Virtual Teams in Times of Pandemic: Factors That Influence Performance

In the digital age, the global software development sector has been a forerunner in implementing new ways and configurations for remote teamwork using information and communication technologies on a widespread basis. Crises and technological advances have influenced each other to bring about changes in the ways of working. In the 70’s of the last century, in the middle of the so-called oil crisis, the concept of teleworking was defined using remote computer equipment to access office equipment and thus avoid moving around using traditional vehicles. Then from the 90s, with the advent of communications and the widespread use of the Internet, the first virtual work teams were implemented in software development companies that already had some of the important characteristics needed to work in this way, such as, cultural diversity, characterized tasks, geographical distribution of members, communication, interdependence of tasks, leadership, cohesion, empowerment, confidence, virtuality. This manuscript groups the main factors into different models proposed by the literature and also analyzes the results of a study conducted in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis on 317 software development teams that had to work in virtual teams (VT). The results of the quantitative methodology with structural equation modeling based on variance using the partial least squares route method are analyzed. The results of the research focus on some determinants that can directly affect the performance of the virtual team. A first determinant is communication in relation to the tasks. The second is trust in relation to leadership, empowerment and cohesion. The results of virtual teams provide information that can serve as a basis for future research lines for the implementation of virtual work strategies in post-pandemic work.