5 Successful Virtual Teams & Why They Work - Glasscubes

Great examples of successful virtual teams exist across industries and working styles. They come in all shapes and sizes, they consist of a multitude of skill sets, and they face unique challenges. But to help you solidify how such different people can come together to form effective virtual teams, we explore five examples of virtual teams that work in practice below.

5 Examples Of Successful Virtual Teams In The Workplace

1. A small, internationally distributed team in the human resources industry

One of our first virtual team examples comes from Vivek Kumar. He is the co-founder of Qlicket, a startup that helps businesses reduce employee turnover. Kumar’s is not the stereotypical startup story of two people working together in their apartment or garage to create a great product. Instead, he and his two co-founders are based in different areas to capitalize on different aspects of their business—one in San Francisco for quick access to investors, one in Pittsburgh for proximity to their clients, and one in India to lead their seven-person development team.

“Fundamentally, our team has been successful because of a shared devotion to our mission of helping managers listen to employees. Great communication tools like Slack and Zoom have also had a positive impact,” he says.

2. An independent contractor team of 20 in the finance industry

William Lipovsky is the CEO of First Quarter Finance, a consumer topics website focused on finance-related content. His virtual team is made up completely of independent contractors, most of whom are writers or editors, which is understandable since much of his business involves creating financial content for consumers, such as banking and investments.

Lipovsky notes that being virtual from the beginning provided a good foundation for success. “There was no need to adjust from office life to remote work. In addition, much of our team had worked in other remote positions previously, so they were already accustomed to working independently and connecting virtually with other team members.”

3. A U.S.-based, 25-person team providing hourly services

As far as virtual business examples go, Brad Turner’s definitely hits the mark. Not only is his team virtual, but so are his clients and his business, My BTLR, a company that hires out virtual assistants by the hour. As the founder, Turner heads up 25 employees, including virtual assistants, a bookkeeper, a webmaster, and a social media manager.

Turner points to the company’s ability to “match great people with great clients.” He says that employing only U.S.-based resources helps with the cultural fit of his U.S.-based clients.

He also notes that their flexible employment model is a success factor. “Most of our employees want a good work-life balance and we’re able to provide that. They can work as many, or as few, hours per week as they want. This matches up with our clients’ typical needs for a limited number of hours per week.”

4. A 40-person team consisting of employees and contractors in the job board industry

Similar to Turner’s situation, Laura Spawn’s is one for a book on unique virtual workplace examples. Spawn is the CEO of Virtual Vocations, a job board consisting of purely telecommute positions. Her team is also fully remote and includes job quality specialists, writers, customer service representatives, managers, and more.

Spawn believes the team’s ability to collaborate effectively despite being geographically distributed is key to their success. Though she admits that things weren’t always so smooth. “Our team used to feel fragmented. We weren’t communicating efficiently since we primarily used email chains to share information. After we upgraded to more modern communication tools, our connectedness and productivity increased dramatically.”

5. A hybrid workforce of 1,000 people spread across North America & Europe providing enterprise solutions

Straying a bit from the previous virtual business examples, Yaniv Masjedi’s team is hybrid, with some team members onsite and some remote. Masjedi is the CMO of Nextiva, a company that offers cloud-based VoIP services and other business communication solutions. The company has satellite offices in the U.S. and Europe, but many employees work virtually.

“Relationship-building is even more important when collaborating with virtual team members. Make the extra effort to ensure those team members feel connected and supported,” Masjedi notes. “If feasible, arrange for an in-person meet-up with virtual teammates—whatever you can do to foster a stronger relationship and make everyone feel part of the team.”

All of these virtual team examples have something in common—the need for tools that support communication, collaboration, and connectedness. If you lead or are part of a virtual team, seek out a solution that helps foster these aspects.