Virtual Work Poses Challenges

Eighty-seven percent of white collar employees of multinational companies conduct at least part of their work virtually. But according to a recent study, only 16% have any training to prepare them.

Approximately 3,300 business people from 103 countries responded to “The 2012 Virtual Teams Survey Report – Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams,” which found that decisions take longer and are harder to make in the virtual workplace. Why? Because the absence of visual cues makes it more difficult to collaborate, and building team trust is difficult.

The survey also found that working across time zones rivaled communication and other culturally based challenges as the biggest hurdle facing corporate employees.

Surprising statistics:

>> 41% of virtual team members never met their colleagues in a face-to-face setting.

>> 87% of respondents indicated at least 25% of their productivity depended upon working virtually.

>> 33% said at least half of their virtual teams were outside the home country.

>> Virtual teams are most different from face-to-face teams in managing conflict (70%), expressing opinions (55%), and making decisions (55%).

>> Challenges during team meetings: insufficient time to build relationships (79%), speed of decision making (73%), lack of participation (71%), different leadership styles (69%), and the method of decision making (55%). 

—Source: RW3 CultureWizard. More info: email sean.dubberke@rw-3.com

Eighty-seven percent of white collar employees of multinational companies conduct at least part of their work virtually. But according to a recent study, only 16% have any training to prepare them.

Approximately 3,300 business people from 103 countries responded to “The 2012 Virtual Teams Survey Report – Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams,” which found that decisions take longer and are harder to make in the virtual workplace. Why? Because the absence of visual cues makes it more difficult to collaborate, and building team trust is difficult.

The survey also found that working across time zones rivaled communication and other culturally based challenges as the biggest hurdle facing corporate employees.

Surprising statistics:

>> 41% of virtual team members never met their colleagues in a face-to-face setting.

>> 87% of respondents indicated at least 25% of their productivity depended upon working virtually.

>> 33% said at least half of their virtual teams were outside the home country.

>> Virtual teams are most different from face-to-face teams in managing conflict (70%), expressing opinions (55%), and making decisions (55%).

>> Challenges during team meetings: insufficient time to build relationships (79%), speed of decision making (73%), lack of participation (71%), different leadership styles (69%), and the method of decision making (55%). 

—Source: RW3 CultureWizard. More info: email sean.dubberke@rw-3.com

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