I’ve worked in a globally dispersed team with colleagues in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. The team worked really well.
Virtual Teams do require a little bit of extra effort, however, to get all the players to “gel” well together. The team I worked in had regular communication, and an awareness that things had to happen differently than in a usual everyone-in-the-same-building situation. There was no water cooler, or hall, conversations that resulted in any other (remote) team member wondering what the heck was going on. There was no surprises, and each member respected the culture of the other, as well as the fact that, for most, English was a second language.
When the team did get together in the same place, it was always “business as usual” – it never felt like we were meeting strangers.
Because of my experience with working in a virtual team, my interest was piqued when I stumbled across MVT‘s web site. MVT stands for “Managing Virtual Teams”. It’s a relatively young company (4 years) that provides consulting and excellent resources focused on managing multicultural virtual teams.
As well as several courses, and other services, MVT has a list of free Team Activities that can be used to improve the communication, and work, in a virtual team. You need to register, but there are 32 pages of the activities and they fall under the following categories:
Further to that MVT offers several free virtual team Guides on such things as Project Management, Training, Human Resources and Multicultural Teams.
MVT is run by Anna Danes. and Carolina Leon Maya. Anna has a degree in Psychology and is based in Spain. Carolina has a degree in Communications, and is based in Colombia. Theses facts make me believe that they understand the kind of work environment that I described in the opening paragraph of this post.
If you want to learn about getting your teams (virtual or not) working together better, I strongly recommend that you check out MVT’s site. Now that they are on my radar I am going to explore what hey have to offer more.
- Four C’s to Managing Virtual Teams (coffeeshophr.com)
- Even Virtual Startup Teams Must Work Closely (alleywatch.com)
- 5 Uncommon Tips for Managing Your Virtual Team (wamda.com)
- Finding The Right Balance Between Working Virtually and Working With a Virtual Team (versatelsolutions.com)
- Managing Virtual Teams (networkadvisingu.wordpress.com)