A virtual team is a collection of independently employed individuals who work together to provide business solutions to external clients. For startups, using virtual teams can be a way to provide top products and services while remaining flexible for customers and responsive to their needs. Yet startups need to be aware of the benefits and disadvantages of virtual teams.
Organizations that deliver the services of a virtual team hire the most suitably qualified people available, with varying levels and areas of experience. This framework can be complemented by hiring virtual employees in multiple geographic locations to support customers from different regions.
A virtual team will typically include members who work primarily from home and may have a small centralized office where meetings and group projects can be planned and implemented.
In the area of human resources, there are many disciplines that require specific skills, training and experience, including:
Often, the challenge for startups and other small companies is having the resources to hire an employee with as much of this expertise as possible at the lowest possible investment. Finding all of this in one individual at the experience level required can be daunting. The virtual team can provide the answer in fields such as human resources, finance and marketing.
Virtual teams are growing in popularity for a number of reasons, including the following benefits:
Understanding the disadvantages that are inherent in virtual teams can enable the combined team (i.e., your staff and the virtual team) to become more successful and efficient, particularly by avoiding the many mistakes that can lead to failure. These challenges can lie in the areas of:
If implemented effectively, a virtual team nets many benefits for your startup and can be the ideal solution for many of the business needs of a small organization. While a new field, organizations that deliver these types of business services are finding themselves in an innovative and growing niche.