What is the difference between remote and virtual?

Increased connectivity allows companies to expand their workforce across the globe to create teams whose members may work from remote locations and across different time zones.

Here we explain the aspects that differentiate virtual teams and remote teams.

Remote v virtual

Remote working and virtual working arrangements are both work or employment arrangements that do not require employees to gather in a physical location to work their shifts.

The main difference between the two arrangements has to do with the management.

Remote team
A remote team is a group of employees who work together on the same project or for the same goal under the management of one leader. This means the team leader has full control over the operational processes of the team.

Remote workers may come from different parts of the globe and they may or may not have a face-to-face meeting with their colleagues or manager.

Some remote workers may also reside in an area that’s close to the business

Virtual team
A virtual team is composed of members who may be working together on the same project but report to different managers or team leaders.

Similar to remote teams, virtual team employees are typically dispersed but team leaders may be geographically co-located (i.e. share the same location). They may also report from different locations and, in some cases, there may be several virtual team leaders reporting to the lead manager.

Because of this set-up, business decisions do not depend on one person – especially when it comes to hiring and dismissal of employees.

Are all remote and virtual workers home-based?

Not necessarily.

Distributed teams have increased in popularity, especially as people gain preference for home-based jobs. But just because a team works in a different location doesn’t automatically mean they’re working from home.

For both remote and virtual jobs, employees may work from anywhere, depending on how the job is set up. Dispersed employees – or those who are in a different city, region or country – may simply require employees to have a private space to use as a home office to commence a work from home arrangement.

A part-time virtual assistant, for instance,  may simply bring their laptop to the nearest coffee shop to accomplish their tasks.

On the other hand, there are some companies that lease office spaces in areas where employees within a certain region may gather. However, physically going to the leased property on a regular basis may not be required for all as long as they have the necessary equipment and internet connection.

This may be the case for internal digital media creators who must produce content with company-owned assets and using equipment with specific technical specifications that the company provides.

Article courtesy of Nestegg

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