1. Be Patient & Sincere:

Virtual communication is an activity that needs patience and sincerity. Leaping too quickly or discontinuing your practice can stunt your growth and skills.

2. Word Up:

Communicate with your team members about your new ideas, future goals and ambitions towards the company. Growing in your space will be easier internally where you've built trust and a reputation.

3. Expand your expertise:

Volunteer to take on work outside of the swim-lane that gives you additional experience. While there is value in being a domain expert, it is valuable to gain experience in several different roles to broaden your understanding early in your career.

4. Help others:

The most important thing to learn here is helping others because you can gain the best when you look outside yourself and serve others.

Wrap:

If you can create a system that supports the entire team, everyone can succeed regardless of their locations. Following the above given virtual communication tips will help you prevent all kinds of delays and setbacks from happening in the future. That brings us to an end of this read. Do let us know what you think about it and keep following this space for more such updates.

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