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5 Reasons to Adopt Virtual Teams

5 Reasons to Adopt Virtual Teams

Cutting Costs for Employers and Employees

There are examples of this approach bringing considerable cost reduction for businesses and allowing employees to save on commuting and other work-related expenses. Here, we will consider some real-world examples and expert evaluations.

Reduced investment in infrastructure

Given that the employees do not need to come to work, the companies do not require large office spaces for their employees to sit in, which significantly reduces the cost of rent and utilities, supplies, and general corporate facilities. For example, the company Dell has been providing flexible work options to a portion of its employees since 2014 and reports savings of $39.5 million on office space . These include reductions in lease expenses as the company continues to reduce its physical office requirements. Additionally, the maintenance cost of the work environment in the office becomes marginal.

Reduced employee commuting costs

It is estimated that employees who work remotely may save between $2,000 and $7,000 on commuting and related expenses every year. Consequently, the company’s decision to disband requires movement-related benefits and ends up with a roster of satisfied employees who are more likely to keep their posts and provide quality results.

Virtual teams reduce employee turnover

Companies or divisions that offer remote work experience up to 25% lower turnover rates .

Limitations of virtual teams

Overall, this practice allows the business to avoid unforeseen hiring and training expenses associated with employee turnover. At the same time, employees are not limited by the place of work and can move to remote locations while retaining the position.

Global hiring at cost

At the same time, the spread of categories of virtual workers is often significantly lower than classic global hiring with employee relocation. A software developer can work for a company in Silicon Valley, East Europe, or Southeast Asia but wages as a U.S. developer. A salary as a software developer in the U.S., and a salary in East Europe or Asia will ensure the same or better recomposition as an area of considerable economic development.

Expanding Talent Recruitment

The transition to virtual teams not only solves a number of logistical and financial problems but also opens up unprecedented prospects for talent acquisition. By using the power of remote work, the company gets the opportunity to hire people from all over the world. This way, the team is deployed in remote locations rather than drawn from local talent pools, affecting diversity and also innovation.

Access to a Global Workforce

This is probably the biggest advantage of having virtual teams, as companies can hire people across the planet without being limited by geographic locations. Thus, a tech startup in San Francisco can hire developers in Bangalore or Warsaw, where experts are high and the cost of living is low, as are salary expectations. By allowing companies to look further all over the world, virtual teams help find the best possible hires.

Cost-Efficient Hiring

Another consideration in hiring locally is that besides wages, the staff must also be provided with a comfortable existence in the city. One study found that companies pay up to 70% less for qualified professionals in developing countries. A virtual team can be a cost-plus solution, where resources saved in other parts of the business, for example, with R&D and client acquisition.

Diversity and Innovation

Research conducted by McKinsey shows that gender diversity in the workplace increases company financial return by 15%, while ethnic and cultural diversity increases this figure by 35%. IBM and Google focus on diversity as a guiding tenet of their innovation strategies because it helps create a diverse workforce . In this environment, the virtual team solves the task of accumulating people of different ages, cultures, religions, languages, education classes, and backgrounds in general.

Integrated Hiring Processes

The last advantage is the tools the company creates in the virtual approach. The team creates software for, among others, hiring HRs, who have various tools for their work and interaction with others . A good example is posting a job offer on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and remote specific job boards, such as We Work Remotely,, and many others.

Balancing Work and Life

The implementation of virtual teams has positively affected the work-life balance of employees. A key way in which it has done so is through the flexibility of remote working. This helps people manage their professional and personal responsibilities more effectively, diminishing job-related stress and dissatisfaction.

Flexibility and Job Satisfaction

Remote work allows people to synchronize their job around activities connected to their personal well-being. For example, an employee can take care of their children, attend a class, or follow a personal health routine without compromising the job position. Studies show that job satisfaction is considerably higher in those who have control over their timetables . Therefore, over 80% of people report being less stressed as remote employees, thanks to the more flexible work regime . Having reduced stress allows people to lead healthier lives and, consequently, avoid burnout.

