How to Build a Successful Virtual Team

Technological advancements have brought many benefits to modern businesses. Nowadays, various companies operate in the online world thanks to the fast Internet speeds and improved computing power. In addition, businesses are no longer bound to a single location. Instead, they can operate globally even without building a physical presence in different geographical locations. The same goes for hiring employees.

Companies are now able to tap into the global talent pool. Looking for efficient employees across the world has never been easier. What’s more, employees can work remotely for any company on the globe, without leaving the comfort of their homes. However, with all the benefits remote work can bring to both businesses and employees, there are certain challenges both sides must overcome, in order to make the best out of a virtual team. Therefore, here are a few tips on how to build a successful virtual team.

Hire based on your expectations

Remote work is a bit tricky because you have employees working from various countries and different time zones. When hiring remote workers, you’re not just looking for good talent, efficiency and cultural fit. You must also set clear expectations and hire workers who are able to meet them. For example, remote work can make employees feel disengaged. You need to hire workers who are comfortable with working independently.

What’s more, you must explain the rules and protocols of your company and hire employees who are able to abide by those rules. The main reason you must focus on employees who can meet your expectations is that remote work is more difficult to manage. You can’t check up on your remote workers regularly nor can you invite them for a chat in your office. Instead, you must leverage technology to do so. That’s why you need trustworthy employees who don’t need to be managed frequently.

Implement the onboarding process

Onboarding is one of the most important processes when hiring remote employees for your virtual team. The fact of the matter is that your team is indeed virtual, which means you can’t help them adjust to your company and its culture in person. That’s why it’s important to place extra effort into your onboarding process. For example, make sure you communicate with your employees to learn what they need.

Moreover, you can also provide convenience for your remote employees. As an example, if your remote workers are from Australia and they have difficulties working from home, you can find them a serviced office in Melbourne with more suitable work conditions and work environment. Also, be available to them as much as possible in case they have any questions or misunderstandings. In addition, lower your expectations for productivity and results and give your new employees more time to adjust.

Communicate at all times

Communication is essential for building a successful virtual team. Since you and your workers won’t have many opportunities to meet in person, it’s important to establish good lines of communication to compensate. You can leverage instant messaging software, such as Slack, Google Hangouts or others to enable communication between your virtual team and in-house employees. In addition, make sure you involve your remote employees in staff meetings, so they don’t become disengaged from your company.

You can use Skype for video calls or implement some other software for conference calls to help your remote workers attend important meetings. Communication with your employees face-to-face is quite beneficial for their morale and productivity. After all, no matter how independent your remote workers may be, after a while, they’ll become isolated if your communication is falling behind and they may also consider looking for employment elsewhere.

Meet your employees in person

Virtual communication and team building are great for connecting with your remote employees. However, if you want to establish good relationships with them, it’s a good idea to bring them all together and meet them in person. This activity is best attended to early on, so that your employees have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with you and other employees.

It’s a good strategy to foster relations and ensure your remote workers don’t feel left out. In addition, you can schedule annual meetings to re-engage with everyone and ensure they’re all satisfied. This endeavor may be a bit more difficult to organize, but if you make some effort, you’ll be able to manage without any difficulties.


Remote work is highly beneficial to businesses. However, virtual teams are more difficult to manage, especially since not everyone is at the same place. But, with a bit of effort and dedication, you can easily create a successful virtual team that will help drive your company forward.

Lauren Wiseman is marketing specialist, contributor to and entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to business.