Although 87 percent of white collar employees of multinational companies work virtually at least partially, most of these employees encountered challenges in virtual work as only 16 percent had any training for this type of work, according to a study by RW3, an intercultural communication training organization. 

"It is clear that the survey struck a nerve," says Charlene Solomon, president of RW3. "In fact, the huge response itself is one of the key findings. There is a pent-up demand for expressing the difficulty of working virtually across time zones, languages and cultures."

The study also shows that it takes longer to make decisions in the virtual workplace, and the lack of visual cues makes it harder to collaborate. Building team trust is also more difficult, and working across time zones is one of the biggest hurdles facing corporate workers for communication and other culturally based challenges.

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