What to Consider About Virtual Teams

Interacting with individuals from all around the globe is as simple as a click of a button. This considerably impacts our social lives and we are seeing more and more the effect this has on business. The virtual team, or geographically dispersed team (GDT), is a relatively new organizational strategy but the quantity of businesses that have embraced this strategy has grown significantly in the past few years. You may be asking yourself if it right for your business.

The idea that the level of productivity corresponds directly to the quantity of face-time a team receives is a misconception that is falling to the wayside. Managers are realizing that an individual’s motivation, the dynamics of the group, and the capabilities of each person can have a much more vital impact. Virtual teams permit more selectiveness when building the team, as location is not a factor. A manager can then find individuals who compliment one another and are self-motivated by the bettering of their personal careers.  Virtual teams can be a blessing to managers because of their productivity and the fact that they need less direct managing.

Virtual teams are not practical for industries and businesses that require physical interaction, but for companies thatdo not require physical proximity, implementing teams that interact remotely is not only feasible but can improve their processes. If you are considering the use of virtual teams in your business here are a few items to consider.


  • Recruitment based on expertise not proximity
  • Team members are able to work during the times when they perform most effectively
  • Teams consist of members who are self-motivated and self-driven
  • More accommodation for team members’ personal and professional lives
  • No commuting time or cost
  • Reduced overhead, because there is no physical location
  • IT expenses are lowered as most teams use web-based tools for collaboration
  • Managers can better evaluate the team’s performance because there are less social pressures


  • Less social interaction, which can be a demotivator for many people
  • Loss of trust among team members if there is not assurance that everyone is pulling their own weight
  • Creativity could possibly be stifled, because the physical dynamics are lost
  • Team members may overwork themselves as managers can not physically see the amount of time each task takes
  • Managers may lose track of the team’s progress, i.e. out of site out of mind

Virtual teams interact through a variety of technology including email, video and audio conferencing, and file sharing programs including Google Docs. Below are a few programs that can assist teams who communicate remotely.

  • Go to meetings – an economical method to have remote conferences
  • Yammer – a private social network for companies that enables quick communication and interaction
  • Drop Box – a free way to share files
  • Second Life – allows for interactive meetings with the use of avatars

If you would like more information on virtual teams in action, consider the articles below: 

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