Pros and cons of working with VRW teams
Virtual/remote teams offer many advantages, both to organisations and to individuals.
The enterprise benefits because this style of teamwork offers
- Reduced travelling expenses, which improves the carbon impact by eliminating unproductive travel
- Increased productivity through fewer interruptions
- The reduced demand on office infrastructure may allow a smaller office footprint and reduced requirement for services (such as energy consumption, catering and parking)
- Access to talent without geographical restrictions
- The ability to source unique skills and talent
- Knowledge transfer
- An ability to develop better solutions from greater team diversity
- Global customer needs and markets can be taken into account
- Extended market opportunity
- Different nationalities combine to bring a more global approach to problems.
For the individual, working in a virtual/remote team can offer
- Reduced commuting expenses
- Valuable time gained by the reduction of a commute
- More flexibility to work from home or on clients’ sites, avoiding the need to congregate at a single workplace
- Better lifestyle management, accommodating working parents, part-time staff, or staff with specific mobility needs
- Improved health from stress reduction, due to not having to commute and to the possibility to eat more healthy, home-cooked food.
Disadvantages of VRW teams
For the enterprise:
- It is difficult to maintain a sense of teamwork with a common purpose and goal
- People from a mix of cultures bring differing approaches and ways of doing things, and this can make the decision-making process more complicated
- Differing cultural styles can create challenges
- Communication deficiencies can give rise to more frequent misunderstandings and miscommunications
- The loss of context can create feelings of isolation and undermine trust
- Complexity and cost related to tracking communication.
For the individual:
- Feelings of isolation and a reduced feeling of being a part of the team
- It can be difficult to create a work/life balance
- Lack of stimulation and human interaction.