The rise of the internet has led to an increase in telecommuting jobs. This can be a great opportunity for people who are not physically able to work in person, or for those who want more flexibility with their time and schedule. However, it does require some adjustments in how you communicate with your team members. For example, if you’re working with someone on the other side of the world then they’ll likely be on “the other side” of daylight hours which means that your normal office hours will need adjusting. There’s also less face-to-face contact so emailing becomes even more important than ever before! So what do these changes mean? It means that you need to adapt so that virtual teams can function effectively and efficiently. Here are 5 communication best practices for virtual team building in Singapore.
1. Turn digital nudges into actionable items
If you’re not in the same room together it’s more likely that your virtual team will miss some of the odd comments or jokes that people make when they’re around each other. For example, maybe someone makes a joke and everyone laughs but it’s not actually clear what the joke is. This can result in some confusion and then things just get lost. Ensure that you’re all on the same page by using humor and jokes to your advantage: So for virtual team building in Singapore, ask people to explain their own jokes or make comments that are more serious so that they don’t get confused for a joke. For example: “I don’t know if that’s a joke or not!”
This ensures that everyone knows what’s expected. If it’s truly a joke then you can all laugh and move on, but if it’s not then you now have an actionable item to discuss.
2. Take advantage of digital tools
It may seem obvious but for a virtual team to work it needs the right tools. Allocating an online collaboration tool is a good way to get your team together digitally, especially if you’re going to be discussing something that requires back-and-forth communication. The aim should be that people don’t use these tools as a means to avoid talking in person or over the phone. That said, it’s always good to have a couple of different tools at your disposal.
You also might want to think about any other digital tools you can use. For example, time zone differences are a common issue for virtual teams in Asia because of the countries’ different time zones. Although you will soon get used to it, having automatic meeting scheduling tools – to make sure both parties are available at the same time – is always useful.
3. Provide regular status updates on projects
Status updates are key in virtual team building in Singapore because you want everyone on the same page while also keeping them interested and motivated. This is where some creativity comes into play: keeping people up-to-date could be as simple as a weekly email, or you could send out an audio file every week to make things more interesting. Wherever possible, try to add some visuals because it’s much easier for people to understand information when they can see it.
4. Encourage team members to interact in person
It sounds obvious but if you’re always working remotely it’s easy to forget about the people on your team. It doesn’t matter how creative and innovative you think you are: everyone needs a break and needs some social interaction once in a while. Encourage your virtual team members to meet up outside of work hours or go for lunch; this will help them bond as well as boost morale.
5. Use video calls for brainstorms
For virtual team building to work, you need your team to be able to express their ideas fully and comfortably. If you’re brainstorming, don’t rely on emoticons alone; try making a video call instead. This way everyone can see the people they’re working with as well as their facial expressions, which is usually a much better way of judging the quality of ideas.
Not many people consider virtual team building when they’re trying to think up team bonding activities, but it’s actually one of the best ways to build trust and make friends with your colleagues in Singapore or across the world. The key is using communication effectively: if you’re using the right tools and encouraging your team to connect, virtual team building in Singapore can be just as fun and productive as face-to-face interactions.
There are a lot of different ways to build a virtual team. But with the help of these 5 communication best practices, you can create an environment that makes your remote employees feel more at home and closer to their coworkers. Have any experience working remotely or as part of a virtual team? Share in the comments below!