Managing Virtual Distance
Managing Virtual Distance is a challenging endeavor, but one that results in higher productivity and project success, improved innovation, higher job satisfaction, trust, organizational citizenship, and all those things that create effective teams and keep them that way.
Our data show that when Virtual Distance is managed properly and kept relatively low, positive results skyrocket:
• Innovation behaviors increase by 93 percent.
• Trust improves by 83 percent.
• Job satisfaction is better by 80 percent.
• Role and goal clarity rise by 62 percent.
• On-time, on-budget performance is better by 50 percent.
• Helping behaviors go up by almost 50 percent.
But getting to these results is demanding because each situation requires a different set of strategies and tactics to put teams on the right track to achieve goals. Adding to these difficulties, Virtual Distance usually shifts over time, weighted more toward affinity distance at some points and more toward operational or physical distance at others. And all the factors are linked to boot!
Remember the China case in the previous chapter. Virtual Distance was initially manageable between the executive in New York and the university project manager. At the same time, Virtual Distance factors were high between the two key project managers. Over time, however, lowering affinity distance helped bring those two closer, thereby diminishing other potentially harmful effects. But, in parallel, originally moderate levels ...