The management of virtual teams has become commonplace. However, there are benefits as well as challenges to incorporating a remote workforce.

For business owners leveraging digital teams, one of the largest challenges is developing a supportive and engaging virtual culture. It might seem counterintuitive, but even remote workers need to feel like they are part of a team. Neglecting the social needs of your virtual employees can lead to discontent and disarray.

With more virtual teams each day, you need the skills to support and foster a healthy virtual culture.

Here are 10 Tips to help do just that.

  1. Nurture Relationship Building - use video conferencing, company retreats or in-person events to develop opportunities for virtual employees to meet and bond.

  2. Over Communicate - in a virtual team, you must over-communicate to keep everyone aligned regarding company trajectory and project goals.

  3. Allow One-On-One Time - you must find a way to connect with employees on a personal level. You can do this through video calls and regularly scheduled in-person events.

  4. Be Considerate - with workers in different time zones, be aware of when you're planning meetings. Be fair about the distribution of meeting times to account for the different locations of your employees.

  5. Praise A Job Well Done - even virtual workers like to know they've done a remarkable job. It's imperative you create systems to show your virtual team how much you appreciate their work.

  6. Be Accessible - allow ways for virtual team members to make contact in between regularly scheduled meetings. Accessibility provides the support a virtual team needs.

  7. Promote Work-Life Integration - cultivating a virtual team that believes in work-life integration is key. Giving your employees freedom to develop personalized schedules can lead to more productivity and happy employees.

  8. Ownership - once standards of work have been set and achieved, give virtual employees full ownership over projects.

  9. Personalization - some employees might desire more in-person meetings while others are comfortable with purely digital communication. Offer opportunities for both, allowing individuals with different needs to prosper.

  10. Ask For Feedback - your employees are the only ones who truly know what's missing from their virtual team culture. Ask them. Their insights will be invaluable.

Even the best virtual teams can feel alienated if not adequately supported. As a business owner or manager, your job is to create systems that produce cohesion, clarity of purpose and personalized attention.