As the world shifts and the workplace changes to embrace the virtual model, leaders can still take steps to bring their teams together --

Connection is key. Now is not the time to under-communicate. Our team uses Slack, phone, email, and video conferencing to communicate with one another. If a remote team member feels isolated, it can sometimes translate to "My work doesn't matter." This can be avoided simply by picking up the phone and saying "How's it going?." Checking in on your team is crucial to keep up productivity.

Implement core hours. Core hours are the times of day that team members are expected to be available. Our team's core hours are from 10am to 3pm. We get all of our calls and heavy task load done during this time. If we do need to take on an additional task, the timing is flexible. Maintaining a balance of focused alone time and collaboration through core hours is the key to happier, more independent—and more productive team members.

Show up for one another. Using your webcam and adding in personal interaction is a must. Studies have shown that 15 minutes of social interaction between team members showed a a 20% increase in performance. Our team starts each conference call with "Positive Beginnings." Where each team member shares something positive from their day or week. It really sets the tone for our call and gets the meeting off to a great start.

Schedule set meetings. Team meetings and 1 on 1's need to be consistent. Set meeting times allow for consistent work and performance. Team members need to know what the expectations and priorities are. Our team has a weekly call on Monday to set us up for success, then have 1 on 1s throughout the week. We then wrap up our week with a collaborative call to review our project list and tie up any loose ends.

If you or a peer would like to learn more about managing a virtual team, please feel free to set up a call.