Virtual Team Building: Are Remote Teams a Goldmine or a Minefield?

More and more businesses and individuals continue to rely on virtual teams in pros and cons of virtual teams. And 2020’s pandemic may further fuel the dependence on distant workers.

It’s obvious that remote teams won’t fade away soon, and knowing how to run a remote team properly can be daunting.

Virtual teams can bring benefits or liability to a company, depending on how it implements.

Businesses can use the pros and cons of virtual teams, as well as other important databases to combine and run a team that will benefit the organization.

Effective virtual team management can be a tricky process. Some of these obstacles are easy to address while others extremely difficult.

The Advantages of Using Virtual Teams within an Organization

pros and cons of virtual teams

Global Workplace Analytics’ study indicates that many workers (about 79%) wish to work remotely while the other 36%would prefer it as an additional job.

Employees want to work from home for many reasons. It’s not only for the comfort of working from home, some individual are not good with crowds and the nagging in most working environments.

Most staff complain of unconducive working environments and difficult workmates in their places of work, some of the reason some people opt for virtual teams.

Even though this approach is unfavorable to some individuals (who select the wrong candidate or fail to follow best practices), its pros are pleasing and may outweigh the disadvantage by far.

Still its pros and cons of virtual teams are far-reaching. The obvious advantages include;

  1. Workers become more productive and independent

Working under pressure is one major cause of unproductivity among employees.

According to Jason’s Fried framework, the majority of individuals work effectively when not in their workplaces or offices. Calm working environs gives the peace of mind you need to concentrate, work and deliver.

Another research by Stanford indicated that remote working improves staff performance by 13%.

Statistically, people working remotely are 29% happier than workers going to offices. Happy workers lead to more output.

Most individuals in work places make friends, which isn’t a bad thing; but this relationship can reduce worker productivity in several ways, like through time-wasting chit chats. Remote working prevents such inconveniences.

The more someone works alone, the more they get the experience of organizing and accomplishing tasks on their own.

Maintaining such workflows using virtual teams requires keen and proactive management of the hurdles that may arise along the way. However, with proper organization and collaboration, it’s a simple task with wonderful results.

  1. Saves costs

Business save many overhead costs when their employees work remotely. Some of these costs include; workplace rent, electricity bills, parking spaces, food, and online connection expenses like Wi-Fi payment.

Workers can be compensated with some allowances to cater for the extra expenses he/she incur while working from home, but still it won’t be as expensive as when they work from a physical premise.

Such employee allowances may vary depending on factors like; total team members in the virtual program, organization, location, or if the current overhead costs will actually lower the initial costs.

Companies with partial remote workforces save more on costs than those that rely entirely on an internal crew.

It’s not a mistake or shame to have a fraction of the workers serve from their houses, if your business can’t manage full-time remote workers. The few you’ll deploy will do just fine in saving unnecessary costs.

The catch is to analyze the pros and cons of virtual teams depending on your company’s status quo.

A case in point for partial virtual teams is when a company is expanding and lacks the resources to rent or build a new premise.

Such a business can decide to deploy a department to work with virtual teams to make room for expansion or improvement.

Remote working saves companies millions and billions of dollars. For example, Cisco Systems organization saves 227M USD every year because of teleworking.

You can utilize these savings to improve other important areas in a business like CX, marketing, and more.

  1. Improves knowledge bases of businesses and level of expertise

One of the best thing about virtual teams is that you can hire anyone all over the globe, so long as you can communicate and understand each other.

Having remote workers in various nations increases the probability of meeting an incredibly experienced individual.

It also enables you to improve your CX through extended service or assistance hours. Employees can easily and comfortably work in shifts when using virtual teams than when in a workplace.

If your business is multi-national, virtual teams can come in handy when you want to deliver maximally to all the countries.

You can use it to your advantage by employing people who know the native language of that specific region, their culture, vulnerabilities, motivations, and dislikes.

Such information can be very useful when making important decisions about the well-being of the company and what to deliver to your customers.

  1. Prolongs working hours

Not all countries are in the same time zone. Some businesses serve consumers from several countries or continents with different time zones.

Companies use virtual teams to take care of cross-border clients because of easy coordination and communication through online communities.

Agents assigned in those countries can be representing the company’s interests, gathering views, receiving conference calls, or attending international meetings.

Your virtual team members in Africa will attend to consumers in Africa, same applies to US, Canada, China, and any other nation connected to your business.

  1. Extends the market potential of your business

Virtual teams will enable your business to operate all round the clock worldwide.

Team members in several nations in the globe acts as your eyes and ears; filling you with important market and consumer trends, data, and other analysis that can benefit your business.

Customers love proactive service providers. Extending your service hours will attract more customers than using the 9am-5pm local time rules.

  1. Reduces environmental pollution

Teleworking reduces the use of resources that have effects on the environment, such as, gases, paper, and carbon footprints.

For example, Xerox employees saved 4.6M gallons and 41 000 tons of gas and CO2 in only one year.

  1. Flexibility

Virtual teams offers workers the flexibility in working modes depending on the company’s rules and tasks.

These arrangements allows employees to tackle their home chores on the condition that they finish the allocated work by the end of the day.

Demerits of Utilizing Virtual Teams

It’s important to have a clear visualization of both the pros and cons of virtual teams; knowing only the strengths can hinder your judgement on the best solutions for your needs.

Some of the drawbacks of virtual agents include;

  • Trust factor

Many executives are never sure whether to trust their employees to do assigned work well, especially if the delivery gradually reduces.

Effective virtual team management requires that the managers and team members to fully trust in each other.

  • Monotony factor

Working from home can make employees become social isolated due to long hours of loneliness.

Workers no longer have the luxury to chat about their personal endeavors like they usually do in offices, making them to detach themselves from fellow team members.

Team members need to come up with team-building remedies to boost the level of interaction, for example, using online platforms like Zoom and G-suite. .

  •  Internet connection factor

Access and availability of internet connection varies with countries and regions. Some places have low or none internet connection while others have fast and reliable net.

Unreliable internet connection can be detrimental to a business, especially if they have deadlines to meet.

Tips to improving the productivity of virtual teams

Once you decide to utilize virtual teams, you’ll need to know how to successively come up with productive team and effective virtual management strategies.

For example, using the pros and cons of virtual teams can help you know if your business can benefit from them.

One of the important feature in any team, need to embrace teamwork to be more productive; this applies to both non-virtual and virtual settings. There are several team-building activities for virtual settings that teams can utilize.

Poor communication is another huge barrier for virtual teams. Team members in virtual settings need to nurture clear and honest communication to overcome any hurdles in the way.

Executives utilizing virtual technology need to invest in robust digital tools and resources to help their teams work efficiently and smoothly.

Summing up                                             

Virtual team building is a great and productive solution in the business and management sector.

However, a remote team can only be efficient enough if you pick the most suitable solution for your organization or needs.

Learning the pros and cons of virtual teams can help you make the right decision. If your analysis finds that the drawbacks outweigh the strengths, it is okay enough work with an internal team.