Online Teams

Students in A Team

Online teams > Multicultural teams > Rationale

Working online with your team can be equally effective if you take the time to build your team as you would in person.

Self awareness and understanding our own assumptions applies to any mode of communication; however you will especially need to consider this on an online platform with your team. 

The Task - Relationship balance: 

Face to face teams naturally have a higher relationship focus, whereas virtual teams have a higher task focus. On virtual teams, it is important to put the effort into relationship building:  

  • include activities that create opportunities to build trust and relationships (build check in's into agendas) 
  • have regularly scheduled meetings
  • take time at the beginning to learn about eachother in the check ins (dedicate 30-40 minutes to this)
  • create check ins about team health throughout the semester. How are we working as a team?  

Create a culture of preparedness on your virtual team

Identify what communication platforms will work for your team needs for each task. For example, when creating a team agreement, skype or collaborate are recommended. Determine what channels will be used for instant chat/text between meetings. Use platforms that you can record if a team member can't make an online meeting. 

Different Mode's of Communication for different tasks: 

Clarity is extremely important on virtual teams in meetings: 

  • Separate items that are informational, items that require discussion
  • Spend more time writing/sending information ahead of time so that you can discuss and decide in meetings
  • If someone arrives unprepared identify immediately, hold your team members accountable 
  • Agendas for meetings create a culture of accountability 

For more tips, check out this article on a successful on line team.  

Resources:  Sherman, L. (2015) The Keys to Collaboration.CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. North Charleston,South Carolina.