VIRTUAL TEAMS – YES OR NO?
Virtual teams are the future. But, what are virtual teams? A virtual team is simply a team that is spread across either time or a physical location, or both. One of the main benefits of virtual teamwork is flexibility. Organisations are able to alter team configuration as challenges facing the team change. Since the team members could span time zones, there could be different teams working on the same project 24/7, so when one member sleeps there will be another one somewhere else who would start work.
Specific guidelines for team interaction are vital and virtual teams should come together in person at certain times. Having the correct technology to support virtual teams is key. Software, ranging from Microsoft SharePoint to Moot, allows team members to present issues to the entire group, and for colleagues to study or comment on when they have time.
Scholars refer to this sort of collaboration as “messy talk” and say it’s critical for completing complex projects. Make sure your team has some sort of software that is regularly used for video chats. Many alternatives are out there, such as Google Hangouts, or Skype.
Project management software makes it easy to view or update projects and plan out what needs to be accomplished next. A team can be built using the best possible members available, sometimes from other organisations, using strategic alliances. This has been particularly helpful to teams using specialist or scarce skills.
If you want to increase trust among your team, you either have to increase reliability, or increase likeability, or both. Reliability is the simple concept that judges if a person who has been given a job can actually do that job. Do they have the proper skill set to actually accomplish what they need to accomplish?
If you’ve established trust, you’ve set everyone up for open dialogue.
If you manage a virtual team today, then you’ll probably continue to do so for the rest of your career.
If you don’t, then you probably will in the next 5 years.
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