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After studying dozens of virtual teams, including groups at BP, Nokia, and Ogilvy & Mather, researchers at the London Business School recommend the following: Recruit volunteers.

Look within the company for volunteers to lead a new committee or research a new opportunity, rather than just assigning such tasks.

Nokia cultivates boundary spanners by introducing each new hire to at least 10 people both inside and outside their department.

In order to get the best out of your far-flung employees, you need to establish a clear communication routine, take extra steps to build trust, and review processes often to make sure they're working for everyone.Whether your employees are in other company offices, working from home, or a little bit of both, these tips will help keep your team running smoothly.In order to give you the best experience, we use cookies and similar technologies for performance, analytics, personalization, advertising, and to help our site function. Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy preferences, internal site usage and maintenance data, and to make the site work correctly for browsing and transactions. You can change your preferences any time in your Privacy Settings.“Virtual teams appear to thrive when they include volunteers with valuable skills — people whose proof of commitment is their willingness to join the team on their own,” writes Lynda Gratton, a professor of management with the school, in a 2007 Wall Street Journal article. “Boundary spanners are people who, as a result of their personality, skills, or work history, have lots of connections to useful people outside the team,” Gratton writes.

They play a strong networking role, keeping the team and its accomplishments visible within the company.They also need to communicate clearly in writing (since e-mail and instant messaging are the new standard for daily communication) and should be willing to suggest ideas, ask for and offer help, make decisions, and collaborate.Below are a few suggestions for setting up a remote work arrangement.Find out more in our Cookies & Similar Technologies Policy.Thanks to technology and globalization, more and more business teams are working together across state lines and international borders.A remote set-up won’t work unless your employees are motivated and running in sync — collaborating, asking each other for help, sharing ideas. You don’t need to start each day smiling from ear to ear, but if you’re annoyed every time an IM breaks your train of thought or you’re not good about remembering to check in with people, running remote teams probably isn’t for you. When your staff is spread across a number of time zones, they need to feel comfortable calling you at odd hours — even if it’s dinner hour.