Easy Gift Ideas for Remote Virtual Teams

When was the last time you actually rewarded your virtual team or remote workers for a job well-done?   You may have thought about doing something a number of times, but put it in the “too hard basket” or the “I’ll do it later” basket.

The reasons WHY virtual team leaders don’t reward their team working virtual

There are a number of reasons you might fail to reward your virtual team workers.  Do you fit into any of the following categories?

  • You haven’t even thought about it
  • You have thought about it but, haven’t actually got around to doing it
  • The virtual worker could be a sub-contractor so you don’t feel the need to reward them, because they are just doing their job and you’re paying them anyway.
  • You’re stuck for ideas on what to send someone who is working virtually

The reason Why A virtual team reward and recognition program should be incorporated into your overall virtual team management plan

Virtual team members often feel isolated and can be easily forgotten because the virtual team leader and other remote team workers are not connecting with them face-to-face on a daily basis.

Building a sense of unity amongst remote virtual workers can be a challenge.  By rewarding your team, you help them to focus on a united purpose and share in the rewards together.

By rewarding your virtual team workers you’ll build team morale, the virtual team will WANT to continue to work with you, you’ll be seen as a true virtual team leader and virtual team turnover will be reduced, helping you to retain valuable skill­-sets and information within your team.

When you are looking to reward the efforts of your virtual team, you need a gift solution that …

  • Can be quickly and easily purchased online
  • Can be delivered to your virtual team member no matter where they are located in the world (online or in person)
  • Available in a variety of prices ranges

QUICKEST AND EASIEST Gift Idea for Remote Virtual Workers:   The Ultimate Virtual Team Gift Idea

Here we have the ultimate virtual team gift idea that ticks all the boxes above.   Start building your virtual team morale and arrange a gift for your remote workers now – it’s easy, quick and will give you great return on your virtual team investment …


What will happen to your virtual team if you don’t start introducing team building activities?

this is what will happen if you don’t start virtual team building with your remote team (I’ve seen this happen over and over again with virtual teams) ….

  • You’ll just have a bunch of people working remotely trying to work together, you won’t have a real virtual team at all.
  • There will be A lack of “togetherness” with a sense of misdirection within your team.   Sure, you’ll have individuals working well as individuals but they won’t have a clear, united purpose or mission.
  • Diminished virtual team morale will lead to high virtual team turnover – with that comes a loss of skills and knowledge across your team along with the cost and expense of re-training
  • Showing up online will cause you and the rest of your team distress and anxiety.  It will be a case of virtual team “all work and no play” – leaving individual virtual team members feeling isolated and unsupported.
  • You’ll be dealing with Frequent Miscommunications between different members of your virtual team.  You’re projects will be clumsily executed.  You may still achieve results, but you’ll be achieving results the hard way!
  • Major frustration caused by Mismanagement and mistakes within the remote team, even though you feel things have been thoroughly explained and clearly outlined to the entire team.  Mistakes will happen that may cost you substantial sums of cash and loss of your valuable time.

Click below to find an easy solution to your remote virtual team building activities:

Big Book of Virtual Team Building Games

Quick, Effective Virtual Team Building Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series)

 VIRTUAL TEAM CHALLENGE:   As a VIRTUAL team leader or as a leader of a remote team you need to work even HARDER than the average manager to help your remote team to work together as one united team.

This is especially challenging for you if your team is made up of individual contractors who run their own businesses from various parts of the world.   Virtual Team Building is absolutely essential to your virtual team success.   As a forward thinking virtual team leader you must have a regular program of Virtual Team Building Activities prepared for your remote teams.

If you really want your team to be effective, if you want your team to see and trust you as their virtual team leader, if you want to bring your virtual team together with a spirit of unified purpose then you need to be proactive.

VIRTUAL TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITY/SOLUTION:   Facilitate frequent, quick and simple virtual team building games.

