A to Z of people skills – Virtual teams

January 3rd, 2013

As more businesses evolve around the UK, let alone globally, we are told that technology can help manage these geographically spread people and services. The technology itself can’t do the managing, it can only provide tools to help us. If you manage and work with people who you don’t see very often, you are working in a virtual team. It may be temporary or it may only be a small part of your working life, yet the managers still need to manage these people and teams.

How much time do your managers, often the most senior ones, spend travelling to and from meetings and conversations, because “nothing’s quite like a face-to-face meeting”? Some people definitely cope better with long journeys than others; some are better at planning their journeys to make best use of the time and most just take it as part of the job; they travel early, work a normal day, travel late.

By the end of the normal working week, they’ve done 45+ hours work and they’ve driven, sat on trains or planes for many hours. How much of this travel could be cut down by:

  • booking internal phone/conference calls as if they were meetings?
  • using online technology better?
  • getting different people to travel and find out about their colleagues in other areas
  • timing some of the meetings together and spreading others further apart?
  • using different methods of travel?

Which of your managers are parts of virtual teams? Do they need help in managing this more effectively?

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