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3 hacks from virtual veterans

You may be new to total virtual working but many tech companies are global businesses which have been doing it for years with developers, project managers, sales and support in different countries. Some start ups are 90% virtual. Here's how they hack it.


Virtual veterans know you do not have worries about unsupervised team members not putting in a full week. You know that they, and it, works. The issue now is that people are worried about job security, unclear about the business, and working from home with the family. Remember FUD ( Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt ) from the early days of computer sales? That's where many people are right now. Great virtual teams talk about that out loud.


These days you can get to be online for work, family and social life for most of the day and the evening. Hence the term Zoom Fatigue. Particularly tiring are team meetings online. Virtual Veterans limit Zoom group meetings and find other ways to communicate (text, Slack, chat, phone ). The maximum most people can manage is less than 3 hours of video team meetings a day.


The stress about job security, business uncertainty and lack of casual office chats to sort things out means that conflicts do not surface and get dealt with as they happen.

This is a perfect storm for conflicts based on personal likes and dislikes, rumours, gossip, office politics and power issues within teams. Virtual veterans agree a conflict management process - before any conflict arises - which is known by everyone.


One cautionary note. We have known for a long time that the virtual teams that do best meet each other face to face a least once or twice a year. That cup of coffee at a conference can be the social glue between you and a virtual colleague that sticks for a long time. Today there are no office visits, conferences, off-sites or training. That will change company and team dynamics for everyone. Just one more reason that we all want the world to go back to normal.


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