Big Book of Virtual Teambuilding Games: Quick, Effective Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series)

For more Virtual Team Building Activities click here to read “Ultimate Remote Team Building Activities”

Virtual Team Building Ideas for Remote Virtual Teams

Help your virtual team to connect and communicate with you and each other with these 8 simple, Easy Virtual Team Building Activities >>>

#1 Host a virtual team building session with a REAL team building activity.  We recommend this book of virtual games designed for remote and co-located teams -> Big Book of Virtual Teambuilding Games: Quick, Effective Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series) Loads of suggestions for virtual games with real team building results!

#2  Introduce a 10 minute virtual social session prior to starting your online virtual team meetings Get creative with your virtual team meetings.   Open up the online virtual conference room  10 minutes early, so the team can chat and catch-up informally.   Some virtual team members may find the “chatting” a little difficult or awkward to start with, so come prepared with virtual team “ice-breakers”.  Get the virtual room warmed up first, and the interaction will become easier and beneficial with time.  Get virtual team “ice-breaker” ideas.  Click here:   50 Digital Team-Building Games >>  50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More.

#3  Establish a Virtual Team Reward and Recognition program Invite your virtual team to contribute their ideas to a reward and recognition program.  Private and public recognitions should be included.   Sign up with a corporate gifts online site to make sending gifts and rewards to virtual workers easy.   An Amazon.com Gift Card – $25 (Classic design) is a great easy gift idea to send to virtual or remote workers.

#4  Have fun virtual celebration sessions with your virtual team before or after a project starts, give your team the chance to have some fun together.   Play a team team building game to “kick off” the project and give out rewards at an end-project party.  Just because your team is virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate together!

#5 Assign virtual “open door policy” time slots where team members can contact you during set periods via phone line, video conferencing or direct messaging (IM). Virtual workers can feel isolated and disconnected from other members and their virtual team leader.  I’ve seen some virtual workers go weeks without any communication with their virtual team leader.  By assigning virtual “open door policy” time slots, your team will know when they can connect with you and know you are available to them.

#6 Arrange a Personality Profiling session for members of your virtual team. Personality profiling is a fun, yet very informative way for you and your team to get to know each other.   Virtual team personality profiling will help your team understand how each individual team member communicates and their preferred working style.   Continue to follow-up from the sessions by discussing the strengths and weaknesses within your team and how the different personalities, communication and working styles are impacting on the virtual team performance.

#7 Provide a platform for your virtual team to interact on a DAILY basis.  Encourage frequent communication to discuss wins and challenges openly without judgement.   Social Media groups can be set-up for your team to interact.  As a team, discuss and agree on the terms of use.   There are many virtual team collaboration tools you can use to keep your team working together.  The key is to make sure the platform is USED.   This takes some commitment in the beginning – but once your individual team members start to use and see the benefits of the interaction, they will embrace the communication concept.

#8 Host a quarterly virtual team “happy hour” Show your virtual team and remote workers how much you appreciate their efforts.  Hosting a regular happy hour will not only bring your team together, it will boost virtual team morale and help the more isolated team members feel part of your group.   Click here for the plan:    http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-building-activities/celebrate-your-success-with-virtual-workers-clients/

Virtual Team Ice-breaker Games

Virtual Team Ice-breaker Games

It’s the first time you’re bringing your virtual team together.   You’re gathering your team of experts from various locations all over the world.  It’s the start of a brand new project and you want to help your virtual team have a sense of unity.    You’ve got John from Australia, Rishis from India, Ryan and Cassandra in the US all waiting in the online meeting room.   How do you help this team really “gel”?  As a virtual team leader, how do you direct your team to have that real sense of “teamwork” even though they may never meet face-to-face?  What virtual team building activities can you introduce to ensure your team works creatively together towards a common goal?

Here are our top 3 virtual team building activities to ensure your team comes together as a truly united team from the very first day they meet online…

#1  The Virtual Team Honesty Game:    Be honest with your virtual team about the special challenges they will face as a virtual team.  Encourage discussion around this topic; invite ideas and possible solutions to the problems faced.   Being honest about the typical challenges facing virtual teams and learning to trust in virtual teams is paramount to long-term virtual team success.

