Toolkit for Virtual Team leaders, HR professionals and Managers This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. [Project Number: 2020-1-FR01-KA226-VET-095203]

2 This work is published under the responsibility of the Virtual Teams Project Consortium. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of European Commission. Please cite this publication as: Virtual Teams project (2022). Toolkit for Virtual Team leaders, HR professionals and Managers. Available at Toolkit for Virtual Team leaders, HR professionals and Managers © 2022 by Virtual Teams project is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Project Number: 2020-1-FR01-KA226-VET-095203

3 Table of Contents 1. Introduction 5 1.1. Objectives of the toolkit/ How to utilize it 5 1.2. Definition of key concepts 6 1.3. Field research findings 7 2. Introduction to teleworking 13 2.1. Teleworking 13 2.2. The need for teleworking 13 2.3. Basic infrastructure for efficient teleworking 14 2.4. Available tools for teleworking 15 2.5. Resources for implementation 17 2.6. Handouts and activity sheets 18 2.7. Assessment tools 19 3.Necessary equipment for teleworking 20 3.1. Necessary equipment for effective remote working 20 3.2. Necessary equipment for effective remotely project management 21 3.3. Essential tools for communication and collaboration 24 3.4. Essential tools for design and development 27 3.5. Essential tools for writing and editing 30 3.6. Necessary equipment for teleworking and training infrastructure 31 3.7. Resources for implementation 32 3.8. Handouts and activity sheets 32 3.9. Assessment tools 33 4.Skills of effective team leaders 34 4.1. Necessary skills for effective virtual team leaders 34 4.2. Resources for implementation 37 4.3. Handouts and activity sheets 38

4 4.4. Assessment tools 39 5. Skills for working remotely productively 40 5.1. Necessary skills for working remotely productively 40 5.2. Essential tools for remote working Time Management 43 5.3. Essential tools for remote working productively 46 5.4. Handouts and activity sheets 49 5.5. Assessment tools 51 6.Case studies and best practices 52 6.1. Best practices for keeping remote devices safe and securely protected 52 6.2. Best practices for content encryption 53 6.3. Best practices for security from hackers 54 6.4. Resources for implementation 55 6.5. Handouts and activity sheets 57 6.6. Assessment tools 59 7. Checklist 60 8. Conclusions 63 9. References 64 Appendix 67

5 1. Introduction 1.1. Objectives of the toolkit/ How to utilize it This practical and innovative toolkit is created to provide support to Small and Medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) team leaders, managers, HR professionals, trainers and eWorkers in adopting best practices for teleworking. The overall scope of the toolkit is to assist the users in infusing contemporary practices to engage in productive management of teams working remotely. It is designed in the form of a step-by-step toolkit for effective management of Virtual Teams for enhanced employee engagement, wellbeing and productivity. The toolkit covers the following 6 Modules: Each module begins with the necessary theoretical information on the topic, followed by resources required for implementation. In addition, handouts and activity sheets provide the user with an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the new acquired knowledge, while each module completes with an assessment tool to reflect and evaluate the appropriate next steps for your organization. An overall readiness checklist was also created in order to help you reflect on the necessary actions for your organization and assist in creating a compact plan for your future steps in enhancing remote working and management in your organization. Module 1 •Key concepts about virtual teams Module 2 •Introduction to teleworking Module 3 •Equipment for teleworking Module 4 •Necessary skills of an effective team leader Module 5 •Necessary skills to be productive while working remotey Module 6 •Case studies •Practicesin teleworking

6 1.2. Definition of key concepts 1.2.1. Remote team: A group of people brought together for a unified purpose or project. While they all answer to the same organization and usually the same manager, they may physically be in different offices, cities, or even countries. 1.2.2. Hybrid – remote team: A hybrid team is a flexible work structure where some employees work remotely, and other team members work from a central location or office. They may have the chance to get together, or they may not. 1.2.3. Virtual Team: A virtual team is a group of workers who communicate and work together using information and communication technologies (digital tools). While they can be located in the same physical area, virtual teams are often distributed, working remotely in different parts of the city, state or country — even on the other side of the world! The term can also refer to groups or teams that work together asynchronously or across organizational levels. Team members may report to different managers. 1.2.4. Virtual Team leadership: Virtual team leaders should attain skills that are more complex, as the leader of a virtual team must be able to inspire and lead their team without physically meeting them, without seeing them every day and without being able to model appropriate and desirable behavior in a physically visible way. 1.2.5. Physical Wellbeing: The ability to improve the functioning of one’s body through healthy eating, sleep and good exercise habits (Healthy Nutrition, Sleep management, Exercise). 1.2.6. Emotional wellbeing: The ability to adapt when confronted with adversity (resilience), manage one’s emotions and generate emotions that lead to pleasant feelings (generate positive emotions, humor, spirituality, savoring, optimism, adaptability, self-compassion, mindfulness, mental health). 1.2.7. Social – wellbeing: the ability to communicate, develop meaningful relationships with others and create one’s emotional support network (gratitude, forgiveness, verbal and non-verbal communication, empathy, acts of kindness, Mentoring, Diversity and inclusion, social connectedness at work, teamwork, team building activities, Interpersonal skills). 1.2.8. Digital wellbeing: Describes the impact ICTs (e.g., emails, instant chats) have on people’s mental, emotional and physical health.

