Similarly, it is important to clarify metrics, goals, and objectives, so that employees know what they are expected to achieve and how they will be evaluated. These communications set both parties up for success and prevent conflicts caused by mismatched expectations. Plus, when every team member is clear on roles, responsibilities, and rules, then there tends to be more accountability and less team tension.

Are a workforce made up of varying positions that come together under a common goal. Participation can be fluid, with members leaving once their contribution is done and joining when needed. This type of virtual team is common in consulting and technology firms. They can be geographically isolated from each other, but that’s not always the case.

Since feeling valued at work is good for the employees’ well-being, the management can work on this aspect, in order to boost employee morale and job satisfaction. Namely, employees like to be a part of something that is more than a job. They want something fun to look forward to, so, when management encourages employees to have fun, employees become more engaged.

difference between a remote team and a virtual team

Now that we’ve seen reasons for organizing virtual team bonding activities, let’s find the easiest way to do so. If you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of virtual teams, you’re going to need the tools that help you manage your team and give them the features they need to work together better. ProjectManager is award-winning software that has everything you need to support a virtual team. Because of the developments of the last two decades, virtual teams are becoming increasingly more common. According to a 2019 study by IWG, 70 percent of professionals work remotely in some capacity at least once a week, with 53% doing so for half the week. Next, check out this list of virtual team celebration ideas, these ideas for online pizza parties and these challenges for virtual teams.

Parallel Teams

To maintain the enthusiasm their employees felt at the beginning of a new job, managers should respect their employees and work on their relationships with them. ” can become a much bigger disaster when the people involved cannot sit down with the boss to work it out. It’s important for those in charge to make sure tasks and processes are laid out clearly for team members who work remotely. Staring at the screen for long periods of time can be exhausting. According to a Stanford article, causes include excessive online eye contact, seeing yourself on screen, limited movement, and added awareness and effort.

difference between a remote team and a virtual team

Organize a #WFH happy hour, schedule a video call to bring everyone together in a non-formal setting. Action teams are formed to handle a specific situation and are dismantled after the situation passes. The lifespan of action teams is usually short and is meant to handle immediate problems.

Companies that do ask teammates to be online during standard 9-5 often have team members in different timezones, meaning schedules still are not fully synchronized. These conflicting schedules can make communication and collaboration even more of a challenge. Team members may have to wait for teammates to come online, which could delay answers and cause backups. The social media and marketing software company rebels against the “always on” mentality and strives to give employees a better work life balance.

Remote teams also offer team members more flexible working hours. Team members do not need to have identical working schedules, as long as there is some schedule overlap and the ability to collaborate. Sure, virtual team bonding activities are great, but every once in a while, try to meet with your coworkers face-to-face. For instance, hiking tours in the mountains are a great way to get to know your colleagues in a healthy and relaxed environment.

It’s now easier than ever to create a messaging system that doesn’t result in a flooded inbox. A parallel team comes from the same organization and is tasked to develop recommendations on a process or system. They are usually only together for a short time, with all members staying on board until they’ve achieved their assigned goal. However, since remote work tends to be so independent, it is especially important to start teammates off on the right note. You can do community building activities to connect your people.

Remote Work Tips

It’s only going to rise as organizations become more comfortable with virtual teams, and as teams demand greater flexibility. You’ve likely worked on one or are thinking about initiating one in your company. But there are considerations to be made as you weigh your decision. The first, and perhaps the highest, is understanding what virtual teams are and why they’ve gained such popularity so quickly.

Traditional offices have hustle and bustle and the feeling of other folks being around. Remote employees can go hours, days, or even weeks without interacting with another human being, depending on their job. Solitude can mean greater short term productivity, however there are drawbacks to feeling alone for too long. Virtual teammates may not feel like they are part of a team at all, may lack a sense of belonging, and can struggle to understand how their work fits into the larger picture. A virtual team is a group of people who collaborate and share information from geographically dispersed locations by using technology, such as video conferencing and audio conferencing.

Best Virtual Team Bonding Activities For Remote Teams

Some team members even coordinate in-person meetups, and post photos of those hangouts in a special Slack channel. These individuals usually need secure connections, private spaces, and employee monitoring software. Meanwhile, positions that deal with less confidential information have more freedom in terms of work environment. For instance, a social media manager is likely able to work from a coffee shop’s WiFi, while a finance manager should stick to the home office.

When Silicon Valley executives pushed back their return-to-office dates, other industries followed suit. Twitter was one of the first tech giants to announce that its employees would be working from home indefinitely. The social media platform gave employees the choice to either return to the office or continue to work remotely. Twitter saw benefits to shifting to a virtual model, such as being able to recruit from a more diverse candidate pool and giving employees more autonomy and freedom. Initial adjustments were necessary, as employees had to adjust to contrasting schedules and limit the number of Zoom meetings to avoid fatigue. Operating virtual teams also allows more flexibility for remote workers, allowing them to prioritize personal needs which are often more difficult to attend to when commuting to an office.

