Remote and/or virtual teams are made up of people who are location independent, and connect via the internet. Hybrid teams refer to those made up of members that are both virtual and on location.
The year 2020 and everything that came with it created a surge in remote and hybrid team popularity, but the concept has been around for a while (we’ve been a virtual team since 2017!). Even before the rise of internet businesses, companies had teams that were made up of people not always in the same location. For example, this could be a sales team stationed in a different locale than the rest of the company that called in or visited for meetings only. And while they weren’t technically “virtual,” the idea was the same: they used technology to function independent of their location.
Today remote and hybrid teams can be powerful in their ability to:
Not only that, but:
Even with all this interesting data, remote, virtual, and hybrid teams come with some challenges.
However, with all the disagreements about the value of virtual, hybrid, or remote teams, most of the findings point to their effectiveness being influenced by culture and morale—if location independence isn’t a fit for an organization, then it just isn’t a fit.
Martine Haas, a professor at Wharton, studied global teams and virtual teamwork for over 25 years and found that most challenges related to hybrid work fall under The 5Cs: communication, coordination, connection, creativity, and culture.
And with 65% of workers saying they feel disconnected, and a seemingly more disconnected workplace on the rise, companies should take note of how those making virtual, remote, or hybrid work for them are rising to the challenge and maintaining a strong and aligned team.
In 2020, 100% of businesses that created their Vivid Vision with Conscious Copy & Co. said that inspiration was a key reason for clarifying their vision.
That’s not surprising, given how crazy 2020 was. But it shows an understanding that as the shift to remote, virtual, or hybrid teams began to happen, aligning the team with company goals and vision became top of mind.
How To Align Remote, Virtual, and Hybrid Teams With Company Vision
You can check out how to use your Vivid Vision to align your remote, virtual, or hybrid team here. You can also check out this list of vision alignment strategies:
While most people would like to continue working from home, or at least have some flexibility, managers and leadership are still undecided. However, most experts do agree that hybrid models are here to stay, and many leaders and managers expect to be fully remote in the near future.
While remote, virtual, and hybrid teams are convenient for some, they’re not for everyone. Some people prefer to have a physical location to come to every single day. And some studies suggest that others prefer to have a choice, with 80% of people expressing they’d like to work remotely at least once a week. Many businesses were forced to go virtual in 2020, and while some have returned to business as usual, some have wavered.
Team members not used to being remote or virtual might have to adjust. Experts suggest training, with adequate space given to employees who need to get used to the new norm. And the organization should empower team members to communicate honestly and openly about their development. Plus, hybrid models tend to be more difficult than fully remote ones. If a company is assembling a remote, virtual, or hybrid team, here are a few other effective strategies when it comes to talent:
Okay, so we’ve all accepted that this virtual/hybrid team model is here to stay. But all great organizations know how important it is to strengthen the bond of its team members, and it’s no wonder that the number of people searching for virtual team building activities has continued to spike since 2020:
So, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of virtual team building activities anyone can use to keep connection flowing and morale high:
The structure of a remote, virtual, or hybrid team will depend on the type of team it is. If it’s a cross-functional software development team, it’ll be structured as such. The same goes for a functional virtual sales team. However, there are a few structural pitfalls to be aware of when it comes to strengthening this part of your Team Alignment Triad.
Here are the most effective strategies for virtual or remote teams and their organizational structure, decision-making process, and overall communication.