Leading virtual teams is very different from leading onsite teams. Virtual teams are much more challenging to manage compared with onsite management. Virtual teams have several benefits to the office and the individual. For the individual, being a member of a virtual team and working at such give the individual a comfort to work wherever and whatever way is comfortable to the individual. If the individual is comfortable working in his bed then the management does not give a damn as long as he can deliver the required outputs. He can work anytime except on scheduled meetings when he needs to show up. On the part of the office, working with virtual teams would mean reducing the cost for renting and other utility bills for office spaces and parking spaces together with the furniture because their employees are not physically present in their respective offices.
Although, there are several benefits of leading virtual teams, one big challenge is how to manage and make the team productive. Communication is key for a virtual team. Because, each team member does not mean physically, there must be some protocols set to ensure that communication between and among the team is present. Communication can be done through emails, mobile devices or collaboration software where each member can access. Collaboration software with document repositories are also important for a virtual team for each of the team member to readily have access to documents which the team may need.
One key problem faced by virtual teams is each team’s commitment to the projects they have since they do not meet physically. To ensure commitment, the team leader must provide for ways in which each member will show his commitment and have a sense of ownership for each project the team has to make. Each team must be reliable. Reliable in the sense that he must be able to produce the output required of him and join in virtual meetings and share his ideas for the betterment of the project they have.
Although leading virtual teams is very different from physical teams, they are as productive as that of a physical team as long as each member is committed to the project and the team.
Gould, David (1995). Leading Virtual Teams. Seanet.com. n.d. Web. 24 April 2012.