Sample Communication Paper on Virtual Team Productivity

Virtual Team Productivity

Introduction

A virtual team is a group of personnel who work cooperatively by the use of online presence tools such as Zoom Meetings or Google Meet to meet the organizational goals of the target entity. “The use of virtual teams allows organizations to enroll key specialists, regardless of their physical location. This allows organizations to optimize teams by using only the best talent available” (Morrison-Smith & Ruiz, 2020). The virtual team is prone to frequent requests from users and the organization’s demands that need to be addressed to often leading to information overload among the team members.

Communication as a Barrier to Virtual Team Productivity

Communication is a soft skill that keeps the virtual team in sync and consistent in the virtual environment. It is already a basic concept that communication is the backbone of the success of a major successful business. Virtual teams are expected to work together and share information relevant to the working environment for increased productivity. Communication comes as a middle mechanism that allows a virtual team to communicate the agenda of their work and what, how, and when need to be done at a specific time. “Because virtual teams rely heavily on communication technologies to coordinate their work, it is necessary to examine the relationship between the nature of the task and the effectiveness of communication that impacts team performance” (Garro-Abarca et al., 2021). Failure to meet the goals through communication is a limitation to better productivity by the virtual team.

Poor communication further contributes to low trust levels among the remote workers further derailing productivity. Distrust as a factor resulting from poor communication can develop among the virtual team for various reasons such as work overload to a particular member, failure to handle critical tasks by some members, or even individual perspective that a particular member is hateful. Such factors can contribute to a poor working environment among the virtual team since there is no consistent communication. This can result in personal feelings and negativity derailing the productivity of the team.

Feedback is a key factor that is timely and is required to be provided through communication channels. When poor communication exists among the virtual team; it could lead to misunderstanding and derail the objectives to be met.

How to Avoid Information Overload among Virtual Teams

Information overload can arise among virtual teams when there is too much information that needs to be processed at a go, derailing the decision-making process by the team. Curbing the information overload is a success towards achieving the virtual goals and performing as expected. “Dealing with an ever-increasing amount of information is a major challenge in decision making. This especially pertains to information overload in managers, which is associated with impeding cognition and thus impairs objective decision making” (Falschlunger et al., 2016).

Prioritizing tasks is the main strategy that can be implemented to curb information overload among the virtual team.  When an information overload is incurred by the team; a laid out of procedures and tasks need to be put in place in the order of precedence. The tasks that need immediate feedback should be given higher precedence than the ones that are of less importance. Prioritizing tasks by their precedence curbs information overload, thus, allowing members in a virtual team to work consistently and cooperatively.

Delegation of duties and tasks curbs information overload by ensuring that there is divided processing of information by different groups by the virtual team. Through the delegation of duties, each member has been delegated some responsibilities to redeem to achieve a cooperative or interactive environment for the decision-making process.

 

 

Conclusion

The virtual team should work cooperatively to achieve their set goals. Communication can form a major barrier to the effectiveness of the virtual team, but with teamwork, communication can be maximized to achieve more success. Communication also limits information overload as tasks are prioritized and delegated by the individual teams to achieve corporate goals.

 

 

References

Morrison-Smith, S., & Ruiz, J. (2020). Challenges and barriers in virtual teams: a literature review. SN Applied Sciences2, 1-33.

Falschlunger, L., Lehner, O., & Treiblmaier, H. (2016). InfoVis: The impact of information overload on decision-making outcome in high complexity settings. Proceedings of the Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction, Dublin, Ireland, 6.

Garro-Abarca, V., Palos-Sanchez, P., & Aguayo-Camacho, M. (2021). Virtual Teams in Times of Pandemic: Factors That Influence Performance. Frontiers in Psychology12, 232.