A remote team is a group of workers who are working remotely for a common goal or project through electronic communications. Location-wise, every team member is located in different geographical areas; some may locate in the same area but still work virtually. Another big difference is the reporting model, for every group of remote workers have a team manager whom they have to report.
However, pandemic changes the whole shape of a modern workforce. A number of organizations around the world focus on transforming their work style as work from home. Some workers start working from home partially, totally, and many are completely remote workers. In comparison, other companies are already used to remote work or all of their business.
On-Site Team Vs. Remote Team
A team of individual remote employees working together to accomplish a common goal. They all are physically working separately but share the same goal. While the on-site team, also known as a traditional team or collocated team, consists of individual workers in the same place at the same time.
Basically, a virtual team is capable of having talented workers across geographies, time zones, and culture. They interact with each other virtually through advanced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.
Thus, there are many big differences between the on-site and virtual teams, also known as remote teams. You can define the on-site team as they organize work by the team. There’s always a team manager who divides jobs/tasks to every individual worker on the basis of their specialties.
However, in a virtual team, things are quite different. Remote employees’ specialty and skills count here too, but one manager doesn’t always work in this model. You’ll always require more managers for different departments and supervisors.
Both remote and on-site teams go through different but unique challenges. It’s mostly because of the fact that remote team members rely solely on collaboration technology and electronic communication to bring smooth interaction. Time zones and cultural boundaries add a bit complex nature. Thus, virtual team experience manifold challenges as compared to an on-site team; the following are few out of many;
- Selection of Team Members
For an on-site team, employees are mostly selected on the basis of their functional skills but remember you can’t use the same criteria for remote employee’s hiring. No in-person interactions and socializing in virtual hiring or working may lead to loneliness and isolation.
It requires proactive networking, managing ambiguity, work discipline, and exceptional time management. For your virtual team model success, you must have the ability to learn new technologies and the capability to collaborate across cultural and functional boundaries. So, to hire virtual team workers, it’s important to look into functional skills along with core competencies.
- Organizational Structure
As compared to the on-site teams, remote team support complements the organization structure with dim lines of hierarchies and authorities. Encourage creativity and deliver results faster; hence, it’s important to survive in a hypercompetitive market. Creativity and excellent results are actually the primary objectives to build an excellent remote team.
Lack of flexibility is one potential drawback of on-site, especially when it comes to employee retention. You may experience this aspect if you’ve had a stellar worker who everyone likes and he/she resign because of their family responsibilities. They would’ve stayed unless the company allows them some remote work; it’s common to see team members going who can’t work locally.
- Leadership Style
In the remote work model, you cannot control every daily activity physically or monitor each worker’s activity. However, they need to envoy a bit more as compared to on-site workers. The controlling and commanding leadership style of yesteryears is providing more coaching and democratic style of today.
- Knowledge Exchange & Decision-Making
In the traditional team model, the exchange of information action occurs many times during informal discussions. But with the remote work model, workers have limited or no access to the company’s information.
However, they both need frequent updates on the project building status of the database. It will provide all the necessary information regarding tasks to the team members. You can schedule virtual meetings to discuss knowledge regarding work but consider time zone differences first.
With the remote work model, the time delay occurs more often in reaching a consensus or when it comes to fixing a problem. On the other hand, you can call the on-site team at any time and come up with a decision to solve a problem quicker than remote employees.
- Building Work Relationship
On-site team members have the leverage to meet each other every day, and due to which they tend to build a close social tie. They strike a bond with each other because of daily face-to-face interaction.
In a remote team, they interact with workers, and managers are more focused on tasks or projects. Lack of verbal gestures and cues in the virtual work model, you won’t be able to make any personal touch in the communication.
- Psychological Contract
In a remote work environment, the foundation of a psychological contract is a bit fragile. Small instances of gaps in communication result in misunderstanding or violation of the psychological contract. It also creates a negative effect on the effectiveness of your team. As compared to the on-site team, the remote work experiences more difficulties in building cohesion, trust, and commitment among team members.
As virtual teams mold the challenges, it is essential to pay special attention to collaboration, communication, and cultural matters. Companies worldwide should follow a distinct management approach that focuses on building cohesion and trust amongst the team members. Also, ensure to harness all the benefits of a successful virtual team.
Currently, every business is forced to adopt a remote work model. Those who are new in business or wish to have a transition from on-site to remote work model may face multiple challenges. The easy remote hiring process is not a piece of cake for every organization. From searching till onboarding, a suitable candidate requires special skills and expertise.
So, why not connect with Aspired? For the past several years, the organization is providing elite remote teams seamlessly. Aspired to understands the company’s requirements and then aligned them with their remote team. To know further about Aspired, visit their website now and witness their work!