You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

10 Ways to Successfully Manage Virtual Teams Here's how you can manage your virtual teams to maximize your performance.

By Rocco Baldassarre

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you are managing one or more virtual teams, you are not alone. The Workforce 2020 survey claimed that 83 percent of executives plan to increase use of consultants or intermittent employees over the next three years.

Virtual teams can be a challenge to manage because one needs to create a corporate culture remotely. Here are 10 strategies to successfully build a virtual team that can be implemented instantly.

1. Define work systems.

Different people have different ways of going about tasks. Setting standards can shorten the time needed to achieve the desired result. By setting standards and defining repeatable work systems, the team has generally less questions and gets a feeling for how long certain tasks should take. These work systems need to be both standardized to allow for maximum effectiveness and tailored to allow the necessary freedom to complete the task at the best of one's ability.

Related: A Checklist of 8 Best Practices for Successful Video Campaigns

2. Establish multiple communication tools.

The benefits of establishing multiple communication tools is two-fold. First of all, your team has a way to communicate something that is urgent to the right person immediately. Secondly, it unifies processes such as what to use for conference calls, screen recordings, and so on. It is clear what tool is used for what, which contributes to creating that internal feeling of togetherness.

3. Schedule regular meetings.

Scheduling briefings at the same time on the same weekday contributes to creating a routine. Routines provide the team with something they are used to and familiar with. That in return puts the team at ease and reduces stress. Video calls are one of the best ways to maximize efficiency because they recreate the routine office feeling remote teams are missing out on.

4. Have clear and detailed deliverables.

Simply telling somebody to do something is usually not the popular way to go about managing teams. Micro-managing isn't either which is why some managers avoid giving instructions with too many details.

Based on my experience, it is better to provide more detailed descriptions of the tasks with examples of what the final result should look like. Give the team the freedom to execute it than less instructions and having to deal with potential misunderstandings.

5. Make sure work hours overlap.

Regardless of what time zones your team members are in, it is recommendable to have at least three to four hours a day where most of the team is online at the same time. Even if some of the team members are unlikely to need each other to complete their tasks, being online at the same time brings the team closer together and is the quickest problem solving solution there is.

6. Create a professional work environment.

Professional attire and a distraction-free work environment are part of any corporate culture. Additionally, setting professional standards contributes to being efficient and puts people in the right mindset.

Related: 10 Things You Should Test to Boost Your Website Conversion Rate

7. Choose (video) calls over chatting and emails.

With Skype and email being available at everyone's fingertips, it is tempting to chat and send a quick email whenever there is something to discuss. This can easily lead to misunderstandings. With virtual teams, video calls or at least regular calls are more than a way to avoid misunderstandings. They connect the team members on a more personal level.

8. Find the right people to work with.

Not everyone is cut out for remote work and not everyone fits the team personality-wise. There are quite a few professional personality tests out there, and they can be a great way to determine whether someone is the right fit is still to ask yourself whether you are sure about that person or not. If you are not, it is usually best to move on to the next candidate. Additionally, double checking all references is a must to make sure you know as much as possible what you are getting yourself into.

9. Establish a meritocratic system.

Meritocracy -- or the process of rewarding and recognizing people based on their skills -- stimulates people to work harder and better. Make sure to set up reward systems to keep your team motivated and to better pinpoint the team members that can take on more responsibility.

10. Use project management tools.

Project management tools can be ideal to keep track of deadlines. They also send alerts and reminders for deadlines and give you a quick daily, weekly or monthly overview of what needs to be done, by who, and when. Things like Google Docs can still be a great addition and the same is valid for time tracking applications.

Related: 5 Strategies for Turning Ecommerce Browsers Into Buyers

Rocco Baldassarre

Founder & CEO of Zebra Advertisement & 1DollarAd.com

Rocco Baldassarre is a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder of the award-winning digital marketing agency Zebra Advertisement and the youngest Google Partners All-Stars Winner at the age of 24.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

Yes, You Can Buy a Foldable Tiny Home on Amazon — And Now It's Selling for Less Than $12,000

The waterproof and flameproof house was listed around $35,000 a few months ago.

Starting a Business

4 Common Mistakes That Will Spell Doom Your Ecommerce Business

It's hard to spot a success story before it happens, yet it's easy to tell if a business will struggle. With that in mind, here are the four most common mistakes people make that you should avoid when starting an ecommerce business.

Money & Finance

4 Things to Know About Credit Financing Your Business Following the 'Fed Pivot'

With cheap money behind us, you'll want to rethink how you finance your business

Side Hustle

This Insurance Agent Started a Side Hustle Inspired By Nostalgia for His Home State — Now It Earns Nearly $40,000 a Month

After moving to New York City, Danny Trejo started a business to stay in touch with his roots — literally.