Managing Virtual Teams

Team Working That Overcomes Time and Space

© iStockphoto/alengo

More and more companies are going global. And more professionals are working from home.

Because of this, businesses are increasingly relying on virtual teams to get their jobs or projects done.

Like any conventional team, a virtual team consists of a group of people who interact to complete interdependent tasks and work towards a common goal. But instead of working in the same office, the team members work in different places, often at home, and in different time zones. And they may never meet their co-workers face-to-face.

Virtual team working has become possible because of advancements in communication technologies. Members of the virtual team mainly interact electronically by email, messaging and Voice over IP technologies like Skype.

They may also communicate by telephone, teleconference and, to a lesser extent, through video conferencing.

Building a Virtual Team

Virtual teams often evolve rather than get planned that way. Whether you consciously decide to set up a virtual team or your virtual team has evolved, it's likely to be for one or more of the following reasons:

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