Virtual teams offer many advantages to organizations. They can offer “follow the sun” access and support to what you do. They can take advantage of a global pool of talent.
They appeal to many people who appreciate the flexibility such working can bring. And others are attributed to virtual teams as well. But they also have some disadvantages when compared to their co-located counterparts.
Disadvantages of virtual vs co-located teams
By far the 2 largest disadvantages in order that people quote to us are:
- Lack of sufficient interaction to build relationships
- Time zone differences
Interestingly, in distant 3rd and 4th places are “language” and “cultural barriers”. These can be important but they are not the key issues in developing and leading successful virtual teams. Far more crucial is the opportunity for people to connect with one another. This is despite the challenge of both geographical and time zone separations.
For Managers and Leaders
If you are a manager or leader of a virtual team, there are many resources available to you. You can use articles such as Harvard Business Review’s “Getting Virtual Teams Right” as a good starting point. You can track down and book on a focused training session. Good examples are Learning Tree International’s “Leading and Managing Virtual Teams” and Management Centre Europe’s “Leading Virtual Teams” courses. They can prepare you and point you in the right direction.
But – and it’s a big but – they are focused on you and not your team itself. Their focus is on making you do all the hard work. If you had a co-located team you could organize some team building. But getting everyone in a virtual team together – perhaps from across the globe – is a logistical nightmare. And probably financially a no-go.
Enter Global Team Building
This is where we come in. We have virtual team building activities that run online. For virtual teams, of course. No one has to go anywhere other than to a web page.
Our portfolio of 5 great options (MiniScavenge, MiniTreasure, Space Rescue, Frontier and VirtuWall) cover all the bases. So whether you are looking for something fun to break the ice for your virtual team or some detailed and focuses to improve team processes, we have it covered. We can even customize them to make them fit your team and your requirements even better.
Please contact us to chat with us about what we can offer you. We’ll gladly then follow that up with a demonstration of whichever activities interest you the most.