What is Virtual Team?


A virtual team is the core building block of a virtual organization. A virtual team is a group of geographically dispersed individuals who have complementary skills and are committed to a common goal and approach to which they are held accountable. They work across time, space and organizational boundaries and are linked by communication technologies. Virtual Team allows an organization to hire best professionals regardless of location.
Virtual team does not always mean teleworkers. A virtual team comprises of individuals working at home as well as in offices but at different locations.
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Types of Virtual Teams


Networked Teams
Networked team comprises of geographically dispersed individuals from one or more organizations who collaborate to perform a common task. These teams are frequently created and dissolved and last depending on the time taken to resolve the issue. These teams are formed to discuss some specific issue where individuals from the area of the expertise give their recommendations. Additional members may be added to the team according to the requirement.

Parallel Teams
Networked team comprises of geographically dispersed individuals from one or more organizations who collaborate to perform a common task. These teams are frequently created and dissolved and last depending on the time taken to resolve the issue. These teams are formed to discuss some specific issue where individuals from the area of the expertise give their recommendations. Additional members may be added to the team according to the requirement.

Project-Development Teams
These teams operate from different geographical locations. They conduct projects for customers for a specific period of time. They mainly develop new products and information systems for users. Unlike networked and parallel teams, these teams last longer and have the added ability to make decisions rather than just make recommendations. However, they can add or remove members at any time according to the requirement.

Work, Production or Functional Teams
These teams are function specific who operate from different geographical locations. They perform regular tasks in a specific area within an organization, e.g. Finance, Training, Research, etc. They have clearly defined membership.

Service Teams
Service teams are located in different geographical locations. They provide specific services to the customers or the internal organization for specific number of hours during a day and then assign the duties over to some other team operating in a different location so that the provision of service continues round the clock.

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Advantages of Virtual Teams


Increased Productivity
Virtual Teams allow organizations to continue their provision of services round the clock by following the “Follow the Sun” approach. Furthermore, with the utilization of professionals with different knowledge from all over the globe, the companies enjoy an increase in their productivity.

Increased Market Opportunities
Virtual Teams allow organizations to establish their presence among customers worldwide. This allows them to have direct access to market opportunities all over the globe. Small Companies can also compete on a global scale without limiting the customer base.

Knowledge Sharing
Virtual Teams allow organizations to share the knowledge resources. Professionals with different knowledge from all over the globe can work collaboratively with the use of communication technology links, overcoming the organizational boundaries. This allows small organizations to compete globally.

Cost Savings
Virtual Teams comprises of individuals who are geographically dispersed and work from their respective locations. Therefore, no offices are required. This saves the operational, management and logistical costs for the organizations. This reduces the financial constraints on the organizations and these financial benefits are in turn passed over to customers as well who enjoy quality services at reasonable prices.

Access to a Wider Talent Pool
With the use of virtual teams, the organizations are allowed to hire best professionals regardless of their locations. This allows them to attract a wider talent pool and choose the best candidates for the jobs. It helps increase the efficiency of an organization.