7 1.3. Field research findings This toolkit was created to specifically address the current needs of SMEs team leaders, HR professionals, managers and eWorkers who work remotely. In order to achieve this, a needs analysis assessment was conducted in each partner country through a mixed method research design. Specifically, a qualitative questionnaire survey was launched in each country with a minimum target of 20 completed survey responses. A purposive sampling method was applied targeting Team Leaders, HR professionals and managers. A total of 128 responses were collected through the questionnaires reaching the predetermined goals. The questionnaire consisted of multiple questions covering the following topics: ● Challenges and changes at work ● Current needs on skills development ● Current needs on ICTs (digital tools) ● Desired areas for future training In addition, a focus group was implemented in each country with SMEs team leaders, HR professionals and managers, reaching a total of 47 people in our target groups. The main focus was to use a qualitative method to gain a spherical view of the specific needs of our target group at the moment. Below you can see the main findings of each country’s research. 1.3.1. Cyprus Through both research methods (questionnaires and focus group) of the field research implemented in Cyprus, some common findings arise. The first finding is that the majority of the participants prefer working from home compared to going regularly in the office. A hybrid model was the most preferable working arrangement, but only if participants have the control of scheduling when they will work from the office. Another common finding of the research is that HR professionals and team leaders are concerned about their employees' well-being and ways in which they can support them in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. HR Professionals and Team Leaders reported via both research methods that they would like to receive further information about enhancing their employees’ well-being (emotional and social) and wellness and ways they can support them in keeping a healthy work-life balance.

8 A third common finding was the topic of keeping the connectedness of their teams on high levels. Some measures were already reported, such as more social meetings between the employee groups, more 1-1 meetings between team leaders and each employee and often short check-in meetings. The reason the HR Professionals and Team Leaders focus on connectedness, as reported, is due to considering it a major factor of keeping employees highly engaged and productive. Thus, they reported being open and keen to receive more information on how they can achieve this in order to sustain high levels of productivity and help their employees maintain social wellbeing. Fourth, it was clearly reported and stated that virtual teams and remote workers is a new way of working which seems that will remain even after the Covid-19 pandemic ceases, thus they are willing to provide time and effort to be educated and informed in ways (programs, virtual tools e.x.t) that they can implement in their work. Specifically, they requested tools for remote working and time management, file sharing tools, infrastructure and tools to support teleworking and training, tools for project management work, and communication between team leaders, managers, and their co-workers. In conclusion, it is evident that the project “Virtual Teams” has a lot to offer to cover the current needs of HR Professionals and Team Leaders in Cyprus. 1.3.2. Greece The most important challenges encountered by a virtual team leader are building trust in employees and maintaining not only the active participation of team members but also the communication between co-workers. Moreover, the training of employees is necessary, and they must have constant control and good management of the new problems (e.g., technical issues). HR professionals have to deal with different ways of interviews and recruitment. They must constantly support innovative ideas and the development of new skills, develop e-media skills and deal with issues such as internet fatigue, isolation and stress. Managers have to ensure that employees work properly while motivating them to work as a "team" and provide them with the necessary technological tools and applications. They must also ensure the consistency of the operation of the system and organize the time and work to be carried out. In order to promote employee well-being and efficiency, organizations apply some practices. A very active teams’ community is implemented and available to all employees, including information regarding well-being, nutrition, entertainment, and various training courses regarding digital skills and management. They use very good communication tools and project management tools.

