Bridge the Distance
Structured communications can help you connect with virtual team members.
"Wish you were here" is a phrase you might write in a note to distant family and friends. Nowadays, you might also think that same thought about coworkers. But wishing won't make it so. More and more project managers are expected to complete complex projects, despite being separated from team members by time zones and even continents. Here are strategies to work effectively with people you may seldom, if ever, see.
Establish Expectations. Having a detailed, written communication plan is critical before starting a virtual project. The plan should set out a hierarchy of when to use phone calls versus e-mails, and establish team member availability standards and response times. Everyone should know who's available when, how to reach them and what sort of reply to expect.
Contain Conference Calls. Teams often come together via conference call, and preparation beforehand can improve results. Send an advance agenda with ground rules that live questions are welcome at the end. By setting expectations ahead of time, you don't have free-for-all calls.
Seeing Is Believing. Use tools that allow your virtual team to communicate with images. Having a visual fix on the task can be
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