8.1 What is a virtual team?
A virtual team is one whose primary means of communicating is electronic, with only occasional phone and face-to-face communication, if at all. However, there is no single point at which a team ‘becomes’ a virtual team (Zigurs, 2003). Virtual working offers benefits to both organisations and individuals. Benefits to the organisation include:
- people can be hired with the skills and competences needed regardless of location
- in some cases working across different time zones can extend the working day
- it can enable products to be developed more quickly
- expenses associated with travel and relocation can be cut
- carbon emissions can be reduced.
Benefits to the individual include:
- people can work from anywhere at any time
- physical location is not a recruitment issue
- travelling expenses and commuting time are cut
- relocating is unnecessary.