New York — May 3
According to a study conducted by RW3, an intercultural communication training organization, 87 percent of white-collar employees of multinational companies conduct at least part of their work virtually. The study went on to find that while the vast majority of these employees encountered challenges in virtual work, only 16 percent had any training to prepare them.
The 2012 Virtual Teams Survey Report, “Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams,” found in the virtual workplace decisions take longer and are harder to make; the absence of visual cues makes it more difficult to collaborate; and building team trust is more difficult.
The survey also found that working across time zones rivaled communication and other culturally based challenges for being the biggest hurdle facing corporate workers.
Among the other findings, 41 percent of virtual team members never met their colleagues in a face-to-face setting.
Other key findings include:
• Eighty seven percent of respondents indicated at least 25 percent of their productivity depended upon working virtually.
• Thirty three percent said at least half of their virtual teams were outside the home country.
• Respondents reported virtual teams were most different from face-to-face teams in managing conflict (70 percent), expressing opinions (55 percent) and making decisions (55 percent).
• The top five challenges during team meetings were: insufficient time to build relationships (79 percent), speed of decision making (73 percent), lack of participation (71 percent), different leadership styles (69 percent), and the method of decision making (55 percent).
Source: RW3 CultureWizard