Virtual team is an emerging technique in the context of modern business. As very different from face-to-face meetings, virtual team meetings can create conflicts and confusions. In addition, it requires a complete different approach and process than the conventional way of business meetings. Despite the disadvantages, virtual team meeting is becoming a useful and convenient way of business communication. Given this context, it is vital to understand how a virtual team is a more convenient way to conduct business meetings. This report intends to establish the key advantages of using a virtual team and prove it as a convenient way to manage business meetings in the modern day context. The report will first argues how virtual team can be cost effective and increase environmental sustainability, and then will make a counter argument on the disadvantages of it regarding the cultural diversities, in order to establish that considering all facts, virtual team is indeed a competent mode of communication in business.
Virtual team is becoming a significant medium to manage the business operations of an organization on a global scale. With the help of modern technologies and telecommunication systems, team members from various parts of the world can built a virtual team to discuss common agendas towards achieving the company objective (Dulebohn and Hoch 2017). As telecommunication is the medium of conducting virtual team meetings, the organizations have the advantage of reducing the expense it allots for business meetings. In this world of global capitalism, business is not bounded in a single country or even continent (Smith 2018). In order to grow the business, organizations are expanding in multiple countries by using them as the manufacturing places and market for the products or services. This requires frequent communication between the offices in different countries, which would have cost a lot more without the use of virtual team. Virtual team meetings save the cost of the venue, accommodation, and travel which are required in a face-to-face meeting. Therefore, it is evident that virtual team is a cost efficient way to hold business meetings.
Conducting meetings with virtual team does not require travelling and lodging, and hence, it reduces the energy consumption rate and carbon footprint to develop a sustainable environment. According to Wadud, MacKenzie and Leiby (2016), changes in travel demand could result into less carbon footprint and energy consumption. Carbon footprint is the amount of total carbon dioxide discharged into the atmosphere by the activities of an organization, event or individual. Travelling is an essential part of the organizations that have offices in multiple countries. As discussed by Cadarso et al. (2016), the growing demand of tourism industry is responsible for a large portion of carbon footprint. Various organizations utilizes these tourism programs throughout the year to organize business meetings. Virtual team meeting reduces travelling and by that, it decreases the possibility of the carbon footprint and energy consumptions. In the context of global warming and environmental pollution, it is crucial to find ways that will increase the environmental sustainability, and virtual team provides that opportunity.
Cultural and Geographical Difference
It is widely discussed that the major problems in managing virtual team are the time zone and the mode of communication for the cultural and geographical diversity of the organizations. Effective communication is the way of achieving success in any field of work. In business, it is one of the crucial concerns as the process of decision-making depends on it. In an organization that operates on global scale, it is usual to build a virtual team with skilled members from different geographic locations and cultures. As discussed by Lockwood (2015), this develops a conflict regarding the language to be used in the meetings as a few countries may have been using English as lingua franca, and the others may not. The geographical difference creates confusion in respect of the time of meetings. As different members belong to different geographical areas, they live in different time zone. Therefore, when it is business hour in a country, it could be midnight in another country. The difference in time zone creates obstacles in scheduling the meetings. Thus, it can be said that the cultural and geographical difference are major disadvantages of virtual team.
Virtual team is becoming a common practice among the multinational companies. Thus, it is important to evaluate its effectiveness in the current global context of economic and environmental sustainability. The report firmly supports the virtual team as a useful medium of business communication. Although, there are potential concerns regarding the diversity of cultures and geographical areas that are evident in virtual teams. Yet, these issues can be resolved by taking decisions in advance regarding the languages and plan training programs to prepare the team members. The problem of different time zone can also be resolved by clarity in agenda and the adjustments in schedules. As a conclusion, it can be said that with the proper planning it is possible to manage virtual team and conduct successful business meetings with the help of it.
Cadarso, M.Á., Gómez, N., López, L.A. and Tobarra, M.Á., 2016. Calculating tourism's carbon footprint: measuring the impact of investments. Journal of Cleaner Production, 111, pp.529-537.
Dulebohn, J.H. and Hoch, J.E., 2017. Virtual teams in organizations.
Lockwood, J., 2015. Virtual team management: what is causing communication breakdown?. Language and Intercultural Communication, 15(1), pp.125-140.
Smith, K.E.I., 2018. What Is Globalization?. In Sociology of Globalization (pp. 3-10). Routledge.
Wadud, Z., MacKenzie, D. and Leiby, P., 2016. Help or hindrance? The travel, energy and carbon impacts of highly automated vehicles. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 86, pp.1-18.