Commuting Time

Another evident advantage of working in virtual teams is the lack of commuting time. On average, an American must spend 27 minutes in a one-way trip to their workplace . If the duration of the return journey and all other commuting-related transportations are considered, this estimate raises to almost an hour per day. Remote employees gain this time, having several additional hours per week of freedom, which can be used both for professional and personal purposes.

Increased Productivity through Control

The opportunity to choose a working space is beneficial, as people tend to be more productive when they have control over such matters . Home-based employees are on average 13% more productive than office-based ones . While no substantial reasons have been found, it is probable that the environment is a supporting factor. Remote people benefit from working in a quieter space with fewer people to disturb and influence their behavior.

Improved Physical Health

Another strong argument for implementing virtual teams is their positive impact on physical health. An average person who takes part in remote working experiences less stress and gets more sleep . They are also more inclined to partake in physical activities. The ability to choose a workplace has benefits for physical health – ergonomic home environments incentivize the comfortable position of the body and diminish the cases of workplace-related diseases, such as lower back pains or eye strain from looking at a computer screen for too long.

Challenges in Decision-making and Team Culture

Virtual teams come with many benefits, but they also present unique considerations that can stress or even undermine them. The most notable of these considerations is slower decision making, either through IoT technologies where the servers may be located in other cities, states or even countries based on the time it takes to send and receive information or the disbelief that some members are doing the job assigned to them. Team culture is another notable challenge that virtual teams face, as they can be very difficult to establish when few team members work together. If not addressed, these challenges can hinder the performance of a virtual team.

Slower Decision Making

As before, a group of people sitting together in a single office can move significantly faster than a group of people separated from one another working independently; the team’s physical separation can lead to slower decisions. When it takes a few minutes to make a dumb decision in the office kitchen, creating and implementing decisions that involve everyone in a virtual space can drag on for hours or even days. Tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams can help, but managers must be proactive in designing processes that will increase decision making.

Maintaining a Unified Team Culture

Culture creation is another significant disadvantage faced by virtual teams. When team members pass hours and days without spending time together, it is difficult for them to believe in the team’s motto or goals, making it impossible for others to adapt to the team’s objective. Nerds’, Crest and destroying companies for a number of years show that the main concern with remote work is loneliness, with 20 per cent of remote workers surveyed saying they were lonely. It will be very unwise to work with a group of people without knowing who they are. Maintaining a video or photoshoot website of team building events can bring a team together without feeling too together.

Overcoming Personal Time Management Issues

Effective time management is one of the keys to successfully working in a virtual team. Being an ultimate solution for overcoming the barriers given by separation in time and space, virtual work still requires that a person be able to manage their time effectively. Here are six academically validated ways to manage a remote team’s schedules while keeping its members as productive as possible.

Structured Schedule and Routine

In one study from the University of California, researchers found that workers without a routine experienced a 23% decrease in productivity . To make sure that their team members keep a routine, companies may set core hours when all team members should be at their desks. While a compulsory schedule addition may sound counterintuitive, it allows those who work remotely to keep a consistent rhythm to their day.

Time Management Apps

Technology is the shortest way to success when managing a remote team. Time-tracking apps, such as Trello, Asana, Todoist, or the dedicated ones, like Hubstaff or TimeDoctor, help workers stay on top of their workload. According to one recent survey, 60% of remote worker use at least one time management app regularly .

Training and Resources

Together with time management courses, companies can provide employees with training in other productivity tools and methods, such as the Pomodoro Technique or the practice of time blocking. Professional time management consultants argue that without training, the idea of self-discipline when working from home can be observed only in theory.

Regular Check-Ins

Direct managers can conduct regular, for example, weekly, check-in sessions with staff in their teams to discuss workload management. If an individual is struggling to manage their working time effectively, these sessions provide an opportunity to receive personal guidance and feedback. Needless to say that these meetings should be based, first and foremost, on effective communication and should not make an employee feel overly observed.

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