Recent advances in technology, coupled with the globalization of work, have led to an explosion in the prevalence of virtual teams, which are revolutionizing the modern workplace. As communication technology has improved, the tools now exist to enable virtual teams to be at least as effective as their co-located counterparts, but successful application of these tools is not a simple undertaking.
The importance of virtual teams cannot be overstated. Indeed, opportunities for flexible work arrangements have emerged as an important contributor to employee satisfaction—recently gaining ground in work-life balance discussions. Moreover, virtual teams afford organizations the opportunity to compile teams with more diverse skills and abilities than may be accessible in one location.
Even with the extensive benefits emerging from virtual teams, there are still questions and concerns that need to be addressed before organizations can fully reap the rewards of these work arrangements. These questions include: what is it that truly separates effective from ineffective virtual teams, and what is the best way to ensure a virtual team reaches high levels of performance quickly? This article aims to provide some clarity around these questions by exploring trust and communication technologies in virtual teams.