If you’re short on ideas, here are 3 Challenges your new virtual team will likely face:

  • Individuals feeling isolated, rather than having a feeling of being connected with a common purpose
  • Communication challenges associated with time zones, language and cultural differences
  • Sharing, management and retention of information in the virtual team

#2 Virtual Team Ice-breakers:   Having fun with your virtual team, and getting them to relax with each other is another important way to break-the-ice and get your virtual team members feeling connected.   Virtual team games liven up meetings, break the ice, and improve communication and productivity

Get creative using social media, smartphones and other technology.  It only takes 5 minutes to break-the-ice.   We recommend – 50 Digital Team-Building Games.

This virtual team resource offers fun, energizing meeting openers, team activities, and group adventures for business meetings and teams. Using Twitter, GPS, Facebook, smartphones, and other technology, the games can be played virtually.
50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More

#3 Virtual Team Personality Profiling Sessions:  Personality profiling can be fun as well as highly beneficial to the virtual team leader as well as each member.   Personality profiling will help the team to understand the unique way each person works and communicates.   Discussing personality differences can be a fun journey of discovery, bringing the team together, while really impacting on the team in a positive way.

When you bring your virtual team together you need to make special consideration for the fact that your team do not have the advantage of meeting face-to-face.   Without that face-to-face meeting you are faced with the unique challenges of a virtual team.   The challenge of feeling connected, united and part of a real team.   These challenges, with a little time and forethought can be overcome.

If you want to know how to conduct your own personality profiling session with your virtual team, click here to read our article “Easy Virtual Team Building Activity for Remote TeamsContinue reading

What is a Virtual Team?

What is a Virtual Team?

What is a Virtual Team?

What is a Virtual Team?

A virtual team is a group of people that while working together on one or various projects, do so from various geographic locations throughout the world.  Individuals working in a virtual team generally do not work face-to-face, but use technology to facilitate direction and communication – most often provided online via the web.

A virtual team may have a number of remotely located team members dotted across the globe.  The virtual team can be made of people working from different locations, time zones and cultures.  As an example a team may come to together to complete a marketing project.    The team leader maybe located in the United States, while the research team could be located in Australia and the design team working from India.    They all come together as a virtual team with one desired outcome.

Q.  Just because you bring a bunch of people together in an online space, does it mean they are automatically going to operate as a united virtual team?  A.  May SURPRISE you.

How does a Virtual Team Communicate?

A virtual team will interact using a variety of communication channels.  Available technologies close the boundaries that timezones and geographic locations bring.

Online Meeting Facilities – Online tools like ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support enable virtual teams to meet and collaborate together.

Video Conferencing –  Platforms like Skype, ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support allow people to meet face-to-face without being in the same location.

Collaboration Tools –  Online collaboration workrooms, enable virtual teams to organise tasks, track progress and communicate with each other.   Social Media  is another platform closing the gap for online virtual teams and remote workers.

Instant Messaging, Email and Phone Conferencing – are also tools, easily accessed by virtual teams.

Check out some other cool tools here:  http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-tools/15-x-handy-little-tools-for-remote-virtual-workers-virtual-teams/


Key Benefits to Working With A Virtual Team

While working virtually does bring its challenges (for another discussion) there are many benefits.  Especially with a workforce that is now demanding greater flexibility.   What does a Virtual Team provide for that a typical face-to-face team won’t?  Here are just 3 key benefits …

  • Ability to draw on the expertise of people from every location across the globe.  Giving you a greater talent pool to draw from.
  • Potential reduction in costs in relation to office space, commuting, travel expense etc.   Using offshore labour where appropriate is another way to reduce expenses.
  • Virtual team members are free to work from their location of choice (provided there is internet access).  This offers greater freedom, flexibility and lifestyle choices (including work and travel)

15 Ways You Can Build Trust In Your Virtual Team

As with any relationship (offline or online, personal or business) building trust takes time and effort. In the case of a Virtual Team where members may feel isolated and disconnected it’s important you set the foundation – a strong, solid foundation to build trust within your virtual team. This needs to be done right at the outset. Right at the point your team is established or comes together. Remember …

Just because you bring a bunch of people together in an online space, doesn’t mean they are automatically going to operate as a united virtual team. It doesn’t mean they will automatically trust you and each other.

