113-Best ways to interact with virtual team members

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This week on the Distance Leader Podcast show 0113, we’re talking about the expectations that distance leaders have for their teams. Here are some of our guiding questions:

  • How do you maximize the time you have with part-time employees?
  • How do you encourage effective work behaviors for team members who may not be comfortable working virtually?
  • Expectations for virtual work teams
    • Remember, not everyone works best in an office or remotely
    • People who don’t feel connected don’t contribute as effectively
    • Plan regular meetings, including face-to-face meetings
    • Developed examples of what you expect
    • Speak regularly with each team members individually
    • Do your best to monitor stress levels
      • How do you manage team members who are not as focused on developing a balanced work-life approach?
        • Home office working at night or inefficiently, 
        • Working on weekends
      • What if your team is traveling for work?
      • Spend time speaking with your team about best practices for team stress reduction
      • Encourage careful examination work-life balance vs. expectations of work-life balance
      • Use frequent check-ins as a way to informally connect with team members
    • Encourage healthy team dynamics, too – share expectations to connect with other team members

What to observe

Here’s a short list of “warning signs” that may identify a mismatch in expectations

  • Points of failure (not an exhaustive list…)
    • Solitude
    • Unclear expectations
    • Disconnection – Sensation of “out of sight, out of mind”
    • Maverick mentality
    • Uneven evaluation and rewards
    • Home office = family distractions (or distractions in general!)
    • Unable to meet goals
    • Communications are always punitive, not routine or positive
    • 24×7 expectations