Conference Calling and the Virtual Team
Virtual teams are made up of team members who typically work independently of one another. Some team members may work from home while others might work in various branch offices. Some may even belong to other companies. For example, a virtual team of volunteers coordinating a charity even may have team members from multiple organizations.
While face-to-face team or committee meetings are often held, they can also be impractical especially if the team is scattered across a large geographic distance. To solve this problem and facilitate communication, many virtual teams use international conference calling.
With conference calling, each person simply dials a designated phone number, enters an access code, and begins collaborating. No one needs to travel, and the international conference call can be as long or short as necessary. In addition to these obvious benefits, conference calling also allows for:
- Call recording – By recording the call, individuals can go back and listen to it as needed. In addition, the call recording can be used as “meeting minutes” or be transcribed. Absent team members can listen to the call after the fact. Superiors and colleagues could also be invited to listen to the call after if appropriate.
- Collaboration and team building – While email solves many communications challenges, it doesn’t necessarily build camaraderie. By holding regular conference calls, virtual team members can get to know each other on a more personal basis.
- Anytime, anywhere conferences – With a pay-as-you-go teleconferencing plan, you can hold virtual team meetings anytime, day or night. There’s no need to preschedule your conference, allowing you to hold impromptu conference calls as needed.
Virtual team members often have conflicting work schedules, especially when working across multiple time zones. While some international conference calls may require some participants to attend at odd hours, they can do so from their homes or other remote locations. There’s no need to dress up, either.