Virtual teams are increasingly common nowadays, as organisations and individuals can work from practically anywhere in many fields of business. While this has many advantages, such as the possibility of doing business 24 hours a day or expanding to new markets, virtual teams should be managed well in order to make use of the various advantages they entail.
Due to the nature of the virtual team, they tend to be composed of people that come from various backgrounds. Building the team spirit and a sense of inclusion takes effort not only because the team members do not meet physically but also because they are surrounded by some other culture that that of a specific team, company or country. Constant, positive communication among the team members can help create a sense of community even if people are far apart. The employer and supervisor can facilitate this a lot in different ways, such as team building activities, common rules and processes, clear structures, etc.
Building and managing virtual teams takes some effort and time. Good communication and an open line of discussion are first steps to building trust and positive rapport. Virtual teams might still be new to many, supervisors and employees alike. For instance, in Finland, virtual or remote teams across cultures are still a relatively new phenomenon in only a portion of all organisations. This trend is on the rise, also partly because of employees wishes to work from their location of choice. Employers should consider this and prepare for the possibility of creating remote teams in advance.
Luckily there are also many examples of good practices. Click on the image below to see some recommendations.