9 They have fixed meetings between internal teams and lessons within the department. They also provide employees with free seminars with fitness and psychological support programs as well as an anonymous telephone line providing psychological support to employees. Issues are discussed among team members to make jointly with respect and cooperation to achieve goals. Most employees feel more productive in the workplace, so they want to return. The main challenge is the fact that communication with colleagues and the work environment is lost. At the same time, working at home brings difficulties as there are more distractions due to the absence of a separate and appropriate workplace at home. Other problems are the lack of tools and resources and the fact that work-life balance is often lost, as it is difficult for some employees to "turn off work mode" at the end of the day. The new conditions create the need for both digital skills training and psychological support for employees. There are some productive practices that Team Leaders/HR professionals/Managers follow to ensure the engagement and well-being of employees in the new conditions and prevent alienation. First, it is important to reward hard work and efficiency with various benefits and incentives, but also to adhere to the schedule, breaks, and fiveday work, so that there is time for personal and family life. Some interesting suggestions are online free fitness classes, online joint lunch breaks as a group, organization of excursions -when allowed by the state regulations, programs for healthy lifestyle tips, training through skills development platforms and time management instructions from the HR professional. 1.3.3. Ireland The findings of the field research show that team members and team leaders face a variety of obstacles, the most prevalent of which is communication. As can be seen from the surveys and focus groups carried out, team members miss their coworkers and do not feel the same connection when working remotely. As well as this Managers and team leaders mentioned how they have had a hard time trusting team members to complete tasks with minimal supervision. Respondents highlighted how they can always see work being done in a face-to-face work environment, such as an office, but this is not the case when working remotely, which might make managers feel "paranoid." To fix this problem, there has to be a lot more trust between employees and management.

10 As for workers/employees, when their working day is done, e-workers find it difficult to turn off their computers. They have digital fatigue, which may be related to communication problems. Emails, Zoom meetings, messaging, and no genuine faceto-face connection are used for communication, and we know that this is what eWorkers are looking forward to the most when they return to the office. 1.3.4. France The survey in France indicates that virtual teams have grown considerably in recent months because of the covid pandemic. This changed the way managers/ directors and HR professionals think about their work and communication with their employees. There has been a real adaptation to the digital tools available to create specific working environments that enable employees to flourish, work effectively and enhance their well-being at work. They also realized the need to make themselves available to their employees and to develop the necessary skills to deal with remote issues. The survey as a whole highlighted the difficulties of setting up this working environment, which they were not used to, but they learned a lot from this experience and some of them continue to use tools and good practices in their daily work. A majority of them enjoyed this particular period, even if it was not always easy. But they have seen the involvement and motivation of their staff evolve according to the strategies they used. Productivity was much better for some. The more you show them that you have confidence in them, in their remote work, the more the employee feels valued and is, therefore, more likely to be more productive and efficient. 1.3.5. Spain The survey in Spain showed that most participants agree that they are equally productive both at home and in the office, while the rest emphasize only at home. There were no results for being more productive in the office. The majority of respondents say they would like to return to the office partially, followed by those who say they would not like to return at all. A minority is unclear about their decision. The majority of respondents say that if their employer were to ask them to return to the office full-time, this would slightly affect their opinion of their employer. Others say it would have no effect and a small group say it would affect very negatively and positively respectively. In addition, seeing colleagues is what they look forward to most about returning to the office, followed by those who highlight the working environment. Contact with the public/partners/clients and time away from home also

11 feature, although to a lesser extent. In terms of what they are least looking forward to, the majority of participants do not want to commute to work. There is also a group of participants who also do not want to wear a mask or use public transport. The biggest challenge respondents are currently facing whilst working from home are digital well-being (too much time spent on screens and meetings) and physical wellbeing, as well as their physical workplace and work-life balance. The main challenges faced by the virtual team leaders were building trust (e.g., managers worry that workers aren’t completing work), keeping their teams motivated/ engaged and difficulty in fostering collaboration between team members. Participants reported that they felt trusted working from home and they are willing to try new or different tactics to manage teams that work remotely even though the same percentage reports they have the tools and resources to support the remote workers. Skills they would like to receive more information and support are Time management, Psychological Resilience and Ability to maintain work-life balance Digital tools they would like to learn more about Infrastructure and tools necessary for organizations to support teleworking and training, Tools for remote working and time management and Tools available for remote working for managing project work. Both the results of the questionnaire and the focus group follow the same line: - The importance of not assuming that just because of remote work, participants have mastered digital skills and tools. - The importance of not forgetting the emotional well-being of leaders and workers during remote work situations. - The importance of time management and productivity, both for workers, team leaders and HR professionals. 1.3.6. Slovenia According to the Slovenian survey, the new working conditions have created several challenges and changes in the way Team Leaders, HR managers, managers and employee’s work. Team leaders mentioned they have difficulties in coordinating team members, communication and there is not enough time to build relationships, while one of the remaining main issues are technical issues that require communication with competent technicians.

