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Challenges in managing virtual and hybrid teams

In this article, explore key challenges that many virtual teams are currently facing.

As you learned in Week 1, there are many pros and cons to managing a virtual team, and you’ve read about what makes virtual teams work. 

Now you’ll explore key challenges that many virtual teams are currently facing. 

1. Communication among remote teams 

Communication for remote teams can be a problem, especially when we add in the complexity of time zones. Team members that are dispersed around the country may not be able to enjoy the opportunities presented by meeting with their team face to face. In-person meetings often have a great deal of energy and social interaction; poor virtual communication often does not have this, which can result in some issues for teams. 

Some communication issues that we see from remote teams are: 

  • higher stress levels 
  • conflicts and misunderstandings 
  • missed deadlines 
  • unsatisfied customers.

Some of the main reasons for poor communication among remote teams can be time zone discrepancies, cultural differences, and a lack of visual cues and gestures. A number of the tools that are used to connect virtual teams may not be appropriate or accessible for all team members, and this also presents issues for teams.

2. Remote project management

Planning and monitoring your team’s projects and tasks becomes more difficult when they’re not in the office with you. Those quick office chats that can happen in a face-to-face environment don’t happen as easily with virtual teams.

For example, imagine you’re managing the finance team and you’re developing exciting new software that could see huge results for your business. Your remote team might be equipped with all the latest tech tools they need, but if they’re not staying on top of their assigned tasks, it can unravel pretty quickly. This can result in a loss of motivation and challenges for the team in dealing with multiple projects at once. 

3. Transparency and performance accountability 

With each member of the team working independently, it can be easy for information silos to form. This is where team members are not sharing information, and as a result, we end up with a system where not all information is available to all team members. As a manager, it’s important to keep everyone up to date on everything from the latest versions of documents to important team updates – but depending on the size of the company, conducting the necessary virtual meetings to stay informed could eat up an entire day. 

Accountability and measurement of performance can also be challenging for managers in virtual environments. Assigning clear accountability is one way of ensuring remote employees are still contributing to your virtual team as much as they would if they were in an office. Defining responsibilities and project owners can help keep remote team members engaged and motivated.

Share your thoughts

Taking into account the learning so far, consider how you could implement and prioritise some of these strategies in a team you have worked in:
  1. Choose the three most important strategies to include for a new virtual team.
  2. Why did you select these strategies?
  3. How will you implement them to ensure the success of the team?


2. Allen J. 5 challenges of managing virtual teams and how to overcome them [Internet]. Buenos Aires: Mural [2020] [cited 5 January 2023]. Available from:

3. Atia E. Remote work: your guide to creating and maintaining strong virtual teams [Internet]. Tel Aviv: Monday [2021] [cited 5 January 2023]. Available from:

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Manage Virtual and Hybrid Teams

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