Take time to build virtual team trust

Take time to build virtual team trust

You want your team to trust you as their virtual team leader. You also want your individual virtual team members to trust you and each other. This can pose a challenge for virtual teams who have people working remotely from different parts of the world.
So what can you do, to gain the trust of your virtual team? What can you do to encourage individual team members to trust each other? This list is in no way exhaustive, but it does highlight 15 of the most important things you can do to establish trust in a virtual team, where people rarely (if ever) connect face-to-face >>>

  1. Set The Lead In The Matter of Trust by trusting yourself and being ready and willing to trust your team.   Work on your own attitude first and let an attitude of trust filter out from you.
  2. Be willing to share information (even personal information) about yourself with the team.  Share stories and inspiring experiences with your virtual team.
  3. Be completely honest with your team about the unique challenges they will likely face as a virtual team.  Don’t pretend that you will be able to operate the same as any standard face-to-face working team.    Explain to your virtual team what you are willing to do to build trust within the team and what you will do to help the team overcome the challenges particularly associated within virtual working.
  4. Invite the virtual team members to suggest ways they can contribute to a better functioning united team.  Discuss how the suggestions can be applied and provide the resources for the suggestions to be implemented and maintained.
  5. Share your vision for the team, and communicate to each individual team member how they fit into that vision.  Help team members to feel part of a greater purpose and help them see specifically, how they are contributing to the purpose of the entire team.
  6. Set clear roles and responsibilities within the team to achieve the vision.   Then follow through by respecting the boundaries of those roles you have assigned.
  7. Be quick to give commendation and praise – both privately and publicly.
  8.  Take The Time To Get To Know Your Individual Virtual  Team Members and How They Work Best
  9. Arrange a personality profiling session when your team is first established.    Have fun with it and help team members to learn about each other and how best to communicate with each other.
  10. Apply the knowledge gained from the personality profiling on a regular basis.  Open up discussion within the team as to how personalities and work styles are impacting on the team dynamics.
  11. Allow time (at least once a week) for open communication within the team.  This could be a time set aside for 10 minutes before a team meeting.
  12. When communicating with your virtual team, look for ways to motive your team by asking your team questions that will reveal their true motivation.  ie   Viewpoint questions – What do you think?  What’s your opinion? Why questions.  How do you feel about that questions.
  13. Be a good listener to show each team member has a valued contribution to make.  Listening carefully for “hidden” communications is very important, especially when you don’t have body language and facial expressions to respond to.
  14.  Establish channels for People To Connect With Each Other Virtually.  Ie Social Media, , Internal Social Media Platforms, Collaboration Software
  15. Invest in REAL virtual team building games and activities.

Get More Virtual Team Tips here:
How to capture and retain valuable information in a virtual office environment
Virtual Team Intelligence – Top 10 Team Building Quotes

Boost Your Virtual Office “Happy” Culture With Real Life Coffee, Cards & Cake

 Here are 5 virtual team building activities you can do to boost your virtual office “happy”.

How about introducing a little bit of  “real world charm” to your virtual office and virtual team building activities.  Here’s why …  In a “typical office environment” you break down barriers and find out the real issues by going out and having lunch or coffee with your colleagues.  You’ll either gossip or strategize about all the issues you’re planning thappyfaceo solve.  Team building. while sometimes formally organized, can occur naturally with everyday face-to-face contact.

Then there’s the office gatherings and celebration parties.  Here you have the chance to share, joke and show generosity to others.  A little time out, fun and laughter gets everyone feeling good!  All these activities help your people feel part of team with a common identify.

