Let’s Go Green with Virtual Teams! – Sally Lee Vickers

As Super Bowl XLV looms on the TV horizon, our family starts “getting in shape.” This fall, I think that we have watched football at least four times a week. There’s always a game on some station.

The Super Bowl, of course, is hailed as the match-up of two of the best football teams in America. When we think of teams, football or sports teams may be the first type of team that comes to mind. But we have teams all around us everyday, from business teams to church teams to family teams. We may not always call these groups “teams,” but Webster describes a team as “a number of persons associated together in work or activity”.

A favorite quotation of mine is about working together as a team by Margaret Mead, the anthropologist:

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world: indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”

In fact one kind of team structure could become even more important in today’s world.

When Barack Obama first took office, he said that we, as a country, have two major things to focus on in today’s world. One, or perhaps our first focus, is the economy. Our second focus then would be the environment. Which one we should focus on first may still be debatable, but we can use one thing to make a difference in both.

That one thing would be the use of Virtual Teams.

Reduce and Grow

The research has been done and it has been proven that in the business world the increased use of Virtual Teams could:

  • Lower the number of cars on the road
  • Lower the effects on the environment
  • Lower the demands on fuel which would lower the cost of gasoline
  • Lower business overhead which could save jobs and businesses
  • Lower the stress of commuting which could lower health care cost.
  • Lower the time away from the kids which could lower the drop out rates

More Benefits

A past article in the Wall Street Journal stressed the benefits that a family meal can have on family members….less drug abuse among teenagers, more commitment to faith, and a stronger connection with children to parents…all this as a result of just three meals together as a family per week.

The increased use of virtual teams could have a huge impact on our economy, our environment, and perhaps our families.

Small Business Apps

Do you think that you can’t use virtual teams because you are a sole proprietor?

You in fact may need to set up your own virtual team for survival. Being a sole proprietor can be one of the loneliest jobs in the world, because you work alone and have very few people to talk with about your business.

Why not set-up your own team of people who would get to know you and your business and could be there so you could ask questions, get advise, and exchange ideas? Pick your own team. Ask friends that you have made in networking. Your team could include a web guy, a lawyer, a coach, and someone from your professional group. It would be your very own Advisory Team.

This same idea can be used by anyone, such as setting up your own personal small team. It could be a small group of friends that want to start eating healthy. Maybe they can meet every day at the gym, but maybe they can’t meet in person everyday but still want to support each other. Why not meet via conference call.

Maybe it’s a small group that would like to share ideas to save money or stay on a budget. This team could support each other and set short-term goals.

Anyone today can set up free conference calls via their computer, or just have a small team of three and use the three-way telephone call. It’s still people getting together supporting each other. They may meet face to face once in a while, but by meeting virtually on a regular basis, they are saving time and helping the environment.

Remember there are some rules to having a successful virtual team. Some of them include:

  • Take time to get to know each other.
  • Get a commitment from the members to support the team.
  • Set an agenda for each call
  • Let everyone talk.
  • Most of all, have fun!

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Sally Vickers is publisher of E-Team Journal.

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About Bob McCarthy

Originally from the Northeast, I now call Southwest Florida home. I have been a professional copywriter and editor since 1979, both freelance and in house. I have had article published in regional, national and international magazines. Plus, a video for which I wrote the script won an industry award as Best Training Video.
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