Virtual teams are not only here to stay (and to grow in numbers) but they also present an opportunity to change the way we view management and work in general. For that reason, I have started a project called Virtual, not Distant. I’m calling it a project because that’s what it is at the moment. In my head, it’s a book but I have a feeling it should be something more. For now, I’m happy to put the time and brain power in and see where it takes us.
I’ve created a new site for Virtual, not Distant and have already published some posts. I thought they might of interest to you, even if you’re not working in a virtual environment. The idea of this project is to indentify what makes a strong team, regardless of whether they’re co-located or not and how the virtual office can be adapted to this. So hopefully this will be useful to you, especially if you’re already using virtual communication (and yes, that includes e-mail).
Five Articles about Virtual Teams
This post has proved incredibly popular and is still being retweeted on Twitter, a couple of months after I first wrote it. I can’t really take much credit for its popularity, as I didn’t write any of the articles I mention in the post. I think its attraction is the range of authors and the different aspects of working in virtual teams it covers.
Bringing Your Team Members Closer Together
I included this article in the Unusual Connections newsletter and got quite a few replies to it. It seems that, while up until now we have been looking for ways to enable us to work away from the office, now we’re looking for ways to feel more connected.
The best way of inspiring people to be part of a team is to create a space where they’re confortable. The danger with online communication is that, because it’s available 24 hours a day, we forget that people can feel like it’s intruding in their personal lives.
Give Them Permission to Chat
The last in this trilogy about encouraging informal conversations in virtual teams talks about the need to vocalise the importance of these exchanges to fuel creativity and collaboration, as well as the need to look at the kind of norms that emerge within a team.