Team members` perspectives on communication after the transition to virtual teams due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sammanfattning: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted the global workplace. A great number of organizations which had never before allowed their employees to work from home now do so. Many co-located, traditional teams have changed their work setting to virtual, and have become virtual teams. The aim of this study was to examine how team members have perceived communication in teams after the transition from traditional to virtual teams. Individual interviews were chosen as a study method. The collected data has been analyzed with help of a thematic analysis framework. The study results have indicated that the transition has impacted communication and coordination in virtual teams. The interviewed team members have experienced communication barriers. The crucial factor indicated by the interviewed team members as influencing teamwork has been lack of physical meetings and face-to-face communication. The affected areas are socializing, information and knowledge sharing and coordination. Accordingly, the study results have confirmed that, despite the continuous improvements in virtual communication tools, there is still value in face-to-face communication. Moreover, the study has showed that productivity in virtual teams has improved, which might be a result of experienced individual and team autonomy. The interviewed team members of virtual teams have assessed their digital readiness in terms of using different digital tools and services as good, which has allowed them to perform their duties effectively. The study results have contributed to the existed body of research on virtual teams and indicated the areas of further investigations.
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