Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Virtual team

4 Tips for Forming Virtual Teams

As a member of Better Collaboration, a virtually-based consulting firm, I can attest that a number of challenges must be surmounted in order to form an effective virtual team. Some of the most significant challenges are accurately described by Lisa Duncan, co-founder of an immersive, picturesque virtual work environment called Flipside Workspace (see here). Informed by direct experience, Lisa also offers excellent tips for addressing them. Hence, I refer you to her post.

Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast

Much has been written about the value of using virtual teams from a variety of perspectives: IT, HR, and management. While each contemplate virtual teams from different angles, the authors typically reach this conclusion:  the fast-paced global economy, the advancements in technological solutions, and the general acceptance of telecommuting have each contributed businesses using virtual teams to gain a competitive advantage.

But despite all of the blogposts on “10 Steps to Build Virtual Teams”, or the numerous “Virtual Team Guidebooks”, the truth is: forming and maintaining virtual teams can be hard.  Slacking-off on attention to critical details can spiral quickly towards wasting everyone’s time.

As a virtually-based company, we do know a thing or two about forming virtual teams for success; but a recent experience in forming a virtual group was a humbling lesson, and excellent reminder, of what is important when gathering individuals who are geographically dispersed.

A…

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A Better Collaboration virtual round table event: How to improve collaboration of dispersed teams

Better Collaboration

 

Better Collaboration is back! As a break from the lecture-style format of our events, we’re inviting attendees with interest and expertise in virtual work arrangements to actively participate in an informal discussion and initiate a community of practice. One topic of interest is obstacles to widespread telework adoption and steps we can take to overcome them. However, as this will be more of an open-ended discussion, attendees are welcome to introduce other relevant concerns.

This event will take place on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, from 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern time (EST)/1:00-2:00 PM Pacific time (PST). As always, there is no cost to attend. Simply click on the red bar for the Meetup group below to register and RSVP. A link to access the event will be emailed to those attending. Read more of this post

On Not Being There: Specific Advantages of Non Face-to-Face Interaction

If you are a blogger or participant on an online forum who interacts with other highly skilled writers through text, you’re probably familiar with some advantages that come with communicating your ideas in this manner. In their article, “Virtual hybrid communities show that you don’t have to meet face-to-face to advance great ideas,” Dr. Gernot Grabher and Dr. Oliver Ibert provide a more objective, nuanced treatment of non face-to-face communication. The main takeaway is that non face-to-face interaction can’t simply be thought of as inferior to face-to-face interaction in a broad-brushed way. Consider the following points from their article: Read more of this post

Ideal Traits of Global, Cross-Cultural Virtual Team Members

Information about selecting virtual team members with focus on the need to function globally and cross-culturally is scarce. As luck would have it, I came across some recommendations derived from Dr. Joel Paul Ginsburg’s work – available in dissertation form here. The following is a representation Global Symfony’s recommendations which I’ve modified for simplicity (see their website for details): Read more of this post

Virtual Teams and the Challenge of Cross-Cultural Differences

Cover of "The Handbook of Culture and Psy...

Cover of The Handbook of Culture and Psychology

From David Matsumoto’s The Handbook of Culture and Psychology:

The next two decades promise to be even more exciting for research on culture and emotion. Interesting programs have sprung up all around the world and in all disciplines of psychology. New technologies for mapping culture as a psychological construct on the individual level are being developed, as well as ways to measure precisely moment-to-moment changes in our brains and bodies when we feel or judge emotion. Collectively, these endeavors will tell us more in the future about the relationship between culture and the physiology of emotion, the representation of display and decoding rules, emotion perception, and culture itself in the brain (p. 161) Read more of this post

Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams

Having finished some books on managing virtual workers, I’ve come to realize that there is some content overlap. All thoroughly address the leaders’ and managers’ roles and responsibilities as well as the process through which they can develop and maintain an organizational culture that supports a telework arrangement – i.e., one built upon trust, frequent and effective communication, clear expectations, and accountability. For the sake of avoiding repetition, I’ve decided not to go into heavy detail here as all authors appear to agree about the important components of such an organizational culture. Read more of this post

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