Monday, May 19, 2008

Virtual Team Advice

I'd like to get my hands on this book, Uniting the Virtual Workplace, because from this review in Business Week, it sounds like it has some good advice for anyone working with a team, virtual or otherwise. Whether you're far-flung or near-flung, every team can have crippling communication problems. We've all been there: you work two cubes away from someone, and you have to find out from a vendor that your colleague is working on the exact same project as you, but from a different angle. It's a pain and it makes you feel out of touch and irritated. (By "you" I mean "me". Just so we're clear.)

I have this idea that far-flung teams with communication problems just get symptomatic more quickly than those with the luxury of sitting in the same room for a couple of hours every week. Let's face it: when you're virtual, all you really have is communication. You can't stumble upon your project update in the copier, you won't overhear your colleagues talking about something that is germane to your work and be able to barge in on the conversation. As a virtual worker, you live and die by phone calls, emails, IMs, and online meetings.

So like I said, I'm going to get this book and see what guidance I can gain. Because I'm always looking for ways to make my mostly traditional-with-one-virtual-member-e.g.-me team work well together.

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