Are virtual and remote teams the same thing? Equally, is virtual communication the same as remote communication?
Both remote and virtual teams are geographically dispersed. A remote team will report to a single boss and work towards a unified target – be that an outcome or a project. Members of a virtual team will generally all have different managers and work for completely separate businesses. Virtual teams often make up committees or task forces – but because members come from different workforce’s, the chair or manager of that committee has little or no power over the members. This is where the importance of virtual communication becomes so very apparent – it is all about influence, not force.
Virtual teams need real communication – Remote teams need close communication. How can you make this work? Here are some questions to consider:
- What’s different and what’s the same about a remote or virtual team vs a singly located team?
- What are the challenges for remote and/or virtual communication?
- Are these the same challenges facing the other remote or virtual team members?
- How does matrix management fit work with your remote/virtual teams?
- What are the critical success factors?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different media available?
- How do you achieve omni-channel communication?
- What are the right structures and cadence for remote and/or virtual communication?
In that we’re talking about the challenges of communicating with remote and virtual teams, our virtual communications solutions have to take all of those into account.