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How to Build a Strong Virtual Team

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Karen N. Johnson provides valuable advice for establishing and maintaining virtual relationships with team members. Using senses other than just your sight, paying attention to subtle clues, and putting in a little extra effort to be available when needed can help you to build a strong team that works together even when they're physically separated.
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Introduction

In an increasingly difficult economy and competitive work environment, it's important to learn how to present ourselves as reliable and dependable workers to clients, bosses, and teammates that we may never meet in person.

As the economy becomes more global, and more companies set up employees to work remotely, many of us are working on virtual teams. For longer than a decade, I've been working from part-time to sometimes 100% of my work time virtually. I often joke that my headset is my most important work tool. But behind that joke is the reality that being on conference calls has become a large part of my day, so I'm focusing on improving my audio skills.

Our audio skills and our ability to communicate clearly on conference calls and in email become essential when phone conversations, email, and instant messaging (IM) sessions are our primary and sometimes sole ways to communicate. And though TV shows like The Office may not portray our daily reality, office politics still exist—even on virtual teams.

Here's a look into improving your audio skills, navigating office politics on a virtual team, and some tips to present yourself as a reliable, dependable person when you work on a virtual team.

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