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Virtual and self-managed work teams
The virtual teams are those which are not present together but are working together at the same. Every organisation places it under scrutiny before deciding if a virtual team is required or not.
Advantages of virtual teams
- Saving costs are the primary reason why organisations are shifting towards virtual teams. Imagine you are starting a project in Adelaide and there a great candidate who applied from Russia. Instead of incurring heavy costs in bringing the candidate to Adelaide, you establish him as a virtual team member. The organisations save expenses on travel, real estate, utilities, office space, etc.
- Using global talent is also an advantage. When you decide to go for virtual teams, you are looking for talent beyond your country. You can have professionals from various domains working on the project.
- Higher productivity means more profit. How? The members who are part of a virtual team are more focussed to their tasks. The bureaucracy and internal politics are eliminated in a virtual team and the decisions are made quickly. Hence, virtual teams tend to produce more and increase profits.
- A chance for the project to be run 24×7. The virtual team members are in separate time zones and there may be a difference in the time of the members working on the project. While one member is sleeping, there may be another member who is working on the same project at some other place. This allows the project to be completed in a faster time frame.
Disadvantages of virtual teams
- Technology cost is quite high. It is easier for the members to work on a project by coming down to the office daily and then performing their work duties. For a virtual team, you need effective communication technologies like instant messaging, video conferencing, etc. The cost of maintenance of these platforms is quite high.
- Conflicts, a lot of them. When people from various ethnicities and cultural disparities are working together on a project, there automatically arise conflicts and disputes among the members. For example, if an American member says something bluntly, a Japanese member may find it improper and impolite.
- Social interaction drops low. The environment in any virtual team is confined to the task. There is almost no physical interaction between the members of the team. Since most of the people are work oriented, the office colleagues are the ones who are close friends as well. Hence, working in a virtual team makes a person socially isolated.
Give a recommendation
As the question specifies, the needs and requirements of OzAlpha point towards a team that is working on the ground.
Here is what they have –
- Office in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Canberra
- 400 staff
What they need –
- To become the premier financial planning service in Australia
- Set up new Regional Division
- Operating Regional Division 7 days a week
- A staff of 24 people – 16 planners, 2 team leaders, 6 administrative staff, 1 system network specialist
If you research well on the virtual teams, you will see that these teams are best suited when the project has to be handled on a global level. In the case of OzAlpha, there is not a need for a global team. Hence, it would be better to use a self-managed team rather a virtual team.
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