5 Trends Impacting Virtual Teams in 2019

Virtual teams have been growing at a rapid rate for years and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2019. It’s easy to see why – higher productivity, reduced operational costs, better work/life balance for employees, greater ability to recruit and retain, and the list goes on.

In Virtual Teams for Dummies, I cover in-depth many of the issues facing virtual teams and the strategies to overcome them.  In terms of trends that will impact virtual teams this year, here are six to keep your eye on:

  • Continued growth of virtual teams – At the top of the trend list is simply more growth. Greater demand from the workforce for more flexible work schedules and the increase in the use of independent contractors, means that virtual teams will become more commonplace. Companies once wary of hiring remote workers will get on board. This broader acceptance of virtual work is good news for virtual teams.

  • More technology choices – As the virtual workforce grows, so do the technology options. There will be more choices – and more lower cost options – for collaborative technologies or organizing apps to connect virtual teams. Beware of ‘new is better’ mentality, and stick to your functionality analysis before making a switch.

  • Shifting demographics – Younger professionals are entering the workforce and virtual work has enabled many older workers to stay in the workforce. The result is more blended virtual teams with a wide spectrum of ages, perspectives and experience levels. So heads up virtual team leaders – you’ll need to adapt and get everyone on the same page.

  • Focus on culture – The way to attract and retain high-value Generation Y and Millennials workers is to engage them with a clearly articulated vision and practice for supporting causes they believe in. They want to work for companies that value people, community and the environment, so virtual team leaders will need to be creative in making the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and practices relevant for their virtual teams.

  • Growth of ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) – The interest in ROWE will continue. ROWE is a management strategy that gives employees the freedom to work on their own terms and their own time, and measures them only on the results they produce – not the amount of time they spend at their desks. This means that virtual team leaders will need to brush up on their communication and relationship management skills. This is consistent with my research on virtual team management.

As the year progresses, I will continue to provide updates on the latest trends impacting virtual teams. And you can always check out my site http://virtualteamacademy.com/ for help in creating highly successful virtual teams. 

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