Working in and Leading Virtual Teams

BizPro - Virtual Teams 16 M

  • Virtual Teams
    • Virtual Team Structure
    • Common Myths of Virtual Teams

Virtual Team Structure

6 M

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  • Episode Description
  • Transcript

Virtual Team Structure

[MUSIC] Well, welcome to BizPro.TV, I'm your host Peter VanRysdam. And today, we're talking about leading and working on virtual teams. And specifically in this episode, we're gonna look at the structure of virtual teams. And here to help us, we have Vicky Guy, who is the former global director of learning and development, and a current leadership consultant. So how you doing Vicky? >> Doing fine, thank you. >> All right, well let's jump right in. So what are some different structures of virtual teams? >> Right, so, many people think that when you are working virtually, they think about working from home. And that's really just one type of virtual team. So there's really three ways you can work virtually. One is obviously working from home. So that means you have an office, none of your coworkers are in the office, but you yourself are working from home. So you're using a lot of technology, maybe video conferencing, phone calls, conference calls, emails, to communicate and get things done. The second type of virtual team that we can work in, is one that is kind of a hybrid. So perhaps half of the team, maybe not just you, but maybe half of your team, is working from a different location. And this could be a home location, it could be an office location. But perhaps half of the team is centrally located in one location, and then the other half are dispersed, either in several locations, or in another location altogether. Again, they rely heavily on technology, as a disruption in what they're doing, to bring results to whatever they're working on. And the third one is is really more about a project team. So this might not be an actual intact team. But it's a team that is working on a particular project, to create some type of result. They're working toward a common goal. So this might be people from different companies working together virtually, to get something done. Or it could be that people are working in the same company, but not on the same team, working on a project specific for a common reason. So those are really the types of different virtual teams that we can work on. >> So with those different structures and different types of teams, I imagine there's also different ways you wanna work with those people. So what are some of the different ways to work with the virtual team? >> Well, there's a lot of different ways to work with virtual teams. But to illustrate some of the differences, we first have to talk about why we would do it, really. So we're gonna come to those reasons or those ways to work with them differently. But to put it in perspective, we know from a Gallup survey just that was recently done here in 2017, 43% of our workforce works virtually. So imagine, Peter, almost half of the people that you know in the workforce work from a virtual location. So that creates some challenges, but also creates some opportunities. One of the things that we can consider as a benefit to working virtually, is the cost savings to the corporations. Many companies don't have to buy buildings now to put their employees in, to be able to have their teams in an intact location. So we're seeing huge cost savings from things like real estate, for companies. For an example, just a few years ago, IBM took workers out of their office and put them in their remotes locations, oftentimes working from a home office. And they found significant savings from things like real estate cost. So unfortunately, they didn't address some of the differences and some of the challenges that virtual teams can create. And therefore now we're seeing a trend for them moving back into an office, somewhat, not completely. So we know that it's pretty prevalent, and that there is a huge cost savings, but that's not really the only benefit to having a virtual team. We also know that when you have a virtual team, you can get things delivered faster. So imagine if you had a coworker that worked in India, for example. Now you can work 24 hours a day, to get something done for your customer. So who doesn't want faster results? >> Yeah, definitely, and I think there's also, you mentioned cost savings to the company as potential. There are cost savings to the individual as well, who maybe doesn't have to spend an hour commuting both ways, and spend all that gas and time. So it kinda helps with productivity as well, I would think. >> You're absolutely right, Peter. And that actually brings me to my third point about one of the benefits of working virtually. Imagine now you have this global talent. You have the opportunity, from a company standpoint, to be able to recruit people to come in and work with your organization, from anywhere in the world. This opens a door for companies in recruiting, finding the best talent, and also providing those benefits to the employees, such as letting them live where they want to live. Letting them align with what is important to them. Individualism in the workplace right now is a hot topic. People are really aligning themselves more readily with what is important to them. Where they want their kids to go to school, where they want to go to church, what they like to do for fun on the weekends. All of those things are playing a role in how people work today. And so location is a big deal. And if we can allow workers to work remotely, we're gonna be able to retain and even recruit better talent. >> Yes, that sounds like definitely a lot of pros, some potential cons as well But it's good to kinda understand that. Unfortunately, we're not able to telecommute for this. That would make this video a little bit difficult. But it doesn't work for everybody, but definitely work in a lot of situations. So any final thoughts before we move on? >> Sure, absolutely, one thing that we do know is that virtual teams, in some form, are here to say. So we do need to look at the opportunities that exist. And then we also have to look at the challenges that virtual teams present, and be able to work through those. So a leader in a virtual team really needs to put their arms around what those challenges are, and be able to lead those teams effectively for improved results. >> Great, well, I think that gave us a really good overview. We've got a lot more to talk about with virtual teams, but that's gonna do it for these episodes. We're gonna go ahead and sign off for BizProTV. I have been your host, Peter VanRysdam. >> And I'm Vicky Guy. >> And we'll see you next time. [SOUND]

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