Luckily, that’s no reason not to have fun with your coworkers on the other side of the globe. Namely, virtual team bonding activities can take place in real-time, or asynchronously. There lies your chance to involve all the colleagues in fun activities. All that’s left for you is to pick a communication tool, such as Pumble, get your team organized, and enjoy.

These meetings could be weekly across multiple teams, or daily just with your team lead— it’s up to you to define what works best for your needs. Ensuring you have an environment that feels like work, and is separate from family or home time will allow you to focus and avoid burnout. When building that work-specific area, keep in mind physical comfort and health— make sure to invest in a desk and chair that will meet your needs. If needed, contact your company’s IT and Ops to ensure your internet connection and other essentials are where they need to be for you to be successful.

According to Business Insider, the current CEO expects to move towards a hybrid model post-pandemic. Pre-pandemic, Gitlab was one of the world’s largest all-remote companies, with over 1,000 employees spread out across more than 65 countries. The organization has a long-term vision for remote work and plans to continue to be a remote-first company for the foreseeable future. Set expectations with your employees in regards to how their remote work works. Define the accepted annual remote work flexibility allocated to traditionally in-office workers.


Teammates do work independently, and come together to share ideas and results or occasionally collaborate. Setting up a workstation at home presents unique challenges that differ from the challenges employees face in a classic office environment. Building your remote workstation to fit your needs and establish boundaries between home and work life is important to the success of any remote worker. When considering your at-home workstation, separation is key.

Many teams rely on in-person meetings for creative brainstorming, problem-solving, and important decision making. Conducting the same important communication virtually can often be a hurdle that remote teams need to overcome. According to a survey by PwC, only 5% of leaders believe that companies can have a strong culture without employees ever going to the office. Culture is one of the major challenges that remote teams face.

Even your introverted colleagues benefit from this kind of structured communication since these activities give them guidelines for communication. Your hiring process should be influenced by the remote how to build culture in a remote team aspect of the position, in addition to the other traits you look for on your team. One of the best articles on hiring, the aptly named How to Hire by Sam Altman should help you get started.

Gen Z and Millennials — might enjoy these activities, if you carefully choose them. Despite the many advantages of remote work, it is still a priority that your team meets face-to-face at some sort of regular interval. When it comes to building relationships and fostering trust, meeting someone face-to-face is still a fundamental part of the process.

  • Virtual teamwork tends to be independent in nature, with each team member doing an assigned part and sharing the rewards of those efforts with the rest of the team.
  • Schedule periodic meetings with your team to learn about their goals, create a strategy for their growth, and ensure they are always motivated to move ahead professionally.
  • Most teams use video conferencing software and remote work platforms such as Slack to communicate and collaborate.
  • As with the last example, an action team is not exclusively virtual.
  • Folks can misinterpret the tone of written messages, or may assume a colleague is ignoring them when that colleague is just busy.

You can use workdocs to create such documentation within the same platform your employees uses to manage their work everyday. Long story short, do as many as 2.5 times more virtual than real-life activities. Also, if an in-person activity lasts 5 minutes, make sure that in a virtual environment it lasts 2.5 times longer than that. On the other hand, if you organize one company team-building offsite each quarter, you should plan two or three virtual ones for the same period. In the following paragraphs, we offer you some ideas for virtual team bonding, both real-time and asynchronous activities.

Embrace The Disadvantages Of Virtual Teams

Sure, we all know what a happy hour is (and we love it!), but how can you participate in a virtual happy hour? It doesn’t have to be like that if you have co-workers willing to join you. Although you probably can’t go to the pub with your coworkers (since you probably don’t live in the same city, maybe even the country), the pub can come to you. The rules of this game are simple, but the game itself isn’t easy.

Meeting In Person Still Matters

In virtual offices, it may be months or even years before teammates meet each other. In more traditional offices, coworkers can chit-chat and make small talk in meetings, at the copier, in the breakroom, or over lunch. Communication in virtual offices tends to be business-first. Very few folks schedule a Zoom call or send a direct message just to say hi. These circumstances make it very hard for remote teammates to get to know each other. In fact, team members may be unfamiliar with coworkers’ faces or names, much less their personalities.

Some remote workers choose the digital nomad life and travel while working remotely. One of the perks of being part of a geographically dispersed team is getting a direct window to the world via coworkers. The virtual office is not a literal office, but rather a software suite. Remote teams are dependent on technology, and technical issues can put a damper on productivity.

Offshore Isd Teams

International companies often have offices in different countries, often working on the same projects. The advantages of virtual teams include cultural and geographical diversity, reduced overhead, increased productivity, and more flexibility for teammates. Managers aim to respect the teams’ time and not schedule too many meetings, especially since Zoom fatigue is a thing.