SHRM Survey Findings: Virtual Teams                                July 13, 2012
Definitions Virtual teams: A group of individuals who work across time, space and  organizational boundaries and interact...
Key Findings   Are organizations using virtual teams? Almost one-half of organizations (46%) use virtual teams in    thei...
Does your organization use virtual teams?       Yes                                                                      4...
Does your organization use virtual teams?Comparisons by organization sectorPublicly owned for-profit and privately owned f...
Why does your organization use virtual teams?                                                                             ...
Why does your organization use virtual teams?Comparisons by organization operation typeOrganizations with multinational op...
For what formal or informal capacities does your organization use virtual teams?                                          ...
What are the most successful behaviors for virtual and on-site/traditional face-to-face teams in your organization?       ...
What are the most successful behaviors for on-site/traditional face-to-face teams in your organization?Comparisons by orga...
What are the most challenging behaviors for virtual and on-  site/traditional face-to-face teams in your organization?    ...
What are the most challenging behaviors for virtual teams in your organization?Comparisons by organization operation typeO...
What are the top challenges to the success of virtual teams in yourorganization?                Building team relations   ...
What are the top challenges to the success of virtual teams in your organization?Comparisons by organization operation typ...
Demographics: Organization SectorPrivately owned for-profit organization                                          39%Publi...
Demographics: Organization Staff Size           1 to 99 employees   2%      100 to 499 employees          8%   500 to 2,49...
Demographics: Organization IndustryIndustry                                                                               ...
Demographics: Organization Industry (continued)Industry                                                                   ...
Demographics: OtherDoes your organization have U.S.-                        Is your organization a single-unit organizatio...
SHRM Survey Findings: Virtual TeamsMethodology        Response rate = 13%        Sample composed of 379 randomly selecte...
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Virtual teams final

  1. 1. SHRM Survey Findings: Virtual Teams July 13, 2012
  2. 2. Definitions Virtual teams: A group of individuals who work across time, space and organizational boundaries and interact primarily through electronic communications. Project teams: Temporary teams whose members belong to different groups or functions and are assigned activities for the same project. Action teams: Teams brought together for brief performance events that require improvisation and performance in unpredictable, novel environments and circumstances. Service teams: Teams that use technology to generate products or services in assembly/manufacturing, maintenance, construction, mining, commercial airlines, sales and other industries. Quality control teams: Teams that identify products, services or processes that do not reach an organization’s minimum specified standards of quality. Top management teams: Teams of individuals at the highest level of organizational management who have the day-to-day responsibilities of strategy/mission planning. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 2
  3. 3. Key Findings Are organizations using virtual teams? Almost one-half of organizations (46%) use virtual teams in their workplace. Organizations with multinational operations are more than twice as likely (66%) to use virtual teams compared with organizations with U.S.-based operations (28%). Why do organizations use virtual teams? Of organizations that use virtual teams, approximately one- half use them to include talent in different geographic locations (53%) and to boost collaboration among employees in different geographic locations (49%). Other reasons for using virtual teams include improving productivity (39%), minimizing costs for travel (39%), and collaborating more across global business units because work projects are becoming more global (37%). What are the most successful teamwork behaviors resulting from the use of virtual teams? Nearly three-quarters of organizations (72%) indicated that brainstorming solutions for problems or issues was the most successful behavior for virtual teams, followed by setting goals for team initiatives or projects (68%) and developing plans for team initiatives or projects (63%). What are the obstacles that prevent virtual teams from being successful? About one-half of organizations reported that building team relations (51%) and time differences (49%) were the top challenges for successful virtual teams. Organizations also indicated that additional challenges to using virtual teams were distribution of work (32%), differences in cultural norms (26%) and leadership of these types of teams (25%). Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 3
  4. 4. Does your organization use virtual teams? Yes 46% No 54%Note: n = 335. Respondents who answered “Don’t know” were excluded from this analysis. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 4
