Being able to work in virtual teams has become one of basic employability skills. Challenges of work in virtual teams are multifaceted. Such teams cope with lack of conventional trust building mechanisms, barriers to communication are significant due to absence of visual cues such as body language and facial expressions and team conflict resolution is often more challenging that in conventional teams. Rapport building and coping with feelings of isolation further add to the challenges of working in virtual teams. Particularly important is the multi-cultural dimension. Cultural diversity poses challenge in business communication by itself, but its relevance is even more emphasized in virtual environment. Individuals engaged in virtual teams should possess sufficient level of technological knowledge for efficient and effective communication and performing of tasks with other team members.
Recent 2018 survey of Flexjobs showed increase of 22 percent in telecommuting from 2017 to 2018. US figures show that about one third of all employed persons in US work remotely in virtual teams. As Covid-19 pandemic exposed, in times of crisis virtual teams become only means of functioning even for activities of intrinsically oriented organizations. Different aspects of digital transformation are covered in educational programmes of higher education institutions (HEIs) and even some high schools but the clear focus on building of skills for work in virtual teams is lacking. This should come as no surprise as currently the knowledge of the virtual team working skills is still in its early stage of development. For European society to prosper in a digital era there is the need to empower European youth to harness benefits of work in virtual, multi-cultural teams.