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Defining Virtual Teams
Business today does not stop at the barriers of country lines or miles of ocean, our economy thrives on global interaction with companies strewn throughout the world. Technology cut the limits of time and location by innovating the way we conduct day-to-day business. A newly impending trend is virtual teams, which are a group of individuals within a company committed to a common goal, who collapse the four walls of organizational interaction by communicating via the Internet. Virtual teams take advantage of our technological advancements and allow organizations to form a team with the best fit employees regardless of location.
Virtual Teams vs. In-House Teams: Pros & Cons
The most important and defining aspect of either virtual or in-house teams is the completion of a common goal. Keeping a team within the same location allows them to form a physical chemistry with one another. In-house teams are not limited to phone or email conversations where communication could be misinterpreted. Although, those advantages of in-house teams seem essential to the completion of the task, devoting too much time to coordination and communication can increase the loss of productivity within a group (Quinn 2002 p. 175). At times, the wrath of human nature can come between work groups if one does not like the other or emotions become involved. This can cause a major chemistry problem amongst the group, whereas virtual teams nearly eliminate the possibility of emotional attachment or detachment to a fellow team member. Virtual teams are not limited by the thresholds of the eight-hour work day; virtual business does not end at five oclock in the afternoon, it can continue throughout the 24 hours in a day if the team wanted to conduct business in that manner (www.managementhelp.org/grp_skll/virtual/defntion.pdf). Whether in-house or virtual, a teams performance still relies on how well the group works through the classics stages of team development–forming, storming, norming and performing (Gordon 2005 p. 20). Both possess responsibilities to the successful outcome of the project and follow common team management rules.
Team Formation: Building on Trust
Some may find the initial formation of a team intimidating; choosing the best fit employees for the completion of the required task is a mangers top priority. A virtual team allows the manager to choose from a larger pool of diverse candidates, ones that were not