by Phillip H
How to build a (strong) virtual team
This article written by Anne Fisher is about IBM’s experience building a virtual team. They have found that 90% of workers in the U.S. work somewhere away from their company’s headquarters and 84% work in locations other than where their bosses work. We are becoming an increasingly virtual society. In fact, there was an 800% increase in the number of virtual workers from 2003 to 2008.
A point of the article is that technology, though it makes virtual employees possible, does not lead to a good team. It got to the point at IBM that people started to call it an abbreviation for “I’m by myself”. The point is that people need social interaction to do their best work.
IBM is attempting to bring social activities back. They are bringing back the clubs that they used to have that brought people together. They have also created a social networking site for themselves at IBM called SocialBlue. People can do things like post photos and bulletins. It helps people within the company keep in contact with each other and fosters creativity.
This applies to the textbook’s section of Social Entrepreneurship: Going Green. Virtualization brings down energy costs, but it comes at the cost of social interaction. As society moves towards “green” energy, the technology has come to back it up. There needs to be a balance of virtualization and social connectedness. Technology is also helping bring people together, taking advantage of computers’ advanced capacity.
Fisher, Anne. (2009) How to build a (strong) virtual team. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved November, 19, 2009 from: http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/19/news/companies/ibm_virtual_manager.fortune/ index.htm