The management of virtual teams

Our latest Research Notes paper Managing Virtual Teams sets out the benefits and challenges of virtual teams, and focuses in particular on the management of virtual team meetings. It is based heavily on my own experience of managing virtual teams dating back to 1974 and comments from a workshop on virtual teams that I gave at the IntraTeam event in February this year.

A virtual team is formed when at least one of the members of the team works in a different location, time zone or culture. Virtual teams have been used for many years and a significant amount of knowledge has been built up about good practices in managing virtual teams and in particular managing virtual meetings.  However many of the reports, papers, conferences and books on collaboration and social media seem to assume that team working only takes place between people working in the same company, the same country and speaking the same language. Research published in the 2012 Digital Workplace Trends report suggests that over 75% of companies with more than 50,000 employees run into problems with language and culture in team working.

The report sets out ten recommendations on how to make effective use of virtual teams and virtual team meetings and there is a resources section listing books, research papers and web sites.

Have a look at  our information sheet  Managing Virtual Teams – Seminars and Workshops  for details of our seminars and workshops on this subject.

Martin White