12 Summarizing the main findings of the questionnaire and the focus group discussion, there is a need to improve digital skills, a desire to maintain the wellbeing of participants and a need to ensure that employees interact well with digital tools. The majority expressed a desire to improve digital skills and to learn how to use online tools to make remote working easier and more productive, but above all there is a strong desire for good networking and communication between colleagues. Based on the statements collected, it can be said that the training of employees is necessary to respond to the new conditions and constant control is required, so that the overall process of remote work is reliable, productive and efficient and that digital tools are extremely useful if used properly. In order to get the most out of them, participants want to receive as much knowledge and information as possible in the areas of communication and social cohesion of team members (through digital tools), they want to improve their digital skills and their handling of online tools, and they want to maintain their well-being and the right work-life balance, knowing that this is the only way to prevent burnout and to reach their maximum potential.

13 2. Introduction to teleworking 2.1. Teleworking Teleworking refers to all types of work performed outside a default place of work with the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to communicate back to one’s workplace (Madsen, 2001) The term “telecommuting” was one of the first, proposed by Nilles back in 1975. Since then, a lot of different definitions have been provided. There are various distinctions between the terminology proposed for different types of teleworking taking into account the physical place the work is conducted, the proximity of the worker with the physical office etc. In Europe and for the purposes for the current toolkit, the term of “e-worker” is going to be used interchangeably with teleworker, remote worker and virtual team member, as an effort to include and incorporate all the different types of workers and team leaders working partially or fully outside of the traditional office concept (Charalampous, Grant, Tramontano & Michailidis, 2019). Based on the research conducted for the purposes of the Virtual Team’s project, eworkers mentioned that they prefer working fully remotely or in a hybrid model (with some physical presence at the office), only if they have some form of control on their schedule upon when to work from the office. 2.2. The need for teleworking The need of teleworking became widely evident after the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced companies abruptly to either “shut down their engines” completely or find a way to work remotely. But this was not the beginning as many might think. Research shows that from the early 2000 and forth, companies are relying more and more on teleworking as a means of employability. This allowed them to employ talents in a geographically large area and reduce overhead expenses and cost of office facilities. In addition, it is more environmentally friendly since emissions from commuting are diminished. These were made possible with the expansion and growth of technology and the internet which provided many tools for companies to work efficiently in distance (American Psychological Association, 2019).

14 Even those were evident before the pandemic, the covid-19 pandemic raised the option to a necessity and many companies transitioned during that time. Research for Virtual Teams’ project also suggests that teleworking is something that came into our working lives to stay permanently. 2.3. Basic infrastructure for efficient teleworking In order to create a proper working environment for an e-worker there is a need to provide them with the necessary technological infrastructure. There are a lot of components that can be added in the list below but the ones mentioned are considered as the most crucial. 1. Cloud computing technology: Cloud computing is necessary to work in any form of e-working efficiently and provide a good working experience for the e-workers. In addition, a cloud computing technology can be cost effective since you invest less in other ways of infrastructure and equipment. In addition, it is scalable, referring to the many different options to be added or removed as required to individualize them with your company’s needs so you pay only for the services you use. Last, it is convenient since it provides easy access, collaboration and file sharing in different locations in seconds. 2. Business apps: Once you have attained a cloud computing technology, there are many cloud-based business apps to further enhance collaboration, for example apps related to communication and project management apps. These provide the e-worker with the same accessibility as an office environment. In order to integrate business apps needs some planning and time for adjustment but research shows it pays off in the long-term. 3. Unified Communicators: These allow the e-workers having open communication channels to boost efficiency, convenience and smoother business operations. They come with other benefits, such as improved collaboration, increased productivity and efficient distribution of workload. There are many tools available to pick from and companies should choose one that fits their needs since communication is a key component for successful e-working. The most important factor is to allow for video conferencing since research shows that virtual images and live interactions are key components for boosting communication. 4. Project Management Tools: Depending on the type of your work there are a lot of tools for Project Managing. This is essential for managing the workload, enabling communication and synchronous collaboration between e-workers. This also allows Team Leaders to have an overview of the team members’ work without having to

