Remote Team

This module will help you better understand the dynamics of virtual teams. Helping you to understand how virtual teams work will enable you to work better in this environment and enhance your team’s performance.


Module Objectives

This module will help you better understand the dynamics of virtual teams. Helping you to understand how virtual teams work will enable you to work better in this environment and enhance your team’s performance.

In this module, you will learn:

  • What exactly virtual teams are
  • How to setup a virtual team
  • The characteristics of an effective e-team
  • What the different team roles are
  • What cultural intelligence is and how to use it
  • The tools for virtual teamwork and how to choose the right ones
  • What can go wrong in a virtual team and what can you do about it
  • How to use team building exercises

Enjoy the journey through this module!




Module units

1. What is a virtual team?

2. Setting up a virtual team

3. Effective e-team characteristics

4. Team roles

5. Cultural intelligence

6. Virtual teamwork tools

7. What can go wrong in a virtual team?

8. Virtual team building exercises

9. Module summary

10. Self-assessment

Unit one

Embedded video

When people work remotely, do you think it’s still necessary for co-workers to meet up in person?

Absolutely. Getting together with your team members physically is important. Ideally you should try to do it early-on and repeat it every 6 months or year. Face-to-face communication is still better than virtual when it comes to building relationships and fostering trust. If you can’t meet up in person, still try to do video calls/conferences and other team building exercises to make up for the lack of physical meetings.

How can you make up for the lack of shared physical space where people normally chat and socialise in a co-located office?

  Yes, physical interaction is a huge advantage of a physical office. People can have a chat around the watercooler and share some random thoughts and ideas. However, in a virtual workplace, you can have a virtual watercooler!  This can be a chat room, a forum or a social site that all team workers are able to access. This an excellent way to have interactions that share information and reinforce social bonds.

Ok, this virtual watercooler sounds like a great idea. Do you have any other tips how to improve relationships with team members you hardly meet in person? 

Create a proactive professional relationship with each team member. This isn't saying to become best friends or even liking all the team members. It's about understanding who they are, what their career is about, and how they will be able to help with whatever project challenges may arise, now and in the future.

The Pillars of Cultural Intelligence

Types of Virtual Teams

  • Networked Teams
    Loosely organised teams comprising people with different expertise to address a short-term objective.
  • Parallel Teams
    The members take added responsibilities, for example to review a process or a problem at hand and make recommendations. These teams are particularly effective in multinational organisations where a global perspective is needed.
  • Project or Product-Development Teams
    These type of teams work on complex sets of activities over a long period of time. They may be formed to develop new products, deliver a new technology system, or redesign operational processes.
  • Work or Production Teams
    They are formed when members from a particular area (e.g research, finance) come together to perform a single type of ongoing day-to-day work. All of the members’ work combine together to give the end solution.
  • Service Management Teams
    They work with customers to address their purchasing and post-purchase needs. These teams enable a company to provide consistent service, often 24/7, to support customers wherever they are.
  • Action Teams
    Ad-hoc teams formed for a very short duration of time. The members are brought together to provide immediate response to a problem and they disperse as soon s the problem is resolved.
  • Offshore information-systems development teams
    These teams are typically created by dividing up the work of larger projects and assigning specific pieces to independent contractors or teams of developers. This model is applicable to software development and outsourcing organisations.

Virtual Team Building Games

  • Baby match means this and that...
  • Presentation game means this and that...
  • Guess the drawing means this and that...
  • Power of pictures means this and that

Meeting deadlines

Self assessment

Virtual teams are...

  • less efficient than co-working teams
  • as efficient as co-working teams
  • more efficient than co-working teams

Team culture will ensure that virtual team members are ...

  • clear on their responsibilities.
  • speak a common language.
  • accepting each other's differences.
  • respect each other.
  • respect each other.

Cultural mindfulness means being aware of the cultural context of a given situation, consciously analysing it and acting appropriately

Untitled fill in the blanks question

It is a myth that virtual teams and co-located teams are very

A team worker is the oil between the cogs that keeps the team running smoothly.

  • Yes, that's true..and any other note,,,
  • No, that's not true...or any other note
I can add question instructions here! wohoo!

Give an example of situation that represents equality.

Ranking statements. Put them in the right order.

  • Ranked choice 1
  • Ranked choice 2
  • Ranked choice 3
  • Ranked choice 4