Advantages of Virtual Teams

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  • 0:00 Background on Virtual Teams
  • 0:22 Advantage 1: Lower…
  • 1:40 Advantage 2:…
  • 2:54 Advantage 3:…
  • 3:46 Advantage 4: Reduction…
  • 4:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield
Companies are looking for ways to reduce expenses, recruit more talented employees, and increase customer satisfaction. One emerging trend is the use of virtual teams. Read this lesson to learn about the advantages of a virtual team.

Background on Virtual Teams

Virtual teams, groups of employees who work in various locations, are growing in popularity as communicating and sharing information remotely becomes increasingly easy. Put yourself in the shoes of a business owner considering using virtual teams, and consider these advantages.

Advantage 1: Lower Costs, Greater Talent

Let's say you must cut 10% of costs in the next year. After looking over the financial documents, you find that office expenses are a significant cost to the company. As you start digging into the numbers, you see that you can easily reduce expenses by 10% if about eight employees are offered the chance to work from home, reducing the amount of rented space the company needs. Upon reviewing the organizational chart, you see that the sales and marketing team is made up of eight people, many of whom already work from home occasionally or are out on appointments much of the week. Turning them into a permanent virtual team will lower costs without little or no damage to performance and revenue.

After implementing your plan to have the sales and marketing team work remotely, your company determines it wants to add three more national sales representatives. However, when applications from the local area start coming in, it's apparent there are no applicants who meet the job requirements. Since this is already a remote position, management determines the sales reps wouldn't need to live locally. As the company expands the search to the surrounding states, highly experienced and qualified individuals send in their applications. One of the unintended benefits of your previous recommendation to make the team virtual is a more robust and talented pool of candidates.

Advantage 2: Happiness, Unity, Retention

Now that the sales and marketing team has been working at home for six months, you do an informal survey of the team to see how they feel about working remotely. You were initially concerned about morale and motivation; however, you are pleasantly surprised to find the team is working harder, seeing more success than ever, and united as a department. The survey shows the employees feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work at home and are more efficient than they were at the office. In fact, the team makes it a point to check in with each other several times a week, attend their weekly teleconferences, and respond to calls and emails faster than when they were in the office. With the right management, virtual teams can prove to be more efficient, unified, and satisfied with their jobs.

You also didn't realize it at the time, but you just found out that two of the company's top sales people were considering resigning because they wanted to spend more time at home. In such cases, offering the ability to work from home as part of a virtual team, perhaps in combination with part-time hours, may give the employees reason to stay with the company. Additionally, the flexibility offered by the employer may build a sense of gratitude and loyalty toward the company, helping establish a life-long and successful professional relationship.

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