Since the past few months, organizations big or small are having one thing common while planning their business activities. How to build a virtual team? The uncertainties due to pandemic, has forced companies to focus more towards benefits of setting up virtual groups. It’s exciting to know more about what a virtual team is. Let’s get straight into it.

What is Virtual Team?

In simple terms, a virtual team consists of a group of employees, collectively working towards achieving a common goal. These team members work from a virtual work environment which is set up and managed by using latest techniques. Building a virtual software development team revolves around the objective of bringing out the best from each team member.

Virtual teams can be of two types,

Global virtual team

As the name suggests, the members of these teams can be located in different countries / cities, across the world. Hiring remote software developers while building a global virtual team can include subject matter experts. They could be outsourced as people with different types of software development expertise. This way, they work collectively on a common project and achieve a common goal.

Local virtual team

A Local virtual team usually comprises of employees of the same company. These employees can also be based in different cities across the world, but are a part of one organization. The company is either big or small, and it has enough resources (including technology) to manage and maintain the virtual team.

Virtual team members communicate through telecommunication mediums like Skype of Mobile IoT powered communication technologies. The Remote working system has become the most widely suggested and accepted methods in a short span of time. Industries across various sectors have adopted the virtual team building concept model. However, it is more evident in the Information Technology sector, where building virtual software development teams is gaining momentum.

Why is it important to build a virtual team?

The aim behind any teamwork is to divide tasks and multiply success. Hiring remote tech developers gives the organization to take a look at the best available global talent pool. Building a Virtual Software Development Team can add immense value and enhance productivity of the organization, either big or small. Let’s take a look at some of them.

They’re More Cost-Efficient

Building a virtual software development team can be more cost effective as it saves the company of overheads. This is because an organization would not have to spend on office rent and maintenance. Additionally, companies can also reduce costs towards infrastructure, electricity and transport.

Global Talent Pool

Building a virtual software development team helps you to hire remote developers from across the world. This can also help an organization to build a virtual team which meets the budget allocated.

Easily Scalable

A big advantage in building a Virtual Software Development Team is that it can be scaled up as per project needs. Depending on the needs of the project, subject matter experts can be hired from anywhere around the world. As a result, the cost likely to be incurred on additional office space and facilities can be saved.

Round The Clock Availability

Hiring remote software developers from across the world provides an opportunity for better time management. As virtual employees are not location-limited, you can program their work schedule in a more organized way. This can lead to more productivity and happier employees.

Healthy Work-Life Balance

Building a virtual software development team helps in achieving a proper work life balance for its employees. Being productive at work has a lot to do with a better control of life. Hiring a remote development team allows the members to spend good amount of time with their families. This also goes a long way in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a motivated mindset. The uncertainties created due to the present pandemic have given a big to adapting to a virtual work environment.

How to build a high performance virtual team (Best Practices)

Technology now allows anyone to connect with the world, anytime and from any place. This makes building a virtual software development team all the more important. To hire remote developers, there is a need to put the right strategy, technology, and culture in place. With a fool proof system, place, you’ll have a virtual team that’s just as productive (if not more so) than traditional employees.

Many companies look at building virtual teams to blend remote and traditional employees by being flexible. Giving the remote workforce freedom to work is one of the good approaches to have. Additionally, it is up to the organization to create a sense of feeling among remote employees that they are a part of one big family. This can be done in the following ways.

Develop a Good Remote Team Hiring Protocol

An important step towards hiring remote software developers is to understand their mind set. Team leaders can be allotted this responsibility as they would be the ones who will be closely associated with each team member. The value of each remote worker is to be emphasized upon. Else, it’s easy for them to have the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. When team leaders see them as a crucial part of the team, virtual employees can feel being a part of the team.

Slow Down to Speed Up

This is a good practice to adopt especially while building virtual software development teams. Slowing down practically means to take a bit of time and set expectations and create processes. It is important to study the mindset of each individual and then interact accordingly. This can help avoid friction within the team and ensure timely project delivery to the end customer. It is also good to understand how things work at each site and then strategize work plan. It is good to document each step. This will help during overall team meetings, and arriving at a favourably outcome.

Performance Evaluation

There could be a strong possibility that virtual team members are hired through different resources. It is important to establish a strong bond and mutual trust with the sourcing agencies. It’s equally essential to evaluate the performance of virtual teams’ to see how remote workers are contributing. Team leaders can do well to see how traditional employees are adjusting to workflows with virtual employees.

Ensure Frequent Virtual Meetings

This is a very important component in building virtual software development teams. Remote workers should be given adequate opportunity to gel well with the rest of the team. This can be done by giving them the freedom to communicate and socialize. For this, building a digital infrastructure is imperative for virtual teams. Exposure to communication tools like Slack, Google Docs, and Zoom are the backbone of a much more diversified workplace. With the help of these tools, virtual team members can seamlessly work together and create a great work culture.

Be committed towards compensating remote developers on time

At the end of the day, it’s all about how remote teams are retained. All of us would completely agree that the most important component for this is timely payment and recognition. This is more important in case of a global virtual team as the developers are located at different places across the world. The more committed an organization stays in looking after its remote team, the more productive they can get.

Conclusion

Remote work is here to stay. Not all companies have embraced this practice yet. But there will be point when building a virtual software development team is inevitable. Smart organizations will start early (as in now) if they want to continue having access to top talent and gain a competitive edge as a result. Building a virtual software development team is all about strategizing project development and meet client expectations during challenging times. It’s about coming together, sharing together, working together and succeeding together. When trust and skill work together, you can expect nothing less than excellence.

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