Virtual teams rarely meet face-to-face and must rely on technology to communicate effectively (Roebuck & McKenney, 2006). Team members must communicate completely with each other for the virtual team to succeed. The following communication mediums are suggested to improve communication among virtual teams: e-mailing, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing. E-mail (electronic mail) is the most widely used form of written communication that is replacing the traditional paper memo. E-mail allows employees to communicate globally at virtually any time and any place. Teleconferencing is the simplest infrastructure for supporting a virtual team that allows tow or more people at different locations to have a simultaneous conference. Video conferencing adds the ability to see other team members to teleconferencing.
E-mail communication has become the main communication medium for millions (Roebuck & McKenney, 2006). Effective e-mail communication has many advantages. E-mail communication are sent almost immediately which is faster than sending traditional memos. E-mail communication provides written record of communications for future use. E-mail communication can quickly and efficiently deliver information to one individual or many individuals simultaneously around the world.
Current teams are not as effective as they could be. We believe that the distance between team members is a large reason for this. In order to communicate more effectively we want the team members to start using e-mail more effectively.
Video conferencing is “a set of telecommunications technologies that allow two or more locations to interact with the use of two-way and audio transmissions happening at the same time” (Campbell, 2011). It is used as a medium for communication and makes it possible to have live communication or connection between people sitting in separate locations through video which may also involve audio and text messages. In the Government sector, video conferencing is used in training employees over long distances (deployed locations). It is also used in security to help organizations improve their efficiency. In Distance education, video conferencing enables students to attend classes from any location and also interact while attending lectures. Today, many colleges and universities offer programs which are totally based on video conferencing.
Meeting with employees and clients located hundreds or thousands of miles away can prove to be a costly obligation. When it is not economical to bring everyone to the same table, video conferencing is the solution. A video conference can be assembled essentially on a moment’s notice. When there is a need to meet with employees and clients located in different geographical locations video conferencing eliminates the need for travel and guarantees instant communications. When travel is required by employees and clients, a traditional meeting can prove to be very costly. Without harming the flow of communication, video conferencing eradicates the expenditures associated with that travel. Video conferencing basically provides a simpler approach to exchange ideas and communicate in a more expedient, affordable fashion. This type of meeting enables attendees to see and hear each other so the contact is more personal than a telephone call could ever be (Roebuck & McKenney, 2006).
Teams need to come together to discuss and share ideas, transfer photos, and documents but the budget does not support this. It is not cost-effective to bring the teams together so the use of video conferencing is encouraged. The above list helps our teams use video conferencing effectively (Snead, 2010).
Teleconferencing is a fast means of communication especially because of the use of internet that allows instant exchange of information. Individuals communicate through several telephones that are linked. On the same note, it enables the communication of more than one individual on the same time with the help of the software's and the hardware's used. This has made it a cheap means of communication because of the use of internet. Its upper hand is in the fact that enables participation of members at different locations.
Unlike other forms of communication, teleconferencing requires adequate planning and installation of the equipments to be used. This is due to the technical needs for installation and operation which are high. On the same note, it is costly due to the equipments used. This is one of the draw backs that has made the adoption of the systems slow with its popularity on the corporate organisations.