About 50% of our interactions with colleagues are already online
For many Company Working digitally across locations and national borders is already part of everyday life. According to a study by RW87 CultureWizards, 50% of the management and 3% of the employees of multinational corporations sometimes do their work virtually. Nevertheless, European studies show that, especially in Germany, there is still a lack of trust towards colleagues in the “home office” - and not just from management, but especially through teammates.
Most of them are still sitting at their office workplaces in their virtual collaboration with colleagues, customers and employees and so the “digital revolution” has not yet arrived in Germany. One sticks to old thinking patterns of performance control and time recording. Only those who are present work properly: "What, he goes to the park with the children in the afternoon, when does he work?" With this old thinking, modern work models mutate from the blessing of work-life integration to a massive burden on 24/7 accessibility.
Trust is the key to success
Managers believe that everything is done with the introduction and training of the new technology. But the implementation of the latest IT systems, which guarantee flexible working and collaboration with team colleagues from every location, is not enough to establish modern working models. The most modern IT is only the floor on which the “new way of work” can be designed. Digitization and flexibility are strategic guarantees of success, but that is crucial for sustainable success Culture of trust: in the company. Trust is the key success lever for virtual teams. The key is communication. Only personal exchange and mutual appreciation lead to trust.
Studies underline the building of trust is a common challenge in decentralized teams: In a survey of 30.000 employees of multinational companies (3), 2012% stated that it is difficult to develop trust in virtual teams , According to the survey, the biggest challenges are in virtual teammeetings:
- Enough time for relationship building (79%)
- Decision speed (73%) and differences in decision-making (55%)
- Too little share (71%)
- Cultural differences in conflict management (70%) and expression (55%)
Challenges for team meetings
In 33% of the interviewees, half of the team members did not live in their own country, so working in different time zones made communication difficult and burdensome. The biggest hurdle, however, was the understanding of cultural differences. Especially since 41% of the members of virtual teams have never met their colleagues personally.
Is that why American companies like Yahoo, Best Buy and Reddit are partially rowing back and calling for more presence in the offices? - But there is no way back: Cisco's Connected World Technology Report 2014 shows that 60% of workers in the United States strive for such a flexible job. In Germany too, according to the Regus survey, 82% opt for flexible working models, trust-based working hours and home office and 60% would even reject a job offer if this is not guaranteed. So in order to attract the best talents, we should overcome these challenges with “good digital leadership”.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965961111
English version: ISBN 9783965961579 (Translation notice)
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