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For companies to succeed in a global connected marketplace, it is now essential that they create effective virtual teams and master virtual collaboration.

In the modern working world, 83% of professionals rely on technology to collaborate, and online collaboration tools and digital workspaces tend to provide an increase of 20-30% in productivity.

What are the Advantages of Collaborative Leadership?

Collaborative leadership is an inclusive way to manage virtual teams that offers many benefits. For example, there is a focus on an organic sharing of information, with every team member taking responsibility for the whole.

Collaborative leaders typically seek out a range of opinions and ideas from colleagues as part of strategy building and generating results. Employees working in these kinds of teams are more likely to feel trusted, be more engaged, and take ownership of their work.

The Challenges of Virtual Collaboration for Managers

One of the key challenges that leaders face is creating a sense of team and developing a spirit of collaboration within teams where members may be spread across the globe. Managing employees in multiple time zones can also be difficult; for example, coordinating meetings and setting project schedules is likely to be tricky.

Giving constructive, ‘real-time’ feedback can also be a challenge, especially given that managers might not have the chance to view an employee’s work firsthand; assigning roles and responsibilities can also present unique problems when managing a remote team, while establishing trust may prove difficult.

Overcoming the Challenges

Successful entrepreneurs – like former fintech CEO Michael Zetser – know that there are many things that leaders can do to improve their team’s virtual collaboration. For example, having a formal team agreement in place that sets out exactly how the collaborative process will operate is useful.

Project management and software tools can also be very helpful to facilitate real-time collaboration among teammates across borders and time zones and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each member in terms of a project or assignment.

Video meetings should be used regularly to create a stronger sense of team; cameras also allow managers to be able to read the non-verbal cues of their employees, creating the opportunity for better engagement.

To conclude, upskilling team members to enhance their collaboration skills can be an important way to help them make better decisions and increase productivity, as well as giving them the tools they need to build trust and reduce conflict.

Take a look at the embedded PDF for more ways to boost virtual collaboration.