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Survey Finds 40% of Virtual Teams Underperform
Jun 08, 2010 (02:06 PM EDT)


NEW YORK, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a study released last month, 80% of corporate managers work virtually and 63% are members of global virtual teams. The key factors impairing virtual productivity are: cultural differences, communication styles, time-zone differences, language and a lack of face-to-face contact, according to the Virtual Teams Survey Report 2010 – The Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams, by RW3 CultureWizard, an intercultural training consultancy specializing in online training for global organizations.

Michael S. Schell, CEO of RW3 CultureWizard, said, "We were stunned to learn only 60% of participants on virtual teams considered them to be as successful as they could be. We can't imagine this degree of satisfaction would be acceptable in any business endeavor. Virtual teams are such a fast-growing component of business, the organizations with the most effective teams will be most successful. Making virtual work more effective must be top-of-mind for every business leader."

The survey identifies three challenging areas:

  1. Time Zones and Languages: 81% indicated time zones presented the greatest hurdle, followed by 64% who found language (accents and dialects) to be a barrier.
  2. Communication style: 94% said the inability to read non-verbal cues is very challenging, and 90% stated the absence of face-to-face contact interfered with building relationships.
  3. Cultural differences: 80% said virtual teams slowed down decision making, 77% were hampered by different leadership styles and 76% felt the method of decision-making was challenging.

"Collaborative technology has outpaced the ability of virtual teams to work effectively across cultures," says Charlene Solomon, EVP of RW3 CultureWizard. "Companies must be aware of the influence of culture on work styles and develop procedures to assure intercultural effectiveness."

"The good news is training is available to make virtual teams more effective," concludes Schell. He explained the new study was prompted, in part, by the growing number of collaborative software options that facilitate virtual work. RW3 CultureWizard is using the findings of the survey to develop the components of its Virtual Team Tool – a training initiative to help organizations improve communication skills among virtual team members.

For a free copy of the Virtual Teams Survey Report 2010, email charlene.solomon@rw-3.com.

About RW3 CultureWizard

RW3 CultureWizard is an intercultural training consultancy, which creates online learning facilities for cross-cultural training, global and virtual team collaboration, international assignee support and country-specific information.

CONTACT:  Charlene Solomon, charlene.solomon@rw-3.com, +1-212-691-8900

Web Site: http://rw-3.com

SOURCE RW3 CultureWizard