What is a virtual team?

Since the beginning of the Nineties of the last century, global companies including multinationals and global financial institutions like global banks have used virtual teams for different reasons. An example from my own experience in global banking at ABN Amro were global virtual teams in investment banking, in offshore banking, during mergers & acquisitions and during split-ups of smaller or larger parts of the company (see my Linkdin-profile).

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What is a virtual team?

“A virtual team, also known as a geographically dispersed team, a remote team or an online team, is a group of people who work together using digital tools, rather than being physically present in the same location. They might be spread across different parts of a city, different countries, or even different continents”.

Virtual teammembers can be people working for the organization concerned or people from companies in the business ecosystem including consultants, instructors or online gig workers.

Here are some key characteristics of virtual teams:

  • Location independence: Team members work from different physical locations, often from their homes or remote offices.
  • Technology reliance: They rely heavily on communication and collaboration technologies like email, instant messaging, video conferencing, project management software, and shared documents to interact and achieve their goals.
  • Asynchronous or synchronous work: Depending on the tasks and needs, they might collaborate asynchronously (working on different parts independently and then coming together later) or synchronously (working together in real-time through virtual meetings).
  • Diverse perspectives: Virtual teams often bring together people from different backgrounds and cultures, which can lead to a wider range of perspectives and creative and productive solutions.

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There are different types of virtual teams, depending on their structure, goals, and duration. Some examples include:

  • Project teams: Working on a specific project with a defined start and end date.
  • Product development teams: Collaborating on the design and development of a new product.
  • Service teams: Delivering ongoing support or services to customers.
  • Management teams: Making decisions and leading the organization remotely from anywehere in the world.
  • Virtual Startups: Succesfull startups often start as a virtual team and sometimes even grow and scale as a virtual team using A. Thus becoming an AI-powered startup.
  • Virtual Scaleups: smart founders of startups know that they can use ICT and AI in particuar to become an AI-powered scaleup with a new AI-powered business model using the AI-model canvas.

While many benefits come with different types of virtual teams and other types of a virtual organization with a virtual AI-powered organizational design, such as increased speed, flexibility, productivity and creativity, access to a wider global, regional and local talent pool, and reduced organizational costs, there are also challenges to overcome in the case of a large traditional organization.

These include building trust, connection and positive and healthy work relationships among virtual team members who don’t see each other in person, maintaining effective communication, managing people in different time zones and cultural differences. How you can do that is explained in this how-to management eBook:

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Overall, people working in virtual teams in different forms are becoming increasingly common in today’s globalized world. By understanding their unique characteristics and challenges, managers, employees, management consultants and independent entrepreneurs in any type of organization can leverage their potential to achieve success.

To be able to do that, everybody in the virtual team and the managers involved have to learn the right soft- and hard skills to thrive in the AI-Powered Economy:

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Incompany & In-House.

Virtual classes, virtual workshops and other virtual events on defining a digital blue ocean business strategy as part of your new AI-powered business model can be virtually organised incompany and in house for your organisation, team or department in combination with any other online course on www.thevirtualbusinessschool.com including modules from Leaving The Corporate Rat Race and Online Course School or any other virtual program. The number of participants is unlimited. This makes it a very cost effective solution for your company.

Reach out.

If you want to organise virtual classes, virtual workshops, virtual programs or any other virtual event for an unlimited number of people in your global virtual teams, departments or company online, contact us here today and we wil contact you for a free intake call and a quote for an unlimited number of people:

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