Individual Assignment #2
February 25, 2019
Identify and explain the advantages and disadvantages of virtual teams. Outline the factors required for virtual teams to be successful.
Advantages of Virtual Teams
Cost savings - The biggest advantage of virtual team enjoyed by an organization is the associated cost savings. The organization can do away with huge expenses on real estate, office spaces, utilities bills such as gas, electricity, water etc. and executives’ travel. Many organizations outsource their operations to the low-cost regions. Thus, production cost also decreases with the reduced raw material cost, operational costs and lower wages of the employees in these geographic locations.
Leverage Global Talent - Virtual Teams allows organizations to look for talent beyond their country of origin. This brings together the experts and specialists from across the globe to work together on the project. Increased knowledge sharing and greater innovation happens as organization’s human capital share their understanding of global and local markets as well as best business practices.
Increased Productivity & Higher Profits - Members of virtual teams tend to have higher focus on the task at hand. As a practice virtual team supports flatter organization structure. The members do not have to deal with unnecessary bureaucracy which slows down the decision making. This enhances the productivity which shows as higher profits.
Reduced Time to Market - Since the members span the time zones, there could be different team working on the same project 24*7, so when one-member sleeps there will be another one somewhere else who would start work where the former had left. This shortens the product development time as well as faster response time to demands in both global and local markets.
Newer Opportunities - If we see at larger societal level, virtual teams have created newer opportunities for people who are less mobile and hesitant to relocate due to either family requirement or physical challenge. Now any task that does not require the physical presence of a person and which can be supported by communication technology throws an opportunity for many deserving candidates.
Disadvantages of Virtual Teams
Cost of Technology - The successful working of virtual team is supported by the efficient use of multiple communication technologies such as instant messaging, emails and video-conferencing, among others. No one tool can provide the complete support. The cost associated with these installation and maintenance tools is little on the higher side.
Conflicts, Lack of Trust & Collaboration - The cultural differences between the members of virtual teams gives rise to number of conflicts. For example, while an American would write a straightforward email describing a bad situation, this would be perceived as impolite by a South Asian (say Japanese) member of the team. This would lead to conflicts, mistrust and difficulties in fruitful collaborat...