And of course the end of year parties, bonuses and rewards >> when real issues and true feelings are exposed!   Love em or hate em >> they all play a part in bringing a team together and building upon your business culture.  They are in effect unofficial team building activities.

So – let’s go to the Virtual Team world.   How do you capture those moments and bring in a warm, happy culture into your virtual team working environment?  How do you adapt these typical “team building activities” into Virtual team building activities for your remote virtual teams.

 Here are 5 virtual team building activities you can do to boost your virtual office “happy”.

 1  Regularly Host a virtual office Happy Hour as part of your virtual team building strategy.  This is the time when your “virtual office doors are closed”.  Give your team some fun time out.  Be careful about the time you select.  Think about where your key team players are based and how it will impact on your customers.    Close the doors and open the music.   In advance send out a bottle of champagne (champagne for breakfast, lunch or dinner is fine right 😉       Turn it into a party by planning some quick and fun online team building games.   The first time you do this, it may seem a little strange, so have some ice-breakers ready to get people interacting.  Personality quizzes are one way to get it started. A virtual office happy hour will be a virtual team building activity your remote team will never forget.

2 Send personal messages to your virtual team.   Even though you’re busy, there is no excuse for not sending the occasional thank you note, expressing appreciation to your team.   When you use Snail mail to send a handwritten card,  that is perfect.   There’s even a mobile application available that will handle the sending for you!

A simple email is great, but to really personalize it, you can send handwritten messages right from your IPad.   There are a number of applications available – just search on the word “Paper”.   You can quickly prepare a handwritten note and send it direct to your team.   There are also online card sending options if that suits your style better.      If you still think you’re too busy to do this small but important activity, then delegate it to an online secretary, who will be able to set up systems for you to make sure sending personal messages are quick and easy.

3 Send inspirational videos to your virtual team.   If you want to get your team fired up about an upcoming project or if you just want to boost morale.  Send out a surprise video message to your team members.  If you want to deliver the message to your virtual team live, you can do this in a virtual meeting room online.

A personal message always works best, but if you’re short on time, www.Youtube.com has a huge selection of motivational and inspirational messages you can choose from. Continue reading

Can VA’s Earn Good Money?

VA's can earn great money - you just need to know how.

VA’s can earn great money – you just need to know how.

One of our blog subscribers posted that exact question recently.  It seems to be a question that comes up time and time again for those considering taking their skills online.  They fear that they won’t be able to earn enough money working online as a virtual assistant.  I’ve even heard some people ask if Virtual Assistant roles are SCAMS!!!

So Can VA’s Earn Good Money?  In fact a skilled Virtual Assistant can earn GREAT MONEY!   There is a lot of earning potential in the working virtual industry

Your earnings really depend a lot on YOU.  Your skills, talents, experience, how much you’re willing to network, how much you’re willing to invest in yourself and your business and how much commitment or staying power you have.

There are a number of factors you will want to consider and a few questions to ask yourself if you’re planning a virtual assistant career path and want to know how much you can really earn as a virtual assistant.

How Much CAN you Earn as a Virtual Assistant?

  • Skilled, business savvy virtual assistants who have specialized skills can earn $60­­-$100 + per/hour
  • There are virtual assistants who have grown their business by setting up systems and hiring a team so that their business is generating a 6 figure + income.
  • At the same time there are Virtual Assistants that are working offshore for a very low hourly rate.  I’ve seen some offshore assistants on elance working for as little as $5-$7 per hour.
  • There are, of course, virtual assistants that are charging reasonable rates from $20-$60 per hour, but they don’t have enough clients which is lowering their overall income rate.
  • Most Virtual Assistants that I have worked with charge from $12 per hour to $30 per hour.


3 Factors That Will Influence How Much You Earn as a Virtual Assistant

  • How much you expect to earn.    Do you see your service as truly adding value to the client?  How much value are you offering?    You need to know the answer to this, so you can charge with confidence.  If you under-value yourself your earning potential instantly lowers. Continue reading
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