Challenges that Face Virtual Communication

Challenges that Face Virtual Communication

Challenges facing communication in virtual teams globally

Virtual teams work on the same projects but in different geographical locations. Therefore, many opportunities are availed by these virtual projects team. Nevertheless, such teams are accompanied by many risks. For instance, the most significant challenges that face virtual communication can be related to those of face to face communication. New challenges arise due to the separation in geographical location among the members of the team thus needing a change in strategy and management (Davis & Scaffidi-Clarke, 2016). The importance of virtual is emanated in the fact that the best workforce can be created without having to be physically available. Moreover, businesses can work round the clock and reduce the costs of running an office physically while also the chance to get into the market much faster. Virtual communication comes with its challenges that are detailed below.

The first challenge is that of different time zones. Individuals from virtual teams are located all over the world. Different places have different time zones that make it hard for people to be available at the project at the same time (Lockwood, 2015). This causes a delay occurring between the question and answers which at times is hectic and unproductive. Although virtual technology brings people together, it also mitigates the problem of time zones. The second challenge is creating trust in a virtual team. For instance, trust should come at the beginning of a project. However, it takes a longer time to build trust through the internet, but constant communication helps bridge this gap (Lockwood, 2015). Instances of difference in language and cultural background make it more challenging to build trust in a virtual team.

Another challenge is cultural differences of virtual team members working on similar projects. Different backgrounds of virtual team members make it hard for them to understand each other when undertaking tasks (Davis & Scaffidi-Clarke, 2016). These differences mainly create difficulties in communication by team members. The primary way to solve this conundrum is by putting effort to follow and accept the differences actively. Communication is another challenge that arises because of non-verbal cues that are central to any discussion taking place. Unlike the traditional face to face communication that involves present representation; virtual technology involves communicating by being absent. The tone of a conversation cannot be specified unless video conferencing is used hence the chance to read body language is prevented. Wrong emotions may be created because of non-verbal cues of the words communicated.

In essence, virtual technology is the new way to communicate and the better it is made efficient, the better it will serve its purpose. Virtual technology improves the efficiency of a business by helping in reducing business costs. This is why virtual communication problems such as communication barriers due to cultural background should be addressed to make virtual communication more efficient to help businesses grow.



Lockwood, J. (2015). Virtual team management: what is causing communication breakdown?. Language and intercultural communication15(1), 125-140.

Davis, D. C., & Scaffidi-Clarke, N. M. (2016). Leading Virtual Teams: Conflict and Communication Challenges for Leaders. In Handbook of Research on Effective Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution (pp. 196-209). IGI Global.