The sense of urgency seems to be missing.
Marissa is a skilled professional who works as part of a virtual team. Her teammates are all experts, and she enjoys being part of such a diverse and intelligent group.
However, she finds the virtual side of her work challenging. She collaborates closely with two colleagues on specific tasks, but she has found it hard to build relationships with other teammates.
As a result, team interactions can be strained and unsure, and conflicts can arise, which has resulted in some tension within the group. Virtual teams are commonplace.
|What's Hot||The sense of urgency seems to be missing.|
But, while they offer flexibility, increased job satisfaction, and higher productivity, virtual teams also come with a number of challenges that, if not addressed, can undermine goals, relationships, and team effectiveness.
Virtual Teams Today In a study published by the Academy of Management Executive, the authors describe a virtual team as a "group of people who work independently with shared purpose across space, time, and organization boundaries, using technology to communicate and collaborate.
The number of people engaged in virtual work Managing communication virtual teams to rise each year: The Telework Research Network states that there are currently 2. This is a 61 percent increase since One survey found that 44 percent of U. A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management reports that 37 percent of organizations have experienced an increase in the number of requests for "flexible work arrangements.
Alongside Germany, the U. The BBC estimates that 1. Virtual teams can consist of professionals who work from home full or part time, others who take part in mobile work coming to a fixed office but working outside this space for part of the weekor people who work at a remote location.
Challenges Working in a virtual team presents many challenges. Another major challenge is communication, especially when a virtual team includes members from different countries and cultures.
Communicating by email, IM, or telephone can be difficult, because there are no visual cues such as body language or facial expressions to help people understand one-another and build trust.
Last, it can be more difficult to voice your opinion in a virtual team, and it can be harder to resolve team conflictwhich can increase misunderstanding and tension. Working Effectively in a Virtual Team There are many tools and strategies that you can use to work successfully in a virtual team.
We look at these below. Communication Effective communication is important within a virtual team. Open, honest communication not only helps you avoid misunderstandings, but it will also increase your effectiveness.
To find out how well you communicate, and to get tips on how to improve your weakest areas, take our interactive quiz, " How Good Are Your Communication Skills? An important part of communicating clearly is knowing how to listen. Try to speak as if everyone is in the room with you, and encourage people to ask for clarification if they miss something, or if the sound quality is poor.
Also, try not to interrupt when others are speaking. If you work in a global team, learn good cross-cultural communication skills. Our article on Avoiding Cross-Cultural Faux Pas helps you avoid unintended or embarrassing mistakes with team members from different countries. When communicating with IM or email, be aware that messages can be misunderstood, particularly if they have emotional content.
Raising Issues At times, you might need to raise issues with your boss or colleagues, or participate in other sensitive discussions. Giving feedback and delivering bad news is best done in person. You owe it to yourself and to your team to be honest about any issues that arise.
Be assertive, and learn how to manage your emotions Last, learn good conflict resolution skills, so that you can manage conflict within your team objectively and fairly.Aug 19, · While co-located teams often benefit most from a leader who acts as a facilitator, virtual teams need a manager who provides clearly defined direction and removes all ambiguity from the process.
By learning, applying, and adapting these best practices for managing virtual teams, you have a better chance of leading your teams toward project success.
About the Author Star Dargin, PCC, CPCC, is a Trainer and Consultant for Corporate Education Group. As global companies increasingly rely on virtual teams to conduct short- and long- term projects, business students need to be prepared to manage the communication of intercultural teams.
Virtual teams are increasingly common. Although this form of work can be productive and efficient, it can also be difficult.
Communication barriers, feelings of isolation, and a lack of rapport are all common in virtual teams. You can work successfully within a virtual . Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Teams Virtual team is an emerging new-age trend with followers across business sectors.
Just like any other new trend, virtual team also has to undergo strict scrutiny of researchers to weigh its advantages and disadvantages before being accepted by the professionals.
Building the human connection and replacing hallway chats becomes challenging, and even in the virtual environment, occasional face-to-face communication was considered vital for team interaction (particularly during team setup and conflict resolution).