A virtual team is the core building block of a virtual organization. A virtual team is a group of geographically dispersed individuals who have complementary skills and are committed to a common goal and approach to which they are held accountable. They work across time, space and organizational boundaries and are linked by communication technologies. Virtual Team allows an organization to hire best professionals regardless of location.
Virtual team does not always mean teleworkers. A virtual team comprises of individuals working at home as well as in offices but at different locations.
Types of Virtual Teams
Networked team comprises of geographically dispersed individuals from one or more organizations who collaborate to perform a common task. These teams are frequently created and dissolved and last depending on the time taken to resolve the issue. These teams are formed to discuss some specific issue where individuals from the area of the expertise give their recommendations. Additional members may be added to the team according to the requirement.
Parallel teams are task oriented teams comprising of specialized professional from different organizations who work for a short period of time to deliver recommendations for improvement in a current system. However, unlike the networked teams, these teams are not dissolved after the completion of the task.
Project or Product-Development Teams
These teams operate from different geographical locations. They conduct projects for customers for a specific period of time. They mainly develop new products and information systems for users. Unlike networked and parallel teams, these teams last longer and have the added ability to make decisions rather than just make recommendations. However, they can add or remove members at any time according to the requirement.
Work, Production or Functional Teams
These teams are function specific who operate from different geographical locations. They perform regular tasks in a specific area within an organization, e.g. Finance, Training, Research, etc. They have clearly defined membership.
Service teams are located in different geographical locations. They provide specific services to the customers or the internal organization for specific number of hours during a day and then assign the duties over to some other team operating in a different location so that the provision of service continues round the clock.
Offshore ISD Teams
Offshore Information System Development outsourcing teams work collaboratively with an onshore team to provide specific services. These are independent service providing teams who are delegated portions of work by other organizations. These teams are mainly used for software development and international R&D projects.
Advantages of Virtual Teams
Virtual Teams allow organizations to continue their provision of services round the clock by following the “Follow the Sun” approach. Furthermore, with the utilization of professionals with different knowledge from all over the globe, the companies enjoy an increase in their productivity.
Increased Market Opportunities
Virtual Teams allow organizations to establish their presence among customers worldwide. This allows them to have direct access to market opportunities all over the globe. Small Companies can also compete on a global scale without limiting the customer base.
Virtual Teams allow organizations to share the knowledge resources. Professionals with different knowledge from all over the globe can work collaboratively with the use of communication technology links, overcoming the organizational boundaries. This allows small organizations to compete globally.
Virtual Teams comprises of individuals who are geographically dispersed and work from their respective locations. Therefore, no offices are required. This saves the operational, management and logistical costs for the organizations. This reduces the financial constraints on the organizations and these financial benefits are in turn passed over to customers as well who enjoy quality services at reasonable prices.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
With the use of virtual teams, the organizations are allowed to hire best professionals regardless of their locations. This allows them to attract a wider talent pool and choose the best candidates for the jobs. It helps increase the efficiency of an organization.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Increased job satisfaction is one of the main advantages of virtual teams. Workers find it easy to manage their time and work because they are allowed to work virtually. This creates more happiness and satisfaction among workers about the work that they are doing. This leads to greater commitment and motivation among the workers towards their job.
Disadvantages of Virtual Teams
Leadership plays a decisive role in the success of any team or organization and even more so in the case of a virtual team. Messages should be clearly transferred to the team members and a clear direction should be mapped out for them to follow. Inability to communicate effectively can hinder the progress of a team.
To overcome this problem, Leads Tech comprises of most competent professionals who use the latest communication links to communicate effectively.
Incompetent Team Members
Incompetent team members can have an adverse effect on the performance of the team. Therefore, a virtual team should comprise of members who are efficient and possess the required knowledge to accomplish a given task.
Keeping it in mind, we hire best professionals to carry out all the tasks eliminating any chances of incompetence.
Restrictions in communication links can lead to misinterpretation of the message sent which in turn leads to confusion and incorrect assumptions being made, hence, affecting a team’s performance adversely.
Therefore, Leads Tech relies on strong communication links in order to communicate effectively.