The Challenges of Global Virtual Teams
As businesses expand internationally, it's become more common for teams to be distributed around the world. And mobility tools, such as smartphones, and virtual presence technology, such as teleconference services, are helping employees work together even when they're thousands of miles apart. But virtual work isn't always rewarding, according to a recent survey from RW3 CultureWizard, an intercultural communication and training organization. Sometimes, virtual team members struggle with challenges, such as compensating for time zone differences, language barriers and isolation. Some say they miss the collegial atmosphere of in-office work. "Nearly everyone in today's workplace recognizes the need -- and appreciates the value -- of virtual work," says Charlene Solomon, president of RW3. "But it is not easy, especially when cultural differences, time zone challenges, accents and communication styles enter the equation." An estimated 3,300 professionals from 103 nations took part in the research.