The Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in a Virtual Environment
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There are many advantages of working in a virtual environment
1. Reach to Customer : Office work environment limits an employee to the office only. In today's world there are lot of jobs specially consulting or outsourcing jobs requires deep understanding of customer processes , which one cannot get just by reading document or talking to delegated people. It is always better for a consultant to actually reach out and get to know actual situation, there won't be a third opinion involved since any type of narration whether written oral has to subjective. Thus for those job this virtual environment model suits very well.
2. Family Time : A person can work through his home as well if he is not travelling. This offers altogether different lifestyle. There is no need to be have special time to be at home as the employee never leaves to office for work. This saves a lot of other activities which are to be performed when there is a "Office" at a particular time. A person can have a flexible routine for himself . Also he can dedicate extra time if required with no additional worries.
3. Relocation constraint : Many jobs are not reachable for a person because he is not willing to relocate. In this case a person may loose a better offer or a company loose a better employee. Thus virtual teams give provide win-win situation for both employers and employee. Thus for a company with virtual office , relocation won't be a problem for attracting best talent and for employee also can go for job he want and without any geographic limitation.
4. Physical handicapped people : For physically handicapped people virtual team can be a best offering . They can work from home with all possible contribution. They don't have to travel to office.
There are disadvantages to virtual environment also.
1. Travel Intensive Jobs : The idea of not having a virtual office also means that there can be lot of travelling involved in it. Many times an executive may have to travel across countries. This is very difficult, with different time zone and jet lag. Also due to this the benefit mentioned above with family time goes away.
2. Conflicts : Due to lack of face to face communication there are more chances of clashes between virtual environment team member.
Those are very difficult to sort out easily With participants scattered across time zones, scheduling phone conferences can trigger conflicts over whose sleep will be interrupted. And some matters, especially sensitive personnel issues, require a personal visit -- no matter the distance.
3. Lack of project visibility : This is one more disadvantage a virtual environment has where in team members may not get proper project visibility. For motivating members it is very difficult without a face to face meeting.
Would you like to work in a company like Accenture? Why or why not? Explain your answer
Yes , I would definitely like to work in a company like Accenture.
In today's networked world the virtual environment is a requirement. This is very profitable to companies since it reduces cost of owning assets. What all a company needs a network as an infrastructural need.
Day by day roads of are getting crowded , and there is no proportion between the time and distance to be traveled. Also the real estate price rising it is very difficult to have residence in the city where the office is located. Virtual environment is best solution for that. Also the pollution factor gets automatically eliminated by this implementation.
The geographic barriers don't matter as far as virtual environment is concern. This is a great advantage . People can work very comfortably across the countries. Thus there are no limitation on business and company to grow. This surely advantageous thing for which any person will willing to work under virtual environment,
What kinds of companies could benefit from being run virtually like Accenture? Could all companies be run virtually like Accenture?
There are some constraints for a company to go for a virtual environment.
The company who has multinational presence and the work is type of consulting, outsourcing, HR firms will get more benefit to be a virtual environment implementation. This will also take care of multiple time zones since there is no fixed time for office. If the cost of asset creation for a physical office is more than that of travelling of executives . If company needs to attract people across the globe without asking them to relocate. Software companies also can go for a virtual management since the instruction can be given on network and written instructions are more effective , they are more favorable for virtual environment.
Not all companies go for running virtually. Like manufacturing. Companies which has location as important factor like real estate firm . Work where team interaction is more important, since virtual teams are not effective in managing conflicts. The companies who already has a developed infrastructure are less prone to go for a virtual environment. A company with scope of a city or 2-3 cities wont go for a virtual environment. Also business likes retail, travel agency , restaurants , advertising agencies where location and team dimension plays important role can't run like Accenture.
4.Go to the Accenture.com Web site. On the home page, Accenture promises to help its clients achieve "high performance." According to Accenture, how does information technology help create high performance organizations? Hint: Click on the word "Technology" on the home page. Or, enter "information technology" into the search box on the home page, and read one of the articles linking IT with high-performance businesses. Write in brief on Accenture's definition of a "high-performance" organization and the role of information systems in enabling such organizations
Above figure from one of the Accenture.com article Which describes the various aspect IT system as a transformation factor. As mentioned in figure with IT a company can achieve growth, realize new opportunities and capture the saving. All in turn enable an organization to be a "high performance" organization.
Accenture indicates that high-performance businesses view IT as a business value from IT. IT is not merely a cost but a critical contributor to the business, focused on improving business value and performance.
What kinds of business and information system skills is Accenture looking for in recent college graduates? Hint: Click on the Careers tab and review the desired skills for "Consulting Analysts". Make a list of these skills.
According to Accenture a business analyst is defined as "Business Analysts develops their analytical thinking and general business management skills to create strategies that help our clients create their future"
Also he needs to work alongside other consulting professionals in Accenture while closely interacting with clients to identify and analyze strategic issues facing their organizations, By using the vast global technological and professional resources of Accenture. (These resources are the Information technology solutions which are creating virtual business environment for Accenture ).
In above context skills required for a business consultant are :
Eagerness to contribute in a team-oriented environment
Ability to work creatively and analytically in a problem-solving environment
Ability to meet client travel requirements, when applicable
Excellent leadership, communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills
And his job responsibility includes :
Executing business market research and analysis
Assisting with business modeling and case development
Performing competitor assessments
Assisting in analysis and documentation of business processes, people, technology, etc.
Developing project deliverables (presentations, status updates)
Thus we can say that more emphasis is given to team skills, analytical skills and communication skills which are most important for working in a virtual business environment .