Centre for Continuing Education

Managing a Virtual Team Course

Management. Lift your career and your organisation.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

With more businesses ‘offshoring’ work every day, successful business leaders need to master the art of virtual management. Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking to build your new business, or a seasoned people manager tasked with leading a remote team, this course will set you up for success.


Learn key skills to overcome the challenges posed by: working across time zones or geographic distance; communicating across cultures; and managing performance without face-to-face contact. Discover how to set your team up for success by: applying cross-cultural communication skills; creating systems and procedures that make sense to remote workers; recruiting the right people to your virtual team; and overseeing work quality, productivity and motivation as a virtual manager. Build a dynamic team when you’re managing remote, offshore or virtual workers.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • adapt your leadership style to cater for cultural differences when managing across geographic regions
  • design robust systems to boost the productivity of team members
  • use team productivity apps to oversee workflows and workloads as a virtual manager, or entrepreneur
  • manage deadlines across time zones, whilst taking into account cultural differences in ‘time orientation’ which may exist in your team
  • use a simple checklist to recruit the right people to your offshore or remote team
  • manage the performance of remote or offshore staff, using visual and verbal feedback tools.


What is virtual management?

Define your roles and responsibilities as a virtual manager. Create an action plan so you can capitalise on the advantages of remote or virtual work teams, without falling prey to the top five challenges which impact remote teams. Get tips for overcoming issues such as lack of face-to-face contact, poor resource-management and resource-sharing, knowledge or skill gaps and poor prioritisation by virtual workers who report to more than one manager. Assess the strengths and challenges of your current business processes and systems, so you can prepare for a successful transition to managing remote staff.

Setting up systems for success

Whether you are hiring one person or an entire team to work remotely, you need to prepare for the launch your virtual team. Set up effective team management and workflow systems, so that your staff can master their roles with minimum downtime. Document your work processes and procedures, so they are easily to understand and implement. Create effective measures of performance and establish protocols for empowering your staff to track and report on these. Put the right communication technologies in place, so your team can connect and collaborate effectively.

Recruiting the right people for your remote or offshore team

One of the key advantages of offshoring or hiring remote workers is that you can hire the best talent, regardless of geographic location. Learn how to recruit virtual workers successfully. Consider the pros and cons of recruiting yourself or using an agency to do so. Discuss the key attributes of effective virtual workers – including skills in collaboration, self-direction, problem-solving and managing ambiguity. Learn how to recruit for these skills, by clearly defining your selection criteria. Design key questions to ask when hiring remote or virtual workers.

Motivating and engaging offshore, remote or virtual workers

What’s the number one difference between high-performing and under-performing virtual teams? Engagement and commitment levels. Discover how to shape these critical elements of teamwork as a virtual leader. Build a sense of purpose and meaning into your team’s work. Align tasks to concrete goals in ways that make sense to remote or offshore workers. Set up systems for empowering your team to make decisions and improve business processes – even when you don’t meet with them face-to-face.

Managing time and productivity across time zones

Getting things done on time can be problematic when you’re working across time zones and across cultures. Learn how to turn this situation around. Develop a plan for tapping into the advantages of having team members working in multiple time zones. Manage the impact cultural factors can have on approaches to time management and accountability. Establish robust metrics for assessing productivity, whilst enhancing motivation. Set up effective work management and prioritisation systems.

Managing performance across geographic distance

Research has shown that over 25% of virtual teams do not perform at their peak. One reason for this is lack of effective coaching and feedback. Learn how to give meaningful feedback to remote or offshore staff. Use a simple coaching process to build performance or address performance gaps. Design a system for recognising and rewarding high performance in your virtual team.

Tips for cross-cultural management

Hiring offshore staff involves learning how to navigate cultural differences. Identify issues to consider when setting up your virtual team. Adapt your leadership style to accommodate cultural differences in approaches to communicating across authority levels, delegation of tasks, management of conflict and decision-making and problem-solving.

Intended audience

This course is suitable for:

  • managers leading offshore or remote teams
  • business owners and entrepreneurs working with virtual assistants and e-lancers
  • supervisors and team leaders responsible for managing staff in multiple regions or sites.


You should have previous experience leading teams and/or managing people.

Delivery style

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini lectures
  • practical demonstrations and role plays
  • group discussions
  • Q & A sessions
  • individual planning activities
  • custom-made video vignettes
  • detailed course notes.

Recommended reading

Cascio, WF 2000, 'Managing a virtual workplace', Academy of Management Perspectives, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 81-90. doi:10.5465/ame.2000.4468068

DeRosa, DM, & Lepsinger, R 2010, Virtual Team Success: A Practical Guide for Working and Leading from a Distance, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.

Dzotsi, EK 2012, The remote workers guide to excellence, CreateSpace, Charleston, SC.

Fried, JH 2013, Remote Office Not Required, Random House.

Hart, RK, & Mcleod, PL 2003, 'Rethinking Team Building in Geographically Dispersed Teams', Organizational Dynamics, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 352-361. doi:10.1016/s0090-2616(02)00131-6

Kirkman, BL, Rosen, B, Tesluk, PE, & Gibson, CB 2004, 'The Impact of Team Empowerment On Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role Of Face-To-Face Interaction', Academy of Management Journal, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 175-192. doi:10.2307/20159571

Kurtzberg, T 2014, Virtual Teams: Mastering Communication and Collaboration in the Digital Age, ABC-CLIO, Westport.

Morgan, J 2012, The collaborative organization: A strategic guide to solving your internal business challenges using emerging social and collaborative tools, McGraw-Hill Professional.

Osman, H 2016, Influencing virtual teams: 17 tactics that get things done with your remote employees, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.

Pullan, P (n.d.), Virtual leadership: Practical strategies for getting the best out of virtual work and virtual teams.

Review, HB 2014, Leading Virtual Teams, Harvard Business Review Press.

Siebdrat, F, Hoegl, M, & Ernst, H 2009, 'How to Manage Virtual Teams', MIT Sloan Management Review, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 63-68. Retrieved from MIT Sloan Management Review.

Zofi, YS 2012, A managers guide to virtual teams, American Management Association, NY.

Zweifel, TD 2013, Culture clash 2: Leading the global high-performance team, Selected Books, NY.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Managing a Virtual Team Course

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