What is a global team and its benefits?

A global team meets together both in person and online in a conference room.
Welcome to the future of collaboration — working seamlessly with people all over the world. Exactly what is a global team?

Today, work teams come in many different forms. Where some may share local office space, others may be scattered across different continents and gather only in the virtual space. That’s one element of a global team. Let’s dive deeper into what exactly makes a team a global one and why these types of teams are a necessary force in the workplace.

What is a global team exactly?

In a classic business model, employees typically work in the same office. A global team, on the other hand, consists of employees who work remotely across different countries and time zones.

When you are part of this type of team, the virtual space is your common meeting ground. Teammates ditch the physical office setup and more traditional approach to take advantage of different types of software and technology to connect and collaborate with one another.

Why are global virtual teams important?

Global teams typically — though not always — exist when a company has an interest in more than one market. For example, Apple Inc. has operations in markets literally across the globe, including North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Having team members that reside in the market they’re serving can be a huge advantage. With a global team, companies can tune in to local markets and ensure their marketing strategies are optimally effective.

Sometimes, a global team simply exists because your teammates live in different areas, regardless of the market interest. As remote work becomes more and more common, companies can recruit top talent from almost anywhere in the world, creating a robust and exciting team to work alongside. It can even be beneficial to have some of these teammates working in different time zones to cover various hours or shifts, especially if customer service is a factor in your business.

Three dimensions of a global virtual team.

While global virtual teams can boost a company’s effectiveness, they also come with their unique challenges. To have success, you can focus on the three dimensions of a global virtual team — leadership, trust, and communication.

Benefits of global virtual teams.

Fortunately, virtual global teams are worth the challenge of managing them efficiently. They’ll also be able to use their diverse market expertise and languages to contribute to your team. Instead of navigating global markets from afar, you’ll have eyes and ears on the ground. As a bonus, team members tend to be more collaborative in global teams and report fewer problems.

Skills required for global team management vs. traditional teams.

Managing global virtual teams requires additional skills compared to managing an in-person team. In a traditional team, much of the staff will often be from the same geographical area. There’s also the built-in structure, support, and accountability of showing up to work next to your team members.

In global team management, however, your leadership will need skills like the following:

Key factors in managing a global virtual team.

Global team management can be both challenging and rewarding. Fortunately, there are many tips and tools you can use to help things go as smoothly as possible, such as:

More resources on virtual or remote work and business.

Now that you have an understanding of what it takes to lead successful global virtual teams, here are additional resources on virtual or remote work and business:

Whether your team is in the same building, on the other side of the world, or somewhere in between, effective team collaboration is always necessary for success.

Discover everything you can do with Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat online services to keep your team working together seamlessly, from reordering PDF pages to compressing PDF file size.