15 “check” on them and trust is built through transparency. Trust is one of the most highlighted areas of e-workers of all rankings through a company which was noted in Virtual Teams’ Project research is of highly importance and one of the most difficult to achieve through the transitioning to e-working environments. 4. Data backup and recovery: Transitioning from office work environment to eworking raises the importance of data backup and recovery since the work being developed is in virtual and the internet is used. Therefore, an automatic backup system is considered essential. 5. Network Security and Malware Protection: One of the biggest threats that organizations working remotely are facing is their system being hacked. This can be costly both in financial terms and on productivity. This highlights the need for companies to invest in good network security and malware protection while making sure that they are up to date for best protection (Ewaycorp, 2021). 2.4. Available tools for teleworking Providing e-workers with tools to work effectively and efficiently remotely starts from the basic elements of software and hardware (equipment). The best practice is for the organizations to provide them to the e-workers. The list was developed by the Virtual Teams’ Project research survey and through relative literature. Basic equipment: cloud-based technology, desktop monitor, headphones, internet access, keyboards, mouse. Tools for managing project work for e-working: Teamwork, Jira, AirTable, Asana, Pivotal Tracker, Trello, Whike.

16 Tools for communication for Team Leaders/ HR managers/ e-workers: Slack, Flock, Google Hangouts chat, Microsoft Teams, Ryver, Glip, Twist, Fleep, Zoom). Tools for remote working Time Management Google Calendar, Time Doctor, I Done This, Pocket, Rescue, Toggl, Timely, Everhour

17 File Sharing tools: Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, SpiderOak Infrastructure and tools necessary for organisations to support teleworking and training: Zoom, Webex, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting,, Skype for Business 2.5. Resources for implementation Implementing e-working effectively and efficiently is a growth procedure and many steps can be taken to implement it successfully: ● Set boundaries between work and life. Set clear time schedules of when you are working and when you are not working and communicate these to your team and family members. ● Set a designated area for work which you use only for work. This can be a separate room in the house or a special desk or surface area. ● Take regular break intervals while working where you leave the desk and do something else (it might be a walk around the block, making a coffee etc.) ● Disconnect from technology for at least a few hours a day

18 ● Keep connected with your colleagues through live chats ● Communicate difficulties in all areas of your work in order to find solutions (Dossetto, 2021) ● Reach out to your team or line manager when you feel lonely or isolated 2.6. Handouts and activity sheets Activity 1: Use the list below with the basic infrastructure for teleworking and check the boxes your organization is already using. Take a few minutes to think of how you could incorporate the ones missing from your organization and how you can further enhance the use or the effectiveness of the ones’ your organization is already using. Does my organization incorporate this? How can my organization improve on this? Cloud computing technology YES / NO Business apps YES / NO Unified Communicators YES / NO Project Management Tools YES / NO Data backup and recovery YES / NO Network Security and Malware Protection YES / NO Activity 2: Create an online anonymous questionnaire about the teleworking infrastructure of your organization asking your team members to respond on how satisfied they are about the different components of the existing infrastructure and incorporate sections in which you ask their ideas/ feedback of what is necessary for better improving it and how.

19 2.7. Assessment tools Quiz about teleworking infrastructure: 1. Which one of the following is not a basic component of teleworking infrastructure? a) data backup and recovery b) mobile apps c) cloud-based technology d) Data security and malware protection 2. Which is the best way to build your organization's teleworking infrastructure? a) Through trial and error using different tools b) Mapping your organization’s needs and finding relevant tools c) Keeping things as simple as possible, e.g., buy the services you need d) All of the above 3. Teleworking is a new way of working outside of the office which was created as a solution due to the pandemic Covid – 19. True / False 4. Teleworking is a type of vocation such as a secretary, a mathematician, an educator etc. True / False 5. What part of teleworking infrastructure is mostly needed to incorporate or to enhance in your company in order to better assist your team members? What are the steps you can follow in order to achieve this for your team?

