My research interest is in virtual teams in the workplace. Virtual teams are“teams that rely on information and communication technology for interaction”(Beng, 2007, p. 4). I believe that the technology that would have the greatest potential in virtual teams is visual collaboration. Visual collaboration is a process where two or more people work together in order to accomplish a common goal by relying on communicating through visual mediums.
In previous research that I have done I found that one of the factors that increases the success of a virtual team is face-to-face communication and visual collaboration can accomplish this (Sommer, 2010). Organizations now have the advantage of being able to use free software the allows for visual collaboration, like Skype, however there are also other alternatives that are fairly inexpensive that will allow organizations that utilize visual collaboration in virtual teams more effectively, like video conferencing.
There are potential problems for using visual collaboration in an organization. Unless the organization is certain that the network is secure the virtual team members may not want to discuss confidential information. As with any technology is may be difficult for the organization to convince their employees of the benefits of using the technology. There will most likely be a learning curve for the new technology as well.
The benefits of using visual collaboration in virtual workplace teams far exceed the costs. By having virtual teams in an organization utilize visual collaboration the chances of success of the team increases.
Above is a video that discusses a particular video collaboration software.
Beng, C. (2007). An investigationof the role of trust in virtual team management success (Doctoral thesis,Murdoch University, Perth, Australia). Retrieved fromhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/
Sommer, N.(2010). An Analysis of Team Trust Building Behaviors in Virtual Workplace Teams. (Master thesis, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois).