Remote Work Etiquette: Best Practices for Virtual Teams

How to Build Strong Relationships in Virtual Teams

Joe Bensam

Fostering Virtual Bonds: Strategies for Deepening Team Connections Online

Team Connections Online
Team Connections Online

Working in a virtual team can feel isolating, making it challenging to forge strong relationships. Did you know that 46% of remote employees report "lack of co-worker relationships" as one of their biggest challenges? This blog post will provide practical tips and strategies for building stronger connections within your remote team.

Stick around – we're about to transform your virtual collaboration!

The Importance of Strong Relationships in Virtual Teams

Strong bonds in virtual teams can cause big wins. These ties boost team spirit, clear up chat, and promote a happy work mood. A remote team with good links works well together. They also handle words or emails better and easier.

All of this brings success to the project.Trust is vital for these strong links in telecommuting groups. Earning trust may feel hard when you don't meet face-to-face often. Still, it's very much possible! This trust sparks true teamwork among all members, no matter where they are on the globe.

Hence, forging strong relationships in virtual teams proves key for the best results!

Challenges in Building Relationships in Virtual Teams

Building relationships in virtual teams presents several challenges due to factors such as less time spent together, difficulty meeting people from other business areas, and changes in communication methods.

Less time spent together

It's hard to get close when there is less time spent together. This is true for virtual teams too. Being far apart makes this even harder. People can't bump into each other in the hall or chat at lunch.

These small talks help build strong relationships.Virtual teams use tools like phone calls, video chats and online chat tools. They try to make up for the lack of face-to-face time. But it may not be enough sometimes because these don’t give a full sense of the person on the other end.

Difficulty meeting people from other business areas

It's hard to meet people from other parts of the business in virtual teams. Different locations and time zones can make this tougher. You might miss out on making new friends or learning new things.

Face-to-face chats work best, but they're rare with remote work. Video calls help some, but they aren't like being together in person. It's a big challenge that needs clever solutions for better team collaboration and relationship building in remote teams.

Changes in communication methods

Now, teams talk more online. They use email, chat tools, and video calls. Face-to-face talks are not as common in remote teams. Video calls help us see each other when we talk. It feels like you're in the same room with someone else.

This helps to make better connections among team members. It's also important to know if a message is better sent via text or should be talked about on a call for clear communication within the team.

Techniques for Building Strong Relationships in Virtual Teams

Learn practical strategies for building strong relationships in virtual teams, including avoiding assumptions, expanding conversations beyond work topics, allocating time for virtual face time, and regularly checking in and following up.

Don't miss out on these valuable tips for fostering strong connections in remote work environments.

Avoiding assumptions

In virtual teams, it's key to stop guessing about a person's traits. We should not think we know their thoughts or feelings without asking them right away. This helps build trust in virtual teams and raises teamwork.

Use your words with care for others in mind. Clear speech shows respect for team members from all places and cultures. By doing this, you can make sure no one feels left out or misunderstood.

Proper care will help avoid any guesses and bring more success to the work of virtual teams.

Expanding conversations beyond professional topics

Talk about more than just work. Show interest in team members' lives outside the office. Ask them about their hobbies, families, or favorite books. This makes them feel valued and boosts morale.

It also helps to create strong ties within the team. Sharing personal stories builds trust too! Try having a virtual coffee break or lunch where everyone chats informally. Don't make it all business!

Allocating time for virtual face time

Scheduling virtual face time is a key step for building strong relationships in virtual teams. Here are a few ways to make it work:

  1. Plan daily or weekly video calls: This will allow team members to regularly see and interact with each other.
  2. Use video chat tools: Tools like Adobe Connect or other web conferencing platforms can help make virtual face time easy and accessible.
  3. Make sure everyone's camera is on: This helps mimic the feeling of being in the same room and allows for better communication.
  4. Encourage personal chats: This could be during breaks, before meetings, or after the workday is done.
  5. Take virtual coffee breaks: Schedule a specific time to sit down with your coffee, turn on your video call, and chat with your team about non-work things.
  6. Organize online games or activities: Games such as those found in the Jackbox Suite or can bring fun and relaxation into your remote team's schedule.

Validating team members for their contributions

Validation is an essential aspect of building strong relationships in virtual teams. By recognizing and acknowledging the contributions of team members, whether it's through positive feedback or emojis, we can make individuals feel heard and valued.

This validation becomes even more crucial in virtual, international teams where communication barriers may exist. When team members feel validated, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, leading to improved collaboration and overall project success.

So, it is important to actively validate team members for their contributions to foster positive relationships and create a supportive virtual work environment.

Regularly checking in and following up

Regularly checking in and following up are important techniques for building strong relationships in virtual teams. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Ensures everyone's voice is heard.
  2. Demonstrates that you care about their well - being.
  3. Helps to address any concerns or challenges they may be facing.
  4. Builds trust and rapport by showing consistency and reliability.
  5. Strengthens communication and collaboration within the team.
  6. Provides an opportunity to celebrate successes and acknowledge achievements.
  7. Allows for timely feedback and course correction if needed.
  8. Enhances accountability and commitment to shared goals.

Communicating Effectively in Virtual Teams

Mastering effective communication in virtual teams is crucial for successful collaboration and building strong relationships. From intentional communication to utilizing video calls, find out the key techniques that will help you connect with your team members on a deeper level.

Read more to enhance your virtual communication skills and foster positive relationships within your remote team.

Intentional communication

Intentional communication is a key factor in building strong relationships within virtual teams. It involves being thoughtful and deliberate with our words and actions, ensuring that every message we convey is clear, inclusive, and empathetic.

By actively listening to team members' concerns, asking open-ended questions, and providing meaningful feedback, we can create an environment of trust and understanding. Intentional communication also involves considering different cultural backgrounds and time zones when scheduling meetings or sending messages.

When we communicate intentionally in virtual teams, it leads to better collaboration, increased productivity, and overall project success.

Intentional communication is a key to build strong relationships within virtual teams
Intentional communication is a key to build strong relationships within virtual teams

Proficient writing skills

Proficient writing skills are extremely important when it comes to working in virtual teams. Clear and concise written communication ensures that team members understand each other's ideas and instructions accurately.

It helps in building strong relationships by minimizing misunderstandings and confusion. Additionally, proficient writing skills contribute to the overall success of projects and happier teams.

When team members can effectively express themselves through writing, they can collaborate more efficiently, share information effectively, and build trust with their colleagues. By using proper grammar, expressing ideas clearly, and considering the tone of their messages, individuals with proficient writing skills enhance communication within virtual teams.

Knowing when written communication isn't sufficient

In virtual teams, written communication is a common method of interaction. However, there are times when it may not be sufficient for effective communication. For example, when discussing complex ideas or emotions, written words can sometimes be misinterpreted or lack the necessary depth.

Non-verbal cues and tone of voice are important in conveying meaning accurately. Additionally, certain discussions require immediate feedback or clarification that can be better achieved through real-time conversation rather than waiting for responses to written messages.

In these cases, using video calls or phone calls instead of relying solely on written communication can help build stronger connections and ensure clearer understanding among team members.

Utilizing video communication

Video communication is a valuable tool for building strong relationships in virtual teams. It allows team members to see each other's facial expressions and body language, fostering deeper connections and better understanding.

By using video calls instead of conference calls, team members can have more personal interactions and build rapport. This is especially important when addressing tough issues or discussing project updates with stakeholders.

Studies show that remote work can make people feel less connected to their colleagues, but video communication helps bridge that gap by facilitating face-to-face interactions even from different locations.

Balancing professional and personal interactions

Balancing professional and personal interactions is important for effective communication in virtual teams. While it's crucial to maintain professionalism, adding personal elements can help build stronger relationships.

Simple gestures like asking about someone's weekend or sharing personal interests can create a more human connection. This balance fosters trust and camaraderie within the team, leading to improved collaboration and productivity.

It also helps individuals feel valued and supported, which contributes to their overall job satisfaction and well-being at work.

Developing Strong Connections on an Individual, Managerial, and Organizational Level

Building strong connections in virtual teams involves developing relationships on three levels: individual, managerial, and organizational. On an individual level, team members should take the initiative to get to know each other beyond work-related topics.

Sharing personal stories and interests can help create meaningful connections and foster trust among remote employees.

On a managerial level, leaders play a crucial role in building strong relationships by allocating time for virtual face time with team members. This can include regular check-ins and follow-ups to ensure everyone feels supported and valued.

Additionally, managers should validate team members for their contributions and provide positive feedback to boost morale.

At an organizational level, companies can facilitate relationship-building through initiatives like virtual coffee breaks or lunches where team members can socialize in a non-work setting.

Virtual events or team-building activities like online games can also help foster a sense of camaraderie among remote workers across different business areas.

By focusing on these three levels - individual, managerial, and organizational - virtual teams can develop strong connections that promote collaboration, trust-building, and overall project success.

Meeting in Real Life: The Role of Physical Gatherings in Strengthening Virtual Relationships

Meeting in person plays a crucial role in strengthening virtual relationships within teams. While virtual communication is convenient, face-to-face interactions provide a deeper level of connection and understanding.

Physical gatherings allow team members to build trust, establish stronger bonds, and foster camaraderie that may be lacking in solely digital interactions. Additionally, meeting in real life enables the observation of body language and non-verbal cues, which can enhance communication and reduce misunderstandings.

These opportunities for personal interaction are invaluable for building rapport with colleagues, fostering collaboration, and facilitating smoother conversations with project stakeholders.


Building strong relationships in virtual teams is crucial for effective collaboration and project success. By avoiding assumptions, expanding conversations beyond work topics, allocating time for virtual face time, validating team members, and regularly checking in and following up, individuals can foster trust and connection.

Effective communication techniques such as intentional communication, proficient writing skills, utilizing video calls when needed, and balancing professional and personal interactions further enhance relationship building in virtual teams.

Ultimately, by prioritizing relationship development on an individual, managerial, and organizational level while also considering the role of physical gatherings in strengthening virtual relationships, teams can create a positive and cohesive remote working environment.

Related Topics: You may also be interested in learning about celebrating success and milestones in remote teams, the role of feedback in remote teams and how to handle conflict in virtual teams.

Joe Bensam

Joe Bensam is a dynamic, young blogger and avid entrepreneur, fervently championing the cause of startups and global team collaborations. Riding the crest of the digital age, he harnesses his experiences in the entrepreneurial world to provide practical insights and inspiration.

Starting his entrepreneurial journey at a young age, Joe quickly grasped the potential of a connected global community in shaping the future of business. His writing encompasses his passion for innovative startups, the power of global teams, and the limitless opportunities in entrepreneurship.

Renowned for his energetic writing style and progressive ideas, Joe offers his readers a fresh, forward-thinking perspective on building successful businesses in today's interconnected world.

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