Teams in the pre-knowledge worker age were generally located in the same office, spoke the same language, worked for the same company, and worked in the same time zone. These traditional arrangements are no longer normal. Over the past 25 years the nature of our work has evolved such that more and more of us are responsible for managing information, rather than objects.
Combining this new work paradigm with today’s computing and Internet technologies, many of us are now able to work full-time from any location. As a result, it is now common to find teams that have one or more members working from home, a satellite or customer office, or even a coffee shop. It is also common for team members to be located in different countries and companies from our own.
For these virtual teams to work effectively, all members must use the best remote and tele-work tools and techniques available. The goal of this site is to provide telecommuters, virtual team members and their managers the very latest and best information and resources to improve their productivity.
Telecommuting, virtual team members are the most advanced type of virtual office workers. These folks require the greatest number of virtual work skills and tools to be effective. Here is a table showing the various work styles, from traditional through mobile, virtual team member:
|Type||Virtual skill needs||Description|
|Traditional Office worker||very low||Works in the office where most or all of their teammates reside. No telecommuting is done.|
|Work-day extender||low||Works in an office full-time and extends the day a few hours a week for meetings or homework. Connects to the office for data exchange rarely.|
|Telecommuter||medium||Works at home most or full-time. Often connects to the office for data exchange. Primarily works alone.|
|Office-based, virtual team member||med-high||Works apart from most team members, either at home or in a remote office. Often connects to the office for data exhange.|
|Telecommuting, virtual team member||high||Works away from most team members from home or a remote office. Is connected to the office most of the day for data exchange, instant messaging, e-mail, etc.|
|Mobile, virtual team member||very high||Works away from most team members from a mobile office. Is connected to the office most of the day for data exchange, instant messaging, e-mail, etc.|
The focus of this site is primarily on the virtual team member (last three rows of this table), whether he/she telecommutes, is mobile, or works in the office. These are the folks who must be up on the latest tools and techniques in order to work effectively in a virtual team. However, the tips and tools described in this site are useful to all of the above work styles, even the traditional office worker.