  5. 5. Does your organization use virtual teams?Comparisons by organization sectorPublicly owned for-profit and privately owned for-profit organizations are more likely than government agencies to use virtualteams. Comparisons by Organization Sector Publicly owned for-profit (50%) > Government agencies (9%) Privately owned for-profit (46%)Comparisons by organization operation typeOrganizations with multinational operations are more likely than organizations with U.S.-based operations to use virtual teams. Comparisons by Organization Sector Multinational operations (66%) > U.S.-based operations only (28%)Note: Only statistically significant differences are shown. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 5
  6. 6. Why does your organization use virtual teams? Percentage To include talent in different geographic locations 53% To boost collaboration among employees in different geographic locations 49% To improve productivity (i.e., spend less time on commuting/travel) 39% To minimize costs for travel 39% Work projects are becoming more global (i.e., greater need for 37% collaboration across global business units) To allow for greater flexibility for employees 28% Emerging technological advancements (i.e., improved technology that 26% makes virtual work easier) Other 5%Note: n = 137. Only respondents whose organizations use virtual teams were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple responseoptions. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 6
  7. 7. Why does your organization use virtual teams?Comparisons by organization operation typeOrganizations with multinational operations are more likely than organizations with U.S.-based operations to use virtual teamsbecause their work projects are becoming more global (i.e., greater need for collaboration across global business units). Comparisons by Organization Sector Multinational operations (53%) > U.S.-based operations only (23%)Organizations with U.S.-based operations are more likely than organizations with multinational operations to use virtual teams toimprove productivity (i.e., spending less time on commuting/travel). Comparisons by Organization Sector U.S.-based operations only (54%) > Multinational operations (26%)Note: Only statistically significant differences are shown. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 7
  8. 8. For what formal or informal capacities does your organization use virtual teams? Percentage Project teams 79% Top management teams 52% Action teams 47% Service teams 37% Quality control teams 25% Other capacities (e.g., conference calls, training) 8% Other teams* 7% Do not use virtual teams in any of the above capacities 1%Note: n = 137. Only respondents whose organizations use virtual teams were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple responseoptions. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was developed from open-ended responses. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 8
  9. 9. What are the most successful behaviors for virtual and on-site/traditional face-to-face teams in your organization? 72% Brainstorming solutions for problems or issues 49% 68% Setting goals for team initiatives or projects 50% 63% Developing plans for team initiatives or projects 48%Coordinating the tasks of the team during initiatives 59% or projects 38% 46% Designing strategy for the team 41% Examining the progress of team initiatives or 37% projects 35% Resolving task or information conflicts during 25% initiatives or projects 26% Establishing team norms for process and 24% performance 37% 23% Developing trust among team members 50% Maintaining team morale during initiatives or 16% projects 24% Monitoring the performance of other team 15% members 22% Virtual teamsResolving relationship or personality conflicts during 6% On-site/traditional face-to-face teams initiatives or projects 30% 1% Other 2% Note: n = 112. Only respondents whose organizations use virtual teams were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options. Respondents were asked to select the top five options. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 9
  10. 10. What are the most successful behaviors for on-site/traditional face-to-face teams in your organization?Comparisons by organization operation typeOrganizations with U.S.-based operations are more likely than organizations with multinational operations to indicate monitoringthe performance of other team members as one of the most successful behaviors for on-site/traditional face-to-face teams in theirorganization. Comparisons by Organization Sector U.S.-based operations only (32%) > Multinational operations (15%)Organizations with U.S.-based operations are more likely than organizations with multinational operations to indicate brainstormingsolutions for problems or solutions as one of the most successful behaviors for on-site/traditional face-to-face teams in theirorganization. Comparisons by Organization Sector U.S.-based operations only (61%) > Multinational operations (40%)Note: Only statistically significant differences are shown. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 10
  11. 11. What are the most challenging behaviors for virtual and on- site/traditional face-to-face teams in your organization? 61% Developing trust among team members 35% Resolving relationship or personality conflicts during 57% initiatives or projects 57%Resolving task or information conflicts during initiatives or 54% projects 49% 49% Monitoring the performance of other team members 28% 44% Maintaining team morale during initiatives or projects 21% 41% Establishing team norms for process and performance 31% 35% Examining the progress of team initiatives or projects 24% Coordinating the tasks of the team during initiatives or 23% projects 28% 19% Brainstorming solutions for problems or issues 16% 19% Designing strategy for the team 29% 13% Virtual teams Developing plans for team initiatives or projects 20% On-site/traditional face-to-face teams 12% Setting goals for team initiatives or projects 18% 4% Other 5% Note: n = 112. Only respondents whose organizations use virtual teams were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options. Respondents were asked to select the top five options. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 11
