4 Types of Teams in the Workplace [+Pros/Cons]

Types of Teams

In the workplace, various teams are formed according to the requirements. These teams are formed for specific purpose. Here, we will describe the four common types of teams in the workplace including how they are formed and their pros/cons:

Problem-Solving Team:

A problem-solving team is a group of individuals brought together to tackle specific issues or challenges within an organization. These teams are typically temporary and focused on finding solutions to particular problems. This team type is composed of 5 to twelve employees.

Formation: Problem-solving teams are assembled by management or leaders based on the expertise and skills required to address the specific problem at hand. Team members may come from various departments or functional areas, depending on the nature of the problem.


  • To identify and analyze complex issues or obstacles hindering organizational performance.
  • To generate creative ideas and implement effective solutions to resolve problems.
  • To improve efficiency, productivity, and decision-making processes within the organization.


  • Specialized Expertise: Problem-solving teams bring together individuals with diverse skills and knowledge, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of the issue at hand.
  • Focused Approach: These teams are dedicated to addressing specific problems, leading to targeted solutions and faster resolution.
  • Innovative Solutions: By encouraging brainstorming and collaboration, problem-solving teams foster creativity and innovation, resulting in novel approaches to overcoming challenges.


  • Time Constraints: Assembled on a temporary basis, problem-solving teams may face time constraints, limiting the depth of analysis or the implementation of comprehensive solutions.
  • Resource Intensive: Forming and managing problem-solving teams requires allocating resources such as time, manpower, and finances, which may strain organizational resources.
  • Resistance to Change: Implementing solutions proposed by problem-solving teams may face resistance from employees or stakeholders accustomed to existing practices, leading to implementation challenges.

Self-Managed Work Team

Another type of team in the workplace if self-manage team. A self-managed work team is a group of employees who are responsible for managing their own day-to-day operations, tasks, and decision-making processes without direct supervision.

Formation: Self-managed work teams are often formed through a process of delegation and empowerment, where employees are given autonomy and authority to organize and execute their work.

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  • To promote employee empowerment, autonomy, and accountability.
  • To enhance communication, collaboration, and teamwork within the organization.
  • To improve flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness to changing conditions or customer needs.


  • Increased Motivation: Empowering employees to manage their own work fosters a sense of ownership, pride, and motivation, leading to higher job satisfaction and engagement.
  • Efficiency and Flexibility: Self-managed work teams can adapt quickly to changing priorities, allocate resources efficiently, and make timely decisions without waiting for managerial approval.
  • Continuous Improvement: With a focus on continuous learning and feedback, self-managed work teams are better equipped to identify process improvements, streamline workflows, and drive innovation within the organization.


  • Conflict and Decision-Making Challenges: Without clear guidelines or leadership, self-managed work teams may face challenges in resolving conflicts, making decisions, or prioritizing tasks effectively.
  • Accountability Issues: In the absence of direct supervision, accountability for performance and outcomes may become ambiguous, leading to issues of underperformance or lack of responsibility.
  • Training and Support Needs: Transitioning to a self-managed work team model requires adequate training, support, and resources to ensure team members have the necessary skills and capabilities to succeed.

Cross-Functional Team

A cross-functional team consists of individuals from different departments or functional areas within an organization who come together to work on a specific project, task, or objective.

Formation: Cross-functional teams are formed by assembling members with diverse skills, expertise, and perspectives relevant to the project or task at hand.

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  • To leverage diverse knowledge, skills, and experiences to solve complex problems or achieve organizational goals.
  • To break down silos, improve communication, and foster collaboration across departments or functional areas.
  • To promote innovation, creativity, and interdisciplinary thinking within the organization.


  • Diverse Perspectives: Cross-functional teams bring together individuals with varied backgrounds, expertise, and viewpoints, leading to more comprehensive problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Enhanced Communication: By facilitating interaction and collaboration across departments, cross-functional teams improve communication channels, reduce misunderstandings, and promote knowledge sharing.
  • Holistic Solutions: With input from multiple disciplines, cross-functional teams are better equipped to develop holistic solutions that address the needs and concerns of all stakeholders involved.


  • Conflict and Coordination Challenges: Differing priorities, goals, and communication styles among team members may lead to conflicts, misunderstandings, or coordination challenges.
  • Decision-Making Delays: Involving multiple stakeholders in decision-making processes can result in delays or inefficiencies, especially if consensus cannot be reached.
  • Resource Allocation Issues: Cross-functional teams may face resource allocation issues, as members may prioritize their departmental objectives over the needs of the team or project.

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Virtual Team

A virtual team is a group of individuals who collaborate and work together on projects or tasks from different geographical locations, often using technology-mediated communication.

Formation: Virtual teams are formed by selecting members with the necessary skills and capabilities to work remotely and collaborate effectively across distances.


  • To leverage global talent and expertise, regardless of geographical constraints or physical boundaries.
  • To promote flexibility, work-life balance, and access to diverse perspectives within the organization.
  • To reduce costs associated with office space, commuting, and travel expenses.


  • Global Talent Pool: Virtual teams enable organizations to tap into a global talent pool, accessing specialized expertise and resources from different parts of the world.
  • Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Remote work allows team members to have more flexibility in managing their schedules, promoting work-life balance and employee well-being.
  • Cost Savings: By eliminating the need for physical office space and reducing travel expenses, virtual teams can lead to significant cost savings for organizations.


  • Communication Challenges: Virtual teams may face communication barriers due to differences in time zones, languages, or technological issues, leading to misunderstandings or delays.
  • Team Cohesion and Trust: Without face-to-face interactions, virtual teams may struggle to build rapport, trust, and camaraderie among members, impacting team cohