Notable Trends in Using Virtual Teams

Reuben CarterWed Nov 17 2021

Now more than ever, remote work has become an essential piece of the business environment. Job trends from 2020 have shown that employees choose working remotely to reduce job stress, balance their work and life responsibilities, and remain safe during unprecedented times. This has led to a surge in the use of virtual teams, and thankfully emerging technology has allowed for seamless incorporation of these communication systems into the business world.

The three primary virtual teams trends to track include:

  • Shifting demographics and cultures
  • Providing more technology choices
  • Considering the organization of virtual teams

These trends will be important to follow because virtual teams are only continuing to grow in popularity. Virtual teams offer the benefit of flexible scheduling, cost savings, improved health, and increased productivity. By taking advantage of all the strengths that digital communication has to offer, companies are able to support their employees and maximize overall production.

Shifting Demographics and Cultures Within Virtual Teams

Virtual work has allowed companies to find highly experienced candidates outside of their own zip code. Additionally, young professionals are increasingly seeking out remote work as well, and many companies are looking to hire new employees to deal with both business growth and labor shortages. The combination of these generations working together through virtual teams has led to a variety of ages, experiences, and perspectives.

In order to appeal to both Generation Y and Millennial workers, companies must be clear with their goals and the causes that they support. Younger generations want to work for businesses that show high values and practices within corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The spectrum of ages, personalities, and cultures in these digital teams may be daunting, but there are countless rewards to embracing the shifting demographics. Diversity offers innovation and creative thinking. Virtual teams encourage communication between employees and allows groups to be connected more than ever before.

Providing More Technology Choices Through Virtual Teams

Since the surge of remote work and learning, developers have strived to create new means of communicating online. There has been a surplus of new software that can be used affordably and conveniently for businesses. With all of these options, it may be overwhelming to decide on a platform.

Before assuming that ‘new is better’ or jumping on a bandwagon, always do your research. What are your needs as a company? What are the particular benefits and drawbacks of a particular communication system? Always refer to your functionality analysis before changing programs.

Considering the Organization of Your Virtual Teams

As virtual teams have developed, there has been a clear distinction between communication dynamics. There are ways to organize your virtual teams depending on the duration, the objectives, and roles of a project. These types of organizations include:

  1. Networked teams: These teams are multifunctional and membership is flexible.
  2. Parallel teams: These teams are temporary and used to complete a specific goal.
  3. Product development teams: These teams are designed to develop a new product or system.
  4. Service teams: Each member within these teams works independently.
  5. Management teams: Members within these teams discuss day-to-day management issues and organizational strategies.
  6. Action teams: These are usually temporary teams that are created to resolve immediate problems.

Each dynamic should be considered in order to determine what best works for your virtual teams. Ultimately, consistent and clear communication will be the guiding factor to the success of your work. It is crucial to have a system in place that allows for you and your employees to work together.

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