20 3.Necessary equipment for teleworking 3.1. Necessary equipment for effective remote working Working from home or virtually is growing faster than ever and shows no sign of slowing down. Thousands of organisations in Europe and the world have shifted to working remotely. The uncertainties brought by COVID-19 have sped up virtual teams and teleworking. An essential part of effective and productive teleworking is the necessary equipment and digital tools. Computers and Laptops: There is a consensus that the essential equipment that virtual workers need is a computer or a laptop. Laptops or computers should be fully upgraded in terms of software and hardware. Headsets: There is a wide variety of headsets, with each one having particular features; however, there are a few particular components to consider when it comes to choosing an appropriate headset for teleworking, such as quality of sound and comfort. Webcams: The resolution, audio, and frame rate are considered important dimensions when choosing a webcam for teleworking. A webcam with HD video quality would suffice as their 720p determination conveys a clear picture with sufficient high quality. Docking Stations: Docking stations are small devices where you can simply plug in your keyboard, mouse, monitor, or even headphones to a docking station. This way, you can still use your laptop on an external monitor with your preferred set of keyboard and mouse. Office furniture (desk and chair): Tele-Workers require a set of office equipment to feel comfortable during teleworking. An ergonomic chair planned to keep the back and neck comfortably in a standard shape is vital for teleworking, while having an appropriate desk with sufficient space is also essential (e.g., standing desks). Data Backup and Recovery: Protecting your critical data is crucial; thus, remote employees should access backup equipment. Additional equipment may include the following: Laptop Riser, Phone, microphone, Power strip/extension cord, Printer, Ergonomic modifications (e.g., keyboard tray, glare filter, footstool, etc.)

21 3.2. Necessary equipment for effective remotely project management Google Workspace: Google Workspace is a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed and marketed by Google, including Gmail, Drive, Meet and more. Website: Buffer: Buffer provides a social media management platform that enables companies to plan, schedule, publish, and analyse social media content to help drive meaningful engagement. Website: Airtable: Airtable is a relational database tool and an online collaboration tool. Before you brush it off as boring because of the word database, know that Airtable is easy to use and highly versatile. You can use it to manage work, track and organise inventories, plan an event, and much more. Website: Wrike: Wrike is an easy-to-use tool for streamlining team members’ internal project management and collaboration processes. Website: Monday: is a customizable web and mobile work management platform. It is designed to help teams and organisations increase operational efficiency by tracking projects and workflows, visualizing data, and team collaboration. It includes automation capabilities and supports integrations with other work apps. Website:

22 Teamwork: Teamwork is a cloud-based project management solution that provides businesses functionalities to manage different operations of a project. Features include task lists, time tracking, file uploads and messages. Teamwork helps teams manage group objectives, communicate and establish business processes. Website: Everhour: Everhour is a team-oriented time tracking software product that was launched in 2015. Website: Asana: Asana is designed to help teams organise, track, and manage their workloads, making it easier to work on projects together. Slickly designed, this softwareas-a-service allows teams to create projects, assign work to teammates, set deadlines, and chat about specific tasks, all in one place. Website: Trello: Trello helps teams move work forward. Collaborate, manage projects, and reach new productivity peaks. From high rises to the home office, the way your team works is unique—accomplish it all with Trello. Website: Harvest/ Forecast: Harvest is a web-based tracking tool that allows you to monitor your team members’ time and budget on individual projects or tasks. Website:

23 Jira: Jira Software is part of a family of products designed to help teams of all types manage work. Originally, Jira was designed as a bug and issue tracker. However, today, Jira has evolved into a powerful work management tool for all kinds of use cases, from requirements and test case management to agile software development. Website: Pivotal Tracker: Pivotal Tracker is the agile project management tool of choice for developers worldwide for real-time collaboration. Website: Redbooth: Redbooth allows you to manage your team’s projects and get more done with tasks. Hubstaff allows you to track your time automatically. Integrate them and have a powerful way to manage your company online. Website: Google Drive: Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Google Drive allows users to store files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and share files. Website: Dropbox: Dropbox is a cloud-based file hosting service that helps its users to store their data in one place, which they can make accessible to whomever they wish. Website:

24 Basecamp: Basecamp is an online collaboration app that lets people manage their work together and communicate with one another. You use it to keep track of all the tasks, deadlines, files, discussions, and announcements around work. Website: Milanote: Milanote is an easy-to-use tool to organise your ideas and projects into visual boards. Website: 3.3. Essential tools for communication and collaboration Slack: Slack is a messaging app for businesses that connects people to the information that they need. By bringing people together to work as one unified team, Slack transforms how organisations communicate. Website: Microsoft Teams/ Office 365: Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Microsoft 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged and effective. Teams can be created for departments or even projects within and between departments. Website: Powwownow: The in-built web meeting tool allows you to share screens and notes, take feedback, and record important meetings, so no vital decisions slip through the cracks. Website:

