How To Manage High-Performing Virtual Teams

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 25, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021

Updated February 25, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A virtual team is a group of remote employees who work collaboratively to accomplish a project. High-performing virtual teams are usually groups of people who have effective collaboration skills, produce quality content in a timely manner and meet their goals. In this article, we examine the common characteristics of high-performing virtual teams, review the factors that managers consider when building virtual teams and explore strategies for managing these teams.

Related: 10 Examples of Virtual Teams and Their Benefits

What are the characteristics of high-performing virtual teams?

Characteristics of high-performing virtual teams are relatively standard no matter the industry. These characteristics typically include the following:

Technology fluency and leverage

Virtual teams that are fluent in technology and use it to their advantage are often high-performing. Knowing how to utilize technology to collaborate, save time and effort and increase efficiency can allow a team to be as productive as possible. These high-performing virtual teams may use word messaging platforms, teleconferencing software and more to execute high-quality work for their company.

Related: Virtual Meetings: A Definitive Guide

Quality content production

A high-performing virtual team usually produces high-quality content. T he team's project manager, company superior or another member of senior leadership may judge or approve this content. Lower-quality work or less produced work is often a sign that the virtual team is underperforming and not meeting its organization's goals.

Budget compliance

Another characteristic of a high-performing virtual team is the ability to comply with a budget. It can be important to adhere to a budget especially when issues arise, such as when prices for needed materials increase or shortages of materials occur. Finding innovative ways to address these potential issues and comply with a budget, therefore, is a key characteristic of high-performing virtual teams.

Timely delivery of content

If a team has the ability to deliver their content within the timeframe they get assigned to work with, it can indicate that they are a high-performing team. Quality virtual teams usually meet their goals by their deadline or before their deadline so they have extra time to rework or revise anything that needs revisions. In many cases, if a virtual team is prompt, they're also high-performing.

Related: How To Be Successful as a Virtual Team Manager

Goal meeting

The ability to meet goals is another characteristic of a high-performing virtual team. For any team, virtual or otherwise, meeting goals is the key success indicator and shows exactly how these teams perform based on their expectations and objectives. High-performing virtual teams sometimes even exceed their goals.

Related: 12 Challenges of Virtual Teams and How To Improve Them

What managers consider when building virtual teams

When building their virtual teams, managers usually consider several factors that can help result in success. These factors typically include the following:

  • Performance monitoring: The manager may determine different ways to monitor the virtual team's performance as the project develops. In this case, they may consider productivity levels, completion of individual parts of the project or feedback from the team.

  • Collaboration: As a virtual team, collaboration can be the leading means of success for a project, but it's not always necessary for all team members to meet at the same time depending on their role in the project. The manager of a high-performing virtual team may consider how much collaboration the project actually requires and schedule meetings and alter expectations based on this information.

  • Expectations: The expectations from a project completed by a virtual team are also something managers consider when building one. They usually have to set realistic expectations alongside a realistic timeline, then offer the virtual team the means to meet these expectations within that timeline.

  • Best communication strategies: For a project to meet its goals, the virtual team usually has to communicate consistently. As such, a manager may consider the best communication strategies or channels for team members to utilize to do this.

Related: 7 Steps for Managing Virtual Teams

Strategies for managing high-performing teams

Managing high-performing virtual teams usually involves several tasks, including offering means of technology and scheduling many meetings. Consider these strategies for managing your virtual teams:

  • Meet frequently: Because the physical aspect of a typical office setting team doesn't exist, the amount of interaction team members have outside of these virtual meetings is limited. To facilitate a similar experience to an in-person workplace, it can be helpful to schedule meetings online frequently to mimic the amount of times team members may see each other in the office.

  • Communicate consistently: It can be extremely valuable to the virtual team's success to consistently communicate so all team members are as up to date and informed as possible. Doing so allows everyone to participate in discussion and collaboration even when a virtual meeting doesn't take place no matter where they are.

  • Create a project management system: Creating and implementing a central project management system can be critical to a project's success. Having a system that manages each team member's work, tasks and content can help organize the project, increase efficiency and boost the project's success.

  • Leverage technology: Making use of the most valuable technology available to virtual teams can help manage your team by allowing them several means of meeting and communication. For instance, you may consider using collaborative word processing programs, video and audio teleconference software and synchronous communication platforms so there are many ways for the team to communicate with each other and with you.

  • Connect with team members individually: It may be helpful to both the manager and the team member to offer opportunities for them to meet individually. Doing so can help foster better relationships with team members, provide an opportunity to voice concerns at the individual level, create a space to praise individual accomplishments and overall create a better sense of genuine connection.

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