When words are not enough, modern communicators can now resort to emoticons.
After all, research shows that just 7 percent of the total communication we use is the spoken word.
For expressing every emotion, nothing works better than an emoji :-).
Media and even business communication, especially among virtual work teams, relies on the online and written text messages. With changing times, come new methods of expressing one’s self.
Understanding how virtual communication works is another ball game altogether.
With a programmer in LA, a project manager in Vancouver and a bookkeeping expert in Houston, your virtual team is a real asset when it comes to uniting people from different walks of life and various parts of the world.
In the absence of facial expressions, signals like voice modulation and body language, virtual communication needs to be designed to overcome limitations and add to the meaning.
Here’s how you can make it better, and build the trust you need to create an ace remote team and get the most out of your virtual assistant.
Powerful Visuals To Make Your Point
If you seek to communicate with a virtual assistant whose based in India and you are connecting from New York, the technology could bring you closer.
When F2F communication is limited, try virtual conference halls to ease the impasse. Video conferencing tools like Zoom can prove handy.
Don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face interactions, even and especially if you are leveraging digital technologies to communicate with your virtual team.
Work Around Time Zones
Another important and essential ingredient of communicating effectively and building trust in remote teams is to respect time differences.
Time zones are simply tough to manoeuvre without planning in place.
Night and day timings can vary across the globe and your team members need to find a common time and meeting ground to overcome this.
As a general rule, build a team where the widest time disparity in the zones is around 12 hours.
This can prevent people from missing out on each other’s inputs simply because it’s nighttime in Arizona and early morning at Delhi.
Micromanagement Does Not Work
What are you communicating with your virtual team, if you micromanage?
In any office, C-Suite executives and managers follow team members in terms of incremental progress from emails to hours worked. Virtual teams work differently.
You need self-motivated independent remote workers who will not let you down.
Micromanaging destroys trust and stifles individual initiative.
The aim should be to manage the results instead, using important milestones to manage success and effectiveness.
Effective Workplace Communication Tools
IM, group chats and video conferencing offer near-instant communication, solving the communication problem and reach a group decision.
THere are so many tools for virtual communication that can help you to get the point across.
Notable examples include Asana, Skype, Trello and Slack.
Make communication easy and hassle-free with these tools for joining the conversation or tracking the status of any task.
Breaking the Ice: Why Rapport Building Matters
Building trust is tough for any team. But with virtual teams, a whole new level of problems arise.
Few members have the opportunity to interact on a personal basis.
Virtual teams are project-oriented and need special efforts when it comes to rapport building.
This is because the teams vary in diversity and communication patterns can be different depending on whether you come from a society that prizes individualism or a collectivist culture.
Power differentials also vary across cultures, with some countries prizing informal job titles, while others laying stress on hierarchies.
Building bonds with an international team requires a lot of rapport building.
Using team time to create social capital and build from there is important.
Small personal touches can pay big dividends later.
Team calls can be an opportunity to build trust by establishing connections through common interests and motivations.
Given that a majority of the modern workforce is opting for flexible jobs and remote work, the days of logging office hours may be over, but the need for connecting was never greater.
Creating a Shared Sense of Purpose
Working towards a shared sense of purpose can unite teams from across the globe.
Team members should work to align together when it comes to strategy-building, communicating and collaborating.
Establishing and increasing productivity as the team achieves its goals will follow.
When the end of the business day varies across time zones, timelines take a backseat.
Instead, benchmarks need to be established for measuring performance.
The goal should, therefore, be to promote a non-compromising attitude towards emails or deadlines alike.
Responses to requests need to be complete rather than just timely, Consistent timing, quality and interactions build trust within the team.
Teams work best when superlative levels of performance are pursued and delivered on.
If emojis are changing the way business is done, virtual teams are revolutionizing instant communication.
Welcome to the world of the VA, where on-demand assistance offers every advantage and you can trust skilled, trained and qualified experts with a wealth of experience to offer exceptional outcomes.
Building trust and communicating or connecting requires initiative, motivation and persistence. But with the expertise displayed by the virtual team once it gets going, it really does pay off!