Virtual Team Advantages and Disadvantages: How to Get the Most Out of It

These days, more and more people are taking advantage of the benefits of virtual teams and running their everyday operations remotely. In fact, a whopping 98 percent of survey respondents expressed an interest in working from home at some time in their lives, and this was before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the pandemic, the number of businesses operating remotely has climbed significantly. 

More business owners now prefer to have a virtual or hybrid workplace instead of the regular brick-and-mortar setup. For many, this means access to talents from different parts of the world. However, there are some downsides to this method as well.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick overview of virtual team advantages and disadvantages, and at the end, you will be able to make an informed decision whether this model is a fit for your business

What Are Virtual Teams?

Virtual teams are work teams that may not be physically located in the same building or geographic location. Virtual teams can also be referred to as remote workforces, offshore teams, a virtual workforce, or distributed workforces, including members who are permanently, temporarily, or occasionally situated at different locations and possibly even different countries. 

A study by Meluso et al in 2020 found that 80% of businesses have been using some form of virtual team collaboration since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the internet, virtual communication tools, and telephones have made it possible for business people to collaborate from remote locations.

As we go further, we will be looking at the advantages and challenges of managing a global virtual team.

What Are the Advantages of a Virtual Team?

As a result of COVID-19, a large number of businesses have been compelled to adopt a remote environment working policy. And for a good reason too. 

Working remotely enables employees to observe social isolation protocols to keep themselves and others in the workplace safe. However, having a virtual team does not only provide the benefit of improved personal safety. Virtual teams can be extremely beneficial to your organization in a variety of ways! Benefits of having a virtual team include:

Virtual Teams Give Access to a Global Talent Pool

When you hire someone locally, you’re limited to your immediate area. Usually, this works out fine — but sometimes there’s someone you’d like to hire who is several states away or even on another continent. Virtual teams eliminate that problem. You can bring on board someone who has skills and experience that you would otherwise be unable to hire locally.

Whether you need someone in Europe or Asia, there are always talents available who are ready to take on your project.

Virtual Teams Result In Improved Productivity

If you have a worldwide virtual team with people located in different time zones, you can be certain that someone is always available to work. This means that for instance, once the American developer has completed their work, a Ukrainian expert can step in to finish things up.

Advantages of virtual collaboration include an increase in your productivity so that you’ll be able to offer new products more quickly.

Some Virtual Team Disadvantages

Multiple research studies have found that virtual teams also experience a number of disadvantages working remotely. These virtual team disadvantages include:

Lack Of Trust

It is difficult to build a strong relationship and trust when you do not see your collaborators every day. This results in a lack of motivation and commitment to finish tasks on time and the lack of desire to help out your teammates. This can lead to disastrous consequences, as deadlines are missed or projects get out of control.

Communication Problems

When you work with people who are in other countries, time zone differences often cause communication problems. What happens if you need to talk to someone urgently? Will they be available? What if there is an emergency? Will you be able to reach them at all?

Face-to-face communication is the most efficient form of interaction between two people. Working virtually eliminates this advantage and forces you to change your style of communication, which is not always easy.

Advantages Of Virtual Teams Disadvantages Of Virtual Teams
Cost-effectiveness Lack of trust
Access to a global talent pool Communication problems
Easily scalable Unclear roles and responsibilities
24/7 availability Security risks
Improved productivity Difficulty in tracking progress

 

As you can see, there are disadvantages and advantages of virtual teams that make this model not ideal for all businesses or projects. 

So, if you are considering this model for your project, it is important to understand the benefits and challenges of virtual teams and consider getting an expert opinion before jumping in. 

Get in touch with an expert here on Newxel for professional advice. 

A Better Alternative To Using Virtual Teams

Once you understand the pros and cons of IT virtual teams, you will agree that they can be an effective way to ensure your project meets its target, timeline, and budget, especially in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is just one of the many options available. In fact, setting up an Offshore Development Center can be a more effective alternative. 

An offshore software development center is a location where software developers are employed to work on a project that will be used or marketed by a company headquartered in another country. An offshoring team works according to your specifications, often with faster turn-around times than you could get by hiring in-house employees.

The primary difference between an ODC and a virtual team is that the offshore software development center is a physical office (with all the features and characteristics of an office) location in a foreign country, where your offshore developers physically meet to work on your project.

One major benefit of offshore centers is that they can complete projects faster than if you hire someone locally and wait for them to learn about your business and industry. This can be especially important if you have a tight deadline for a project.

Consider Newxel Your Trusted Partner

Tired of outsourcing and not getting results? Want to do things the right way? At Newxel, we believe that the right team is a crucial part of any software development project. 

Established in 2016, Newxel is a leading Ukrainian outstaffing service that helps companies around the world set up development centers and R&D offices in Ukraine, and connect them with top-notch software engineers and IT professionals.

We have a 5+ year track record of setting up and providing recruitment, a branded office space, legal & finance services, IT support, HR & accounting, office management & procurement to ODCs in Ukraine. This has earned us a reputation as the go-to service provider for enterprises looking to expand their operations throughout Eastern Europe.

You too can set up your ODC quickly and enjoy the benefits of working with a trusted partner, while you stay focused on driving your project towards its goals.  Contact Newxel today to discuss setting up a dedicated development team in Ukraine.

Final Thoughts

Virtual teams offer great opportunities to expand your business and its technologies and make it more profitable, especially now that the traditional work dynamics have changed, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. But, there are pros and cons of virtual teams, meaning that they may not be perfect for every situation.

As more companies seek to outsource part or even all of their development work, offshore development center options may make the most sense. 

When it comes to performance management vs. talent management, the access to more skilled talents, best practices, as well as faster development times shows that ODCs can be the more effective solution in the long run. 

Every staffing model comes with its own unique challenges and solutions. The key to success is to collaborate with the ideal partner that can supply the necessary resources to make your project a success.

To learn more about how Newxel can help you create the ideal ODC Ukraine for your project, contact our experts now.

FAQ

  • How Do Virtual Teams Work?

The emergence of cloud-based tools for work and collaboration has made it easier than ever to organize global teams. Virtual teams can work together virtually, but they can also interact virtually via video conferencing, social media, and other online channels — all while working on projects that may be distributed across multiple time zones and geographies.

  • Are Virtual Teams Effective?

A survey by Connect Solutions found that employees who work remotely are often more productive than those who work in an office environment. But there are also some drawbacks to using the virtual team approach. The biggest disadvantage is the lack of personal interaction that you get from working with people face-to-face

  • Why Do Virtual Teams Fail?

Research indicates that approximately 50% of virtual teams fail. The most significant factor for this is the failure to build relationships between team members. This is generally caused by managers who fail to invest time and effort in building relationships with their new employees.

 

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