Leveraging Social Media to Manage Virtual Teams Sustainably

image: virtual teamsHow often are all of a company’s best resources in the same room?  Are some of these key individuals actually within extended stakeholder groups beyond the walls of the organization?  It is the answer to these questions that have revitalized interest in virtual teams and their potential impact to business sustainability. 

“Many companies struggle to effectively manage far-flung project teams and growing project portfolios. Improve information sharing across R&D sites by providing management guidelines, IT-based communication tools, and time-zone mitigation mechanisms.” –CEB Views

The Harvard Business Review post, Managing a Virtual Team, provides its own guidance on effectively leveraging geographically-dispersed resources.  Probing several team building challenges, the author poses a basic question: What is the best technology solution for my team?  With so many options to choose from these days, HBR address this decision with three concepts:

  • Simplicity: Remember, rich interactions don't require rich media…solutions do not necessarily require complex setup time or a steep learning curve.
  • Reliability: Despite the occasional service interruption, the team needs to spend very little time worrying about whether messages will get through to their intended targets. 
  • Accessibility:  Phones and email both work just about everywhere so the team might want to use them — meeting rooms, field offices, airports, even a favorite coffee shop.

Our sustainability consulting experience has revealed that business sustainability programs integrating virtual conferencing, webinar technology and remote working policies don’t only save money but also gain in reducing environmental impacts.  These actions can also increase the effectiveness of remote resources.   Visit with us at Taiga Company to learn how to assess the social space around your business.  

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