In some ways, virtual teams are no different than physical ones. Not only do you need to ensure that your virtual team members are happy, but you also need to keep everything organized and centralized.
Thankfully, the internet is a goldmine of tools that will fit your business needs. There are a vast number of options out there that you can simply plug and play to get everything running.
We’ve been in the online space for quite some time already and will share with you in this blog post the types of tools that you need to manage your virtual team.
Tool #1: Project Management
This is an essential tool for you and the entire team to be updated on what tasks need to be accomplished. Because everyone is working in separate locations, you need to have a specific “board” containing all the current projects. A traditional Kanban board is a great way to track the To Do’s, In Progress’, and Done’s.
There are tools such as Trello and Teamwork that offer this Kanban system where you can move tasks or cards from one column to another to indicate the progress of that certain task.
Some other well-known project management tools are Monday.com, Asana, and Airtable. Each tool offers different features and add-ons, so it’s up to you and the business to decide which one is best.
Tool #2: Communication
Due to the shift from face-to-face to virtual for both businesses and schools, the words “synchronous communication” and “asynchronous communication” have become household terms.
If you aren’t familiar with these terms, “synchronous communication” means communicating in real-time aka video calls. Tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or this new fun app called Gather are great spaces to have your video calls.
For “asynchronous communication,” you can communicate with your team through chat via apps like Slack or Workplace.
Constant communication is key in building an environment of trust and accountability between you and your virtual team.
Tool #3: File Storage
As your virtual team grows, you will need a centralized location for all of your file sharing and storing. You wouldn’t want any files to get lost or you having trouble locating them. Be sure that you organize all of your files and create folders for everything.
Some of the most well-known tools for online storage are Google Drive and DropBox. For large file transfers, a great tool is WeTransfer.
Tool #4: Time Tracking
If you are paying your virtual talent by the hour or require him/her to work for a certain number of hours, you will want to use a time tracking tool.
There are a wide range of time tracking tools out there that track things other than time. Some tools take random screenshots of the virtual talent’s screen or even track keyboard and mouse movement. This will depend on your preference and how much you want to manage.
Tools like Hubstaff and Time Doctor offer many tracking features for your virtual team. If you don’t need a lot of complicated tracking, check out Toggl and Clockify.
Tool #5: Password Sharing
You will especially need this if you have to give your virtual talent access to some of your personal accounts such as your email inbox or social media accounts. For security reasons, you wouldn’t want to divulge your actual passwords to anyone, so it’s best to use password management tools.
There are many great tools like LastPass and Dashlane that can be added as Google Chrome extensions.
The Right Tools Will Come a Long Way
The myriad of choices on the internet for the tools you can use for your virtual team can get overwhelming. Each tool has its own unique features that the choice is completely up to you. Remind yourself that nothing is final so you can always do a bit of experimenting until you find the right tool that suits your needs.
Use this blog post as a starting point and feel free to do your own research from here. If you need help finding great virtual talent to grow your business, we’d love to chat!
The Best 22 Tools to Manage Virtual Teams in 2021. (n.d.). Ganttic.
Park, S. (n.d). 12 Best Virtual Team Management Tools for Your Company. Remote Bliss.
Farrer, L. (2020, June 16). The 7 Tools That Every Remote Team Needs. Forbes.