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What Makes a Great Virtual Collaborator

virtual collaboration - how to be a great virtual collaborator
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What Makes a Great Virtual Collaborator

Virtual collaboration is more than a necessity—it’s a cornerstone of success. Teamwork from afar is getting more and more important as teams are dispersed globally. But, virtual collaborators need certain traits to succeed in this new landscape. Which are they?

Traits of a Successful Virtual Collaborator

Remote work is part of our lives and as a result virtual collaboration has become essential for team success. 

Here are the top five traits of successful virtual collaborators:

1. Ease with Technology

Virtual workers must be conversant with how tools work, which tools are best for each situation, and must feel comfortable using those tools quickly and easily. Those who are slow to adapt to new communication tools may find themselves being left out of important online conversations or getting only a fraction of the information they need. While technology lovers, mostly Generation Y, find virtual/remote working very beneficial, we should also consider Generation X, who may still resist it fiercely for fear that their ignorance may be noticed. On a larger societal level, virtual working has created new opportunities for people who are less mobile and hesitant to relocate due to either family requirements or physical challenges.

2. Trust and Respect for Others

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship and is even more important when building relationships virtually. Without the benefit of regular face-to-face contact (or any face-to-face contact), virtual teams have to be much more intentional about focusing on building trust. This involves being reliable, transparent, and respectful in all communications and interactions.

3. Communication

Virtual team members must work diligently on their tone of communications, both written and verbal, and learn to be more perceptive of the emotional content of the message being communicated. Active listening and other skills to discern nonverbal cues during conference or telephonic calls are essential. Clear, concise, and empathetic communication can bridge the gap created by physical distance.

4. Take Responsibility

People who can move ahead without a lot of direction or guidance on a day-to-day basis are far more likely to be successful in a virtual world. Virtual workers must deal with a high degree of ambiguity and the absence of information, sometimes for long periods. Being proactive, self-motivated, and responsible are crucial traits for thriving in such an environment.

5. Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

One needs to be sensitive to different cultural norms and sensitivities given that virtual teams often represent different countries and cultures. This involves understanding and respecting various cultural perspectives, communication styles, and work ethics. Cross-cultural sensitivity ensures smoother interactions and collaborations in a diverse team.

6. Manage Time Across Time Zones

Virtual workers must be adept at managing their calendars and syncing up with others, as conversations and meetings must be well-orchestrated. They need to be disciplined and realistic about keeping their own calendars, making sure they build in time for thinking, eating, and moving about throughout the day. Efficient time management helps in maintaining a balanced and productive work routine.

Virtual collaboration is something everyone nowadays needs to master. You can navigate the complexities of remote work more efficiently and confidently by embracing them. 

These traits will serve as your compass as you continue to adapt to this dynamic work environment. Become a successful visual collaborator and watch your virtual teamwork thrive.

July 9, 2024
Menopause in the Workplace.

A training program created by experts in menopause at work, learning & development, and communications.