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Virtual teams need to be understood if they have to be managed well
06 March 2017
Virtual teams are an offshoot of the developments that have taken place at the workplace on account of the confluence of globalization and the emergence of technologies. While globalization has drawn in qualified workforces from around the world; a host of technologies that have come up almost contemporaneously with these developments has buttressed it by enabling people to connect from remote locations.
Virtual teams are a product of these developments and their near simultaneous timing. Organizations are realizing over the years, as they have grown familiar with workforces from around the world, and as they adapt the new technologies, that virtual teams are a facilitator of productivity. There is no denying the fact that virtual teams are now a major component of many global businesses.
Virtual teams can be more productive, if they are handled well
The modern workplace, as we know it, is finding that virtual teams are a fact they can no longer ignore. Having virtual teams makes an organization more productive in a number of ways and brings in a number of positives. Among the most important points noted in favor of having virtual teams are:
o They help organizations serve their globally located clients better and more efficiently
o Virtual teams foster decentralization, as a result of which there is more efficient micro level service
o Even in organizations that have a global presence, virtual teams can work better at the local level by understanding the particular market’s needs better and can bring in 24 X 7 servicing more efficiently and effortlessly
o Virtual teams engender greater flexibility and higher agility in the delivery of products
o Because of these reasons, organizations can reduce their operating overheads with virtual teams.
Yet, given all these factors, many organizations rush into putting a virtual team in place without understanding the dynamics of this system. Most organizations fail at implementing a good virtual team workplace not because of the demerits of the system per se, but because of their lack of understanding of how to get the best out of this kind of workplace.
Virtual workplaces are different from physical ones
The fundamental error most organizations with virtual teams commit is that they fail to understand that a virtual workplace is not the same as the traditional one. They fail to grasp the nature of working of virtual teams by having the same expectations as from a physical workplace.
The main characteristics of a virtual team are usually overlooked. The head office of an organization may sometimes fail to understand a local problem in its entirety because of lack of understanding of the ground level realities.
Learn the workings of virtual teams
How do organizations overcome all these misunderstandings of a remote working system and derive the best out of virtual teams? This is the core learning a webinar from TrainHR, a highly popular provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be organizing.
At this session, Marcia Zidle, who is the CEO of Leaders At All Levels and a board-certified executive coach based in Dallas, Texas, will be the speaker. She will show participants how to devise new tools and techniques to manage virtual teams better, so that the organization gets the best utilization out of them. She will help organizations maximize their ROI on virtual teams and also help them understand ways of enhancing leadership effectiveness with virtual teams.
At the core of the reasons for this virtual teams fail are four factors:
o Lack of clarity of goals, direction, or priorities
o Lack of clarity about the roles of team members in virtual teams
o Lack of cooperation and trust among the members of a virtual team
o Lack of engagement, since members of virtual teams have little direct interaction.
Despite the existence of these issues, virtual teams are worth having, because their benefits outweigh their drawbacks. Marcia will explain the ways of overcoming the nagging issues and show how virtual teams can help take an organization to its business goals.