Virtual Team Tip #2 – Everything takes longer – budget more time than if you’re face to face

Whether you realize it or not, you are part of a virtual team. Any time you communicate with anyone – a co-worker, a family member, a friend – and you are not face-to-face with them you are part of a virtual team. Here’s to you being at your best when building your virtual team!

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Working together virtually has many advantages. For one, a great deal of time is saved by not traveling physically to each other for every meeting. However, one disadvantage is in the amount of time it takes to do essential team tasks. Sharing information, brainstorming, communicating all take more time with virtual work teams. I’ve seen this happen every time I lead a virtual team building activity. An activity that takes a team 30 minutes to complete face-to-face takes 45-60 minutes virtually to complete. Virtual teaming is the next level of challenge and needs to be done consciously.

This isn’t even taking into account the technology issues. What’s the percentage of virtual meetings that you’ve taken part in that didn’t have at least one technological glitch? Even in the best of settings, there’s going to probably be some kind of technological challenge. Book the appropriate time for it and try to have a positive attitude when the inevitable happens. Simply booking the time before a meeting to ensure that all of the technology is working properly takes a minimum of 15 minutes. Be realistic and budget the right amount of time.

This tip is from Quixote Consulting’s Virtual Team Quest virtual team building activity that helps virtual teams examine the unique pitfalls virtual teams face and learn how to overcome them in a series of interactive team building challenges.

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