  12. 12. What are the most challenging behaviors for virtual teams in your organization?Comparisons by organization operation typeOrganizations with multinational operations are more likely than organizations with U.S.-based operations to indicate maintainingteam morale during initiatives or projects as one of the most challenging behaviors for virtual teams in their organization. Comparisons by Organization Sector U.S.-based operations only (54%) > Multinational operations (34%)Note: Only statistically significant differences are shown. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 12
  13. 13. What are the top challenges to the success of virtual teams in yourorganization? Building team relations 51% Time differences 49% Distribution of work 32% Differences in cultural norms 26% Leadership 25%Multidisciplinary expertise conflicts 24% Technology barriers 21% Team composition 18% Overexertion 16% Language barriers 10% Other 5%Note: n = 106. Only respondents whose organizations use virtual teams were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple responseoptions. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 13
  14. 14. What are the top challenges to the success of virtual teams in your organization?Comparisons by organization operation typeOrganizations with multinational operations are more likely than organizations with U.S.-based operations to indicate timedifference as a top challenge to the success of virtual teams in their organization. Comparisons by Organization Sector Multinational operations (60%) > U.S.-based operations only (38%)Note: Only statistically significant differences are shown. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 14
  15. 15. Demographics: Organization SectorPrivately owned for-profit organization 39%Publicly owned for-profit organization 22% Nonprofit organization 22% Government sector 13% Other 5%Note: n = 296. Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 15
  16. 16. Demographics: Organization Staff Size 1 to 99 employees 2% 100 to 499 employees 8% 500 to 2,499 employees 52%2,500 to 24,999 employees 35%25,000 or more employees 3% n = 297 Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 16
  17. 17. Demographics: Organization IndustryIndustry PercentageHealth care and social assistance 18%Educational services 17%Finance and insurance 13%Manufacturing 11%Public administration 9%Professional, scientific and technical services 8%Transportation and warehousing 6%Accommodation and food services 6%Arts, entertainment and recreation 5%Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services 4%Information, publishing industries 3% Note: n = 301. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 17
  18. 18. Demographics: Organization Industry (continued)Industry PercentageConstruction of buildings; heavy and civil engineering construction; specialty 3%trade contractorsRetail trade 3%Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 2%Religious, grant-making, civic, professional and similar organizations 2%Utilities 2%Wholesale trade 2%Repair and maintenance 2%Real estate, rental and leasing 1%Mining 1%Management of companies and enterprises 1%Personal and laundry services 1% Note: n = 301. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 18
  19. 19. Demographics: OtherDoes your organization have U.S.- Is your organization a single-unit organizationbased operations (business units) only, or a multi-unit organization?or does it operate multinationally? Single-unit organization: An organization in which U.S.-based operations only 73% the location and the organization are one and the 21% same. Multinational operations 27% Multi-unit organization: An organization that has 79% more than one location. n = 307 n = 320 What is the HR department/function For multi-unit organizations, are HR policies and for which you responded throughout practices determined by the multi-unit corporate this survey? headquarters, by each work location, or by both? Corporate (companywide) 68% Multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies 50% and practices. Business unit/division 18% Each work location determines HR policies and 2% Facility/location 14% practices. n = 252 A combination of both the work location and the multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies 47% and practices. n = 251 Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 19
  20. 20. SHRM Survey Findings: Virtual TeamsMethodology  Response rate = 13%  Sample composed of 379 randomly selected HR professionals from organizations with 500 or more employees.  Margin of error +/- 5%  Survey fielded December 8, 2011 – January 3, 2012 For more poll findings, visit www.shrm.org/surveys Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SHRM_ResearchProject leaders:David Geller, SHRM Knowledge DevelopmentChristina Lee, SHRM ResearchProject contributors:Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SPHR, director, SHRM HR Thought LeadershipMark Schmit, Ph.D., SPHR, vice president, SHRM ResearchEvren Esen, manager, SHRM ResearchCopy Editor:Katya Scanlan, SHRM Knowledge Center Virtual Teams ©SHRM 2012 20
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