We have all been part of virtual team that everything seems to click and the group collaborates well with each other, then there are the groups that any task seems daunting and takes longer than needed. Working in virtual teams presents both benefits and challenges to organizations. This paper will review what goes into making an effective virtual team.
Effective teams occur when there is good communication and leadership. In the video clip of Dr. Kostner she stresses that leadership is more important than technology. A good team leader will help keep the team on task and meet project milestones. The second crucial element to a successful virtual team is effective communication. The team has to figure out early on how best to communicate with each other, weather by e-mail, phone, or web conferencing. Building relationships also helps the team communicate effectively. Having good relationships helps build trust and the team is able to work on tasks independently.
There are many challenges of working on a virtual teams and it is necessary to understand so that you can avoid potential issues. One challenge is time zone differences and remembering to coordinate meetings with that in mind. Another challenge is missing non verbal cues that you can not see over the phone which can be helped with using web conferencing. Members of the team may feel isolated and not have strong relationships with the rest of the team. When a new virtual team is created it would be beneficial to have a kick-off event or in-person meeting to help build rapport.
One of the benefits of working in virtual teams is the benefit of working with individuals whose talents you may not have all in one location. I have found that I cannot always find the talent I need in my headquarter office, but I have been able to find in other locations. Travel expenses are eliminated if you can work in virtual teams. As the company I work for grows...