Virtual Teams Pros and Cons

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The virtual workplace is quickly becoming a common way to do business. People are able to connect with each other from around the world to form a team that can literally work around the clock. Is this going to be a future of all industry and commerce? A look at the pros and cons of virtual teams may provide a clue.

What Are the Pros of Virtual Teams?

1. They allow people to work from anywhere.
Virtual teams allow for employees to telecommute from anywhere in the world. This allows people to better manage their lives and ultimately provides more productivity instead of less because travel needs are reduced.

2. It saves a company money.
People who are hired as part of a virtual team can be independent contractors instead of traditional employees. This means overhead costs are less for the business so that a tight budget won’t be stretched by salary dollars. More money can go into research and development instead.

3. There is a natural melting pot of cultures.
Diversity is what strengthens the world today. With virtual teams being composed of people of different cultures and ethnicities, a better overall product can be achieved through the various experiences that can be provided.

What Are the Cons of Virtual Teams?

1. The information shared may not be secure.
The business world runs on proprietary information. Virtual teams must share that information online and recent data hacks have shown that even highly secure systems can be vulnerable to the right attack.

2. It requires high levels of independence.
Some jobs must be directly supervised to make sure the quality of the work is where it should be. Virtual teams allow for employee supervision, but not necessarily overview of the final product as it is being developed.

3. It eliminates personal contact.
There are a lot of communication queues that we pick up from an in-person conversation. Those are eliminated with the virtual team. An emphasis on thorough communication must be in place to counteract this.

Virtual teams may be very appropriate for certain tasks, but some businesses may not find them to be very beneficial. Evaluate these pros and cons to determine if starting a virtual team would be beneficial for your next business opportunity.