Virtual teams and the problems of working remotely

Virtual teams and the problems of working remotely

Join our Digital Surgery...


14 October 2019

Working remotely has increasingly become a standard part of everyday life and has now become normalised. This feeling of normality is what fuels our belief that we know how to do it; isn’t it the same as being in a meeting room with colleagues?

This is often not the case because when we work remotely it can become even more difficult to understand and relate to others. The thoughts and actions of individuals can feel incomprehensible which makes forming a functional working group an even greater challenge. 

When we are not physically present, our understanding of others is reduced, thereby creating uncertainty as there are fewer anchoring points for a group identity. As a result, emotions such as unease and anxiety are more likely to emerge. Trust between virtual colleagues, confidence in the team task and possible outcomes can be eroded so managing the dynamics and psychological worlds of clients and colleagues can be a challenge exacerbated by having a virtual team.

Another often ignored factor in remote working is technology. When people use communications technologies the tool is often taken for granted, yet different communications mediums exert a strong influence on how people interact:

  • is it a face-to-face video meeting?
  • is it an audio meeting? 
  • is it a phone meeting?
  • or a combination of them all? 

Each medium will make a difference.

We are running a Digital Surgery on Monday, 18 November for one hour from 2.00 – 3.00 pm BST. We invite you to join us on our Zoom platform where we will introduce the subject and discuss cases (if you would like to offer one) where there have been challenges through working virtually with others. Your job might be business leader or manager, coach, consultant, researcher or any other role where you have been working in a team at a distance.

By joining in and discussing cases, participants will act as a peer group.  Our aim is to find the value in sharing perspectives from across Europe and worldwide, to identify common difficulties and novel viewpoints on how to work with those persistent issues which manifest when working at a distance.

This event has now passed. Please see details of related events here.

If you have any questions, please email David Drabble.

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