When it comes to the future of work, traditional teams are now a thing of the past in many companies. Even though the age-tested structures still work well in many areas, increasing globalization and digitalization have made the use of virtual teams necessary. Managers today have to lead employees and external experts beyond the boundaries of their own business unit and lead them to success.
If you want to define virtual teams, it is employees, other companies or experts who work together to achieve a common goal. This goal can be broader or narrower, but it is important to divide it into tasks that are performed by the virtual team members. Organization, location, time and industries are no longer relevant, the focus is on the purpose.
Reasons for virtual teams
Virtual teams are designed to react quickly and flexibly to changes and to make optimal use of resources. This has become a necessity especially due to the following factors in the corporate world:
- Change in customer needs and preferences
- Globalisation of markets
- Was For Talents and fight for the best employees
- Innovations in the field of collaboration technologies
- Shorter and shorter innovation cycles and higher requirements due to new technologies
Factors for the success of a virtual team
But what makes a good virtual team? As part of its Aristotle project, Google conducted a detailed study with its teams to identify the characteristics of a successful virtual team. The tech giant identified the following components for the virtual dream team:
- Clear structures and goals: Everyone in the team understands why the team was founded and which goals are pursued together.
- Reliability: The team members are aware of their roles and tasks and trust each other to the extent that they are sure that everyone in the team is performing their tasks to achieve the goals.
- Psychological safety: Members have the opportunity to ask questions without judgement and to feel safe in the team even if they fail.
- Relevance of the work: The work on the project is personally relevant for the team members of the virtual team.
- Awareness of the impact: Because the project has a personal meaning for the members of the virtual team, this factor has a positive effect on the company, the interest groups and the society concerned.
These are only a few points that you have to consider when working with a virtual team. In the next articles of this series we will look at the possibilities, challenges and tools of virtual teams in detail.