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Why virtual collaboration benefits all?



Trust is agreed to be a fundamental factor for cooperation among virtual workforce. Efficient communication practices are crucial for virtual collaboration and therefore organisation’s role in supporting interactions is essential. It is all worth the investments, because virtual collaboration has several benefits:

Working is possible across time, location and organizational boundaries. It is possible, but how many organizations actually do this? It is still surprisingly common to stick to 9 to 5 logic at work.

Virtual teams can reduce costs by cutting expenses, work and travel time. This is obvious. Tele or video conference is so much easier to organize and people save time and energy. Of course there still are time differences between USA and China for example, but it is a good idea to take turns in organizing meetings in inconvenient times.3.

There is more effectiveness in sharing tasks. Many leaders consider it is much easier to share tasks via e-mail than face to face. It is also very clear way to present things.4.

Virtual teams shorten product development and product cycle time by moving from serial to parallel processes. Products and services can be developed across time differences and across organizational boundaries. This all requires efficient leadership and mode of operation.

Dislike is not revealed in virtual discussion so easily. When discussed via chat or e-mail it is easier to concentrate on plain facts. Personal appearance doesn´t distract so much. Some cultures find it difficult to have for example female boss. It is easier to co-operate if you don´t see the person. Communication face to face is always richer and it is difficult to hide emotions.

Members are knowledge transfer agents and hubs to global markets and cultures. Would you like to apply for a job abroad, or open a business or just to find a nice restaurant? Ask a colleague in your virtual team and you can access fast to latest information.

Cultural differences are not so significant in virtual teams. Virtuality softens cultural differences. Some cultures like to have direct and open conversations and raise problems to the table. In other cultures different approaches are needed. In virtual teams it is possible to combine both written and face to face communication in a such way that new “corporate culture” can be created. Pick the best sides from all cultures and reward from thatVirtual organization structure can lead to more democratic decision making.

Innovations are increased through diverse workforce, which stimulate creativity and encourage new business development synergies. This obvious: diversity is richness, but effective leadership and decision making is also needed.

Equality and efficiency. You can participate global projects from sparsely populated areas outside of city centers and from developing countries as well. Best people can be hired regardless of their geographical location. It is also more efficient to concentrate on your home office, but in order to avoid feelings of isolation, it is good to work in freelancer hubs or at your customer´s premises as well.

References:

Lohikoski, P., Kujala, J., Haapasalo H., Harkonen J., Muhos, M., (2015). Enhancing communication practices in global NPD projects. IJIDE International Journal of Innovations in Digital Economy. Vol.6 No.4 pp. 16-36


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