Author Archives Anil Kumar

Taking On The Future: The Growing Role Of Virtual Teamwork, Challenges Facing CEOs In 2015

Do you wonder how technology and the web will impact the future of the workplace? CEOs certainly do, and below is an overview of some of the key issues they report dealing with in the changing business landscape of 2015. Naturally, changes that are important for CEOs are important for managers of Virtual Teams as well. Some of the main issues relating to working in Virtual Teams which CEOs have to address are keeping their business focused on core strengths, effectively reaching online customers, finding new talent, adapting to mobile technology, solving employee commuting and scheduling problems, minimizing distractions, being an effective voice for their companies, and taking on more millenials, with their particular challenges, into the workforce. We will be addressing each of these topics in more detail in future weeks.

Virtual Teamwork Is A Way For The Future, Complete With Pitfalls

new blue badge2 300x167 - Taking On The Future: The Growing Role Of Virtual Teamwork, Challenges Facing CEOs In 2015

For a lot of workers, coming to the office every day may soon become a thing of the past. As business moves to the web, work becomes less reliant on physical presence in the office. But this is a double-edged sword: for every instance in which it facilitates communication with the office and clients, there is a flipside of technology and social media as productivity black holes. (Who has not lost valuable time contemplating images of pets playing piano or other similar Internet offerings?) So managers of Virtual Teams need to ensure that team members stay focused on work. Any efficient framework for virtual teamwork must support proper work habits from its very design.

All employees, both those working in the office and those working remotely, will have to stay in constant communication with the main office. But staying in the loop at the office rarely boils down to just reading the relevant emails. A good Virtual Team environment has to facilitate the dissemination of relevant information to all workers and to ensure that Virtual Team members receive the information they need to do their job at the same time as employees working in the office.

As communication technology makes work in Virtual Teams increasingly practical, the workforce itself shifts towards millennials. These individuals require a democratic, flexible work environment to stay loyal and committed, and they need more information about why they are asked to do to what they are doing. A Virtual Team manager has to answer such questions and take these factors into account to create a functional work environment.

Team leaders are also aware that working in virtual teams will play a key role in the discovery and retention of talented employees as more job opportunities become available in the current period of economic growth, making employee retention more difficult, and in response to chronic overcrowding and mounting commuting issues in large urban/financial centers. A company’s business model impacts the overall time employees have to commit to their job. Virtual teams are a way for companies to accommodate workers’ needs for a flexible work schedule, and most companies are already working virtually to some extent, Additionally, since not all desirable employees will be physically present in the geographic vicinity of a company’s headquarters, Virtual Teams allow employers to increase their area of search for talent.

Opportunity Always Entails Risk

Taking the workforce out of the office environment goes hand in hand with expanding business on a global scale and with diversifying a company’s activity. But diversification always carries the risk of dilution of core strengths (see item #1 of the article above). The recent increased availability of capital and the current economic boom could tempt American CEOs to try to expand their companies dangerously beyond their core business, even as companies’ increased reliance on the web as a marketplace and their diminishing physical presence makes identity a more pressing issue than ever.

new blue badge3 300x167 - Taking On The Future: The Growing Role Of Virtual Teamwork, Challenges Facing CEOs In 2015

While technology supplies the means for efficient communication, its potential productivity and identity drawbacks require that comprehensive strategies be established to ensure that the gains do not outweigh the costs. Virtual Team leaders need to pay close attention to the implementation of these changes, as their business depends on it. Over the next weeks, we will be looking in more detail at specific issues which have shown up on CEOs’ radars in 2015.

By : Anil Kumar /October 05, 2015 /blog, CEO concerns /0 Comment Read More

The Human Connection in Virtual Teams

We’ve written a lot about the business side of virtual teamwork. But, there’s a lot more to teamwork than the “work” part. Today, we’ll focus on the “team” aspect of virtual teams. Specifically, we’ll talk about the human connections we can make virtually.

Our culture doesn’t support the idea that we can make genuine human connections using technology. Kids are encouraged to stop playing online and go spend time with their “real friends.” Adults still joke about online dating—even though it’s now a hugely popular way for couples meet and socialize. There is an overall consensus in our culture that real friendships and connections happen when you can shake a person’s hand and look them in the eye. The virtual world, on the other hand, is for work.

Even in studies of virtual teams, the research overwhelmingly looks at human emotions from a results-oriented perspective: we learn that stronger connections form stronger teams, and that focusing on emotional processes creates more engaged, efficient team members. We don’t think that human connections should matter for their own sake, and we never think about what it actually means to feel connected.

We think that’s not right. Instead of thinking that virtual communication can’t create connections, and instead of thinking that human relationships are for something, we need to shift the discussion to talk about what connection means, and how to create real connections.

We don’t need to be in the same room to make a genuine human connection. In fact, making connections despite distance is a sign of our deepest and most human urge form community. A genuine connection comes from a feeling of profound presence, a feeling that the person on the other end of a message really has your back, and that they truly there for you.

If you have a virtual team, whether it be separated by countries, cities, or even just a different office floor, we suggest that you start thinking about the relationships you’ve established, and how to grow them. Think about how you communicate to your team members. Whenever you speak to your team members, think of it as an opportunity: this opportunity doesn’t just exist to tell people what to do, it can also be an opportunity to forge a deeper connection. Take your time, be present, and communicate your investment in this person.

At Virtual Team Builders, our partners and staff are all virtual. We coordinate most of our work online and over the phone. But, we’re also able to rely on each other, and support each other. After years of working together virtually, we can sense when something is wrong: when someone is stressed, or when they need support. Many of us have never met in person at all, and yet we feel we are part of a deep and involved team process, thanks to the work we do at connecting.

We invite you to do the same: look at your walls of screens and text, and realize they’re not walls at all: just another route to making a connection on a deep and profound level.

By : Anil Kumar /April 09, 2015 /blog /0 Comment Read More
  • logo - The Human Connection in Virtual Teams
  • 416.398.5160
    Toll free: 1.866.497.7749

    12 Rosevear Ave, East York, Ontario M4C 1Z2

Call Now Button