25 Ryver: Ryver provides a way to organise your team collaboration in one app. You can seamlessly organise your conversations, assign tasks, and hold voice & video conference calls without ever needing to use multiple applications. Website: 10to8 Meeting Scheduling Software: 10to8 is an online scheduling and appointment reminder software system built to be easy for businesses. It comes with a web-based booking calendar and supports email and SMS notifications for you and your clients. Website: PukkaTeam: Pukka Team offers regular live snapshots of your team throughout the day, allowing everyone to know one’s availability and also giving a feeling of togetherness (don’t worry, it does have privacy options too). It integrates with hangouts, skype, slack, etc. to provide video calling features as well. Website: Krisp: Krisp is a perfect noise cancelling app. Mute background noise in any communication app. Krisp removes background noise from calls, recordings, podcasts, live streams and more. Website: Twist: Twist is a sync messaging for teams burned out by real-time, all-the-time communication. Website:

26 Fleep: Fleep messenger enables communication within and across organisations - be it your team chats, project communication or 1:1 conversation. Website: Mattermost: This is an open-source, self-hostable online chat service with file sharing, search, and integrations. It is designed as an internal chat for organisations and companies, and most markets themselves as open-source. Website: Chanty: Chanty helps teams improve productivity and business communication. Website: Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts is a cross-platform instant messaging service developed by Google. Website: Flock: Flock is a proprietary messaging and collaboration tool. Flock allows users to configure external apps and integrations from the Flock App Store and receive notifications and updates directly in Flock. Website:

27 3.4. Essential tools for design and development Canva: Canva is a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. The app includes templates for users to use. The platform is free and offers paid subscriptions such as Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality. Website: Palleton: Paletton is not just a professional’s tool. It was designed to help all sorts of colour projects, from professional work to your kids’ school projects. Website: PicsArt: PicsArt all-in-one online Photo Editor features endless editing tools to help you create professional-grade content even if you don’t have any experience in the designing field. Website: Coolors: Coolors is a colour palette generator. It can either generate an entire palette randomly or based on input such as a logo. Website:

28 Pixelmator: Pixelmator is a graphic editor built upon a combination of open-source and macOS technologies. Website: Adobe Creative Cloud: Is a set of applications and services from Adobe Inc. that gives subscribers access to a collection of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, along with a set of mobile applications and also some optional cloud services. Website: Chrome DevTools: Is a set of web developer tools built directly into the Google Chrome browser. Website: GitHub: Is a software development platform. Website: Atom: Atom is a free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows with support for plug-ins written in JavaScript and embedded Git Control. Website:

29 Figma: Figma is a vector graphics editor and primarily web-based prototyping tool, with additional offline features enabled by desktop applications for mac, IOS and Windows. Website: InVision: Is a prototyping tool created for designers by designers. It allows you to quickly and easily create interactive mockups for your designs. Website:

30 3.5. Essential tools for writing and editing Grammarly: Grammarly is a writing assistant that offers you specific suggestions to help you improve your writing. Website: Evernote: Evernote is an app designed for note-taking, organising, task management, and archiving. Website: TextExpander: TextExpander is a productivity app that automatically uses keyboard shortcuts to insert longer blocks of frequently used text called snippets. Website: WorkFlowy: WorkFlowy is a web-based organizational tool that enables users to create lists: personal to-dos, notes, team projects, research papers, and many more. It is a text-based, zoomable document that is flexible enough for organizing ideas in one’s own way. Website:

31 3.6. Necessary equipment for teleworking and training infrastructure Zoom: It provides video telephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. Website: Cisco WebEx: Cisco Webex is a video conferencing and collaboration product suite. This cloud-based collaboration suite comprises software including Webex Meetings, Webex Teams and Webex Devices. Website: Skype for Business: Skype for Business was an enterprise software application for instant messaging and video telephony developed by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office suite. It is designed for use with the on-premises Skype for Business Server software, and a software as a service version offered as part of Office 365. Website: BlueJeans: Provides an interoperable cloud-based video conferencing service that connects participants across various devices and conferencing platforms. Website: Is a web-based collaboration software application for screen-sharing and online meetings. Users must first download and install join to share a desktop or host a software. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS. Website:

