Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams

As virtual teams become ever more the norm for big and small business alike, a certain trend is emerging: A profile of what makes these teams a success. And aside from market fluctuations, a great CEO at the helm, or a case of right place right time, the one thing driving the success of remote-first organisations is a certain set of characteristics that virtual teams need to possess.

They are outwardly focused

The first characteristic of any good virtual team is the ability to think outwardly. And this doesn’t relate to the ability to look outside the box, though that is a valuable characteristic in itself. Thinking outwardly means understanding one’s space in the overall eco-system: Knowing the landscape of the market, how your business operates within it, and understanding what their contribution means to the overall success of your company—and the team driving it.

They help everybody on the team achieve common goals

Being outwardly focused means that individuals recognise common targets. They understand how their work affects others (instead of focusing on how others’ work affects them) and work together to achieve a common goal. Effective virtual teams recognise when a member of that team could use a helping hand—and effective virtual teams are comprised of individuals who will offer one.

They work to achieve an open culture

Successful virtual teams also work to achieve an open and honest culture. Despite the fact that they might rarely get to look their peers in the eyes, a good virtual employee is one who is direct, honest with feedback and will work to diffuse situations before they arrive.

They effectively communicate with one another

One of the key pillars of any relationship, be it professional or otherwise, is communication—and in a remote setup, this pillar only gets more important. As your teams are not sharing a room for 40 hours a week, the sharing of creative ideas can get lost amongst a sea of instant messaging. Therefore, successful virtual teams seek to communicate with one another more than they might in a standard concrete setup. Taking the time to grab a coffee over video chat, ask a personal question and find out how each individual fits into the overall structure of the team early on is very important. As, after all, if you don’t take the initiative, you’re never going to organically find out something about somebody, as might be the case in an office.

They are open to adopting new technologies

Another vital characteristic of any virtual team is the openness to adopt new technologies. Should a new instant messaging tool become available that will make communication more effective, your teams should be willing to adopt it with open arms. Should a new cloud-based file system emerge that will allow more effective collaboration, your virtual team needs to be excited about giving it a try—and excited about letting you know whether it works. In today’s business environment, the only way to stay ahead of the curve is not by working harder but by working smarter, and if your teams are opposed to new tech, you’ll never be able to improve productivity.

They possess a positive mental attitude

It might sound like a cliche, but one of the key components of success is possessing the ability to remain positive at all times. It’s encountering problems as an opportunity to learn; seeing every success and every failure as one more important step on the road to development. Teams that possess a positive mental attitude work to find solutions not culprits, and these are the type of people you need in any virtual team.

Hire virtual teams

If you’re considering moving to a remote-first setup with your organisation but are not sure if you’re team is the right one to do so with, speak to the experts. Offshore Intelligence is the premier provider of offshore and remote staffing solutions, and we only work with the best talent planet Earth has to offer. If you’re interested in seeing how virtual teams could help improve your organisation, we offer a free 30-minute consultation to see whether a virtual-first approach will work for you organisation. Just click below to book your appointment.