“Virtual” teams — ones made up of people in different physical locations — are on the rise. As companies expand geographically and as telecommuting becomes more common, work groups often span far-flung offices, shared workspaces, private homes, and hotel rooms. When my firm, Ferrazzi Greenlight, recently surveyed 1,700 knowledge workers, 79% reported working always or frequently in dispersed teams. Armed with laptops, Wi-Fi, and mobile phones, most professionals can do their jobs from anywhere.
The appeal of forming virtual teams is clear. Employees can manage their work and personal lives more flexibly, and they have the opportunity to interact with colleagues around the world. Companies can use the best and lowest-cost global talent and significantly reduce their real estate costs.
But virtual teams are hard to get right.
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