32 3.7. Resources for implementation Below are cited some indictive resources of the equipment mentioned above and tools: ● Working from home 101: Every remote worker’s guide to the essential tools for telecommuting. Link: ● The Remote Work Mega Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Working From Home In The Age Of COVID-19. Link: ● Best Technology for Working Remotely: 6 Remote Working Tech Tools. Link: ● Getting the most from remote working. Link: ● Learning Zoom. Link: 3.8. Handouts and activity sheets Checklist for Essential Equipment for Teleworking Equipment Yes No Laptop / PC Headsets Webcams Docking Station Office furniture (desk and chair) Data Backup and Recovery Other…Please specify Remote Work Readiness Checklist for better Team Communication Yes No Has your organisation implemented software that allows for video conferencing and multi-user calls to conduct virtual meetings? Has your organisation created a policy and protocol for virtual meeting etiquette? Has your organisation implemented a method of asynchronous communication besides email? Examples: Slack for text messages, Loom for video messages. Does your organisation make use of project management or collaboration software? Examples: Trello, Basecamp, Asana

33 3.9. Assessment tools Assessment quiz: 1. Which of the following software /platforms are used as project management tools for remote working? (2 correct choices) a) Grammarly b) Trello c) Evernote d) Teamwork 2. Which one of the following software /platforms is not used as communication tools in remote working? a) Coolors b) Slack c) Microsoft Teams/ Office 365 d) Flock 3. The Webcam is considered an essential equipment in teleworking. True / False 4. The software that allows for video conferencing and multi-user calls to conduct virtual meetings are not essential tools in teleworking. True / False 5. What are the 4 essential digital tools that your company would benefit from at the moment and how?

34 4.Skills of effective team leaders 4.1. Necessary skills for effective virtual team leaders A manager, now more than ever, must become a leader. A leader capable of motivating, inspiring and coordinating his/her team to run like clockwork. The problem is that many companies assume that manager and leader are the same concept and therefore it is still easy to find organizations in which managers lack the necessary skills to assume that responsibility. According to Daniel Goleman (2008 and 2019), it is not IQ or technical skills, but emotional intelligence, a group of five skills that allow the best leaders to maximize their performance and that of their followers. For Goleman there are 6 styles of leadership: ● The Coercive style: The "do what I say" approach can be very effective in a renovation or natural disaster situation or when working with problematic employees. But, in most situations, it inhibits the flexibility of the organization and lowers the motivation of workers. ● The Authoritarian style: An authoritarian leader takes a "come with me" approach; It stipulates the general objective, but gives freedom for people to choose their means of reaching it. This style works especially when a company is drifting, but is less effective when the leader works with a team of experts who are more experienced than s/he is. ● The Affiliative Style: The hallmark of the affiliative leader is a "people first" attitude. This style is especially useful for creating harmony or raising morale in a group. But just emphasizing compliments can also cause uncorrected poor performances. Likewise, affiliative leaders rarely offer advice, often putting employees in a dilemma. ● The Democratic style: the impact of this style on the organization's environment is not as great as one might imagine. By giving workers a voice in decision-making, democratic leaders foster flexibility and responsibility in the organization and help generate new ideas. But sometimes the price is endless meetings and confused employees who feel they lack a leader.

35 ● The Pioneering Style - A leader who sets high performance standards and sets an example has a very positive impact on highly competent and motivated employees. But others tend to be overwhelmed by the demands for excellence of such a leader, and annoyed by his/her tendency to take charge of any situation. ● The Formative style: this style focuses more on personal development than on strictly work-related tasks. It works well when employees are already aware of their weaknesses and want to improve, but not when they are reluctant to change their habits. Each of them is derived from different emotional intelligence competencies, works better in specific situations, and affects the organization's environment in different ways. Being able to choose between different styles when circumstances require it creates the best environment in an organization and optimizes business performance. The more styles a leader masters, the better. What are the skills of a leader? Every leader should develop certain skills that can help him/her lead a team, either in person or in virtual environments. Leadership skills are qualities that allow people to make better decisions within a framework of responsibility, allocate available resources more efficiently, plan wisely, and manage people from motivation, enthusiasm and commitment. These capacities do not have to do with the different types of leadership, but with the personal qualities of the person who is in charge of guiding others within a team. ● Knowing how to delegate: For some managers, delegating is a synonym of losing control over the project and that is why they end up performing many tasks that do not correspond to them. If we accompany the delegation process with a reporting system of tasks and objectives, the feeling of loss of control will disappear and the manager will be aware of all the progress in the project. ● Ability to coordinate and collaborate: Coordination and collaboration help to avoid work overlaps, align efforts in the right direction, identify problems more quickly, and find the best solutions for them.