Virtual Teams: Why and Why Not

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An emerging new-age trend is virtual teams that are being followed across business sectors. 

Like any other latest trend, a virtual team has to undergo strict scrutiny by researchers to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before being accepted by the professionals. The pros and cons of a virtual team can be looked upon from three perspectives such as individual, organizational, and societal as a whole. 

Advantages of virtual teams

Cost savings: The most significant benefit of a virtual team enjoyed by an organization is the related cost savings. The organization can eliminate substantial real estate, office spaces, and utility bills like gas, power, water, and executive travel. In addition, numerous organizations outsourced their operations to the minimal expense regions. Consequently, production cost similarly diminishes with the decreased raw material expense, operational costs, and lower wages in these geographic areas.

Leverage global talent: Virtual Teams permit associations to search for talent beyond their country of origin. It thus unites the specialists and experts from across the world to cooperate on the project. As a result, increased knowledge sharing and more extraordinary innovation advancement occur as the association’s human resources comprehend the global and local markets as the best strategic business approaches.

Increased productivity and higher profits: In general, individuals from virtual teams will have a higher spotlight on the job that needs to be done as a virtual team supports a flatter organization structure. The individuals don’t need to manage pointless bureaucracy, which dials back the decision-making. This improves productivity, which shows higher benefits.

Reduced time to market: Since the individuals span the time zones, there could be diverse groups working on a similar project 24*7, so when one member sleeps, another one somewhere might begin work where the previous one had left. This shortens the item product development time as a quicker response time to requests in both worldwide and neighborhood markets.

Newer Opportunities: If we see at the higher cultural level, virtual teams have set out the latest opportunities for less portable individuals who are reluctant to move due to family prerequisites or physical tests. Presently any assignment that doesn’t need the physical presence of an individual and which can be upheld by communication innovation throws a chance for some deserving applicants.

Disadvantages of virtual teams

Cost of Technology: The practical working of the virtual group is supported by the productive utilization of numerous communication technologies like texting, messages, and video-conferencing, among others. No single tool can offer full support. The expense related to these installation and maintenance tools is minimal on the higher side.

Clashes, Lack of Trust, and Collaboration: The social contrasts between the individuals from virtual groups brings about several conflicts. For instance, while an American would compose a clear email portraying a terrible circumstance, a South Asian (say Japanese) individual from the group would be considered inconsiderate. It would thus prompt conflicts, mistrust, and hardships in the productive joint effort, which is essential for virtual team functioning. These difficulties are similarly encouraged by the shortfall of non-verbal signals so intrinsic for up close and personal communications. 

Social Isolation: The absence of actual physical interactions unfavorably influences many individuals from a virtual team. The majority of the communications in virtual situations are task-oriented. In the present society where occupation is a significant social power for most of us because many of our workplace colleagues comprise our dear companions, this gives a not very great sensation of social separation. This thus counter-impacts efficiency as it prompts pressure. 


These limitations can be overcome by following an alternate leadership or administrative methodology, training, more prominent job clarity and robust communication systems. Organizations, both large ones, for example, IBM, Microsoft, Whirlpool, just as SMEs receive the rewards of virtual groups for quite a while. It has been an all-around perceived reality that Virtual Team is not a passing tide, but it is here to stay.

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