Tips for Building an Effective Virtual Team

Most teams find themselves working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic period. Employees are under stress to produce superior results. This is complicated by tight time frames and low budgets. External customers’ desire and demand for quality products and services have not decreased, but have increased at an accelerated rate, in some instances. The competition for survival and market share dominance is projected to be more intense during this pandemic period and beyond. The teams that are structured accurately with the particular resources will meet the challenge.

As organizations transition their teams to work virtually, they’re examining effective ways to work cohesively and produce superior results. They are aware that the structure and resources to support them must be targeted and tangible. The following are some researched based tips to build an effective virtual team:

  • Vision – The team must have clarity as to where it wants to go and what it wants to be. There must be a linkage to the organization’s strategic goal. This goal and the objectives to attain it must be clear to all team members.
  • Mission – The team must have resources to mobilize to attain the objectives and strategic goal
  • Mutual Trust and Respect – These qualities are central to the team working collaboratively. They are earned over time with candid interactions between team members. The lack of these attributes among team members will render the team ineffective. Test them with the team!
  • Channels of Communication – The effective use of communication-based technological tools is critical. Some examples are instant messaging, chat, and teleconferencing. Over-communicating is often encouraged when the team is first formed.
  • Defined Roles and Responsibilities – This is essential to the team’s success. Some roles overlap and require particular clarity in this work structure.
  • System to Access Goal Achievement – This system must have measurable outcomes and be clear and tested with the team members.
  • Behavioral Styles – The success of the team is dependent in large part on how effectively the team members interact with each other to achieve team goals.
  • Conflict Resolution Strategies – These strategies must be built into the team’s structure and tested early on in the team’s life cycle.
  • Reward System – This is tangible to incentivize repeat superior performance.

It appears to be accepted among organizations that traditional teams will transition to virtual teams. These teams will have the challenges of the traditional teams with the added challenges and requirements of virtual teams. Organizations are gearing up for these challenges. ARE YOU?

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  • Jerry Houston


    This is an excellent article. As we reach the end our our series on Teambuilding, you once again show that the rules are the rules and that we have to work just a little bit harder to achieve a strong sense of team when we are working remotely. thank you for reminding us.

  • Right on target! I could easily see the reasons behind all these rules from my observations of several virtual group situations in which I have been a part. If the team has enthusiasm for their service or product I have found the skill in using virtual video communications is an area of faltering self confidence. Perhaps some targeted training in this area, not just u tube videos!, would boost confidence.

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