As virtual, cross-functional teams become the norm, it may not all be smooth sailing. Studies have found that trust and identity are the secret sauce for virtual teams. To help your teams overcome barriers and get to trust and identity faster, start with the right tech.
Trust and Identity
Trust often starts from work-day interactions. “Hot” interaction is synchronous, active, and requires real-time participation. "Cold" is more individual, asynchronous, and doesn't need everyone to be online at the same time. Teams switch between these modes depending on the task at hand. Both experiences reveal individual traits, views, and work style, which will help team members develop familiarity and come to understand precisely whom they're communicating with.
In addition to the interworking of the team, workers want and need an environment that will let them efficiently collaborate and complete their work through both hot and cold interactions. Provide them with easy and simultaneous access to unstructured data assets, and you will open doors to business benefits.
Consider these scenarios:
Bridging Geographic Gaps
A large law firm with multiple offices needs to juggle the costs of supplying its services in remote areas where the client base is limited. A dedicated network connecting branch offices to the main hub, video conferencing, online chat, and a way to get eyes on the same file at the same time (a global cloud file system) supplies the technical solution.
With this solution, some common challenges of virtual teams are avoided. File access is streamlined, which sets up a frictionless environment for legal experts to provide their services from rural locations. The firm’s work-life balance improves naturally along with its flexibility and improved service quality.
In addition, inefficient communication due to differing work hours and work styles is also avoided. Staff can work the hours they want to work and efficiently deliver updates without confusion or delay.
Breaking Down Silos
A business services company sets up a system to enable direct communication and document sharing between its central office, suburban satellite offices, and clients. The system supports real-time cross-site collaboration on documents, swift issue resolution, and efficient workload allocation. The outcomes included fewer errors, faster document correction, and a more streamlined operation because file access is easy, secure, and managed through permissions.
A worker’s role in delivering services to clients can now apply across the company, not to just certain locations or business units. Process efficiency and worker productivity can increase, and difficulties collaborating because of feelings of disconnectedness evaporate along with data siloes.
Innovating with Data Visibility as the New Superpower
An academic and a research institution join forces to offer a wide range of services for industry. They use a system that supports real-time sharing of multimedia information, including audio, images, text, and data. Enhanced research, training, and consultancy services can now seamlessly share information and deliver top-notch services and a culture of innovation.
Sharing of files also helps the two teams realize their conjoined roles and coalesce around a cultural identity that informs their approach to situations and engagements. They also use frequent messaging and video meetings to discuss views and processes.
Tech and the Trust Rule
In a world of virtual teams, technology is the backbone that connects team members worldwide. It brings people together, allowing them to work together across vast distances. Yet, it's the trust and identity among team members that glue it all together, ensuring effective collaboration. When tech and trust go hand in hand, your virtual teams can achieve greatness.
How could your virtual teams and processes be helped by fast, secure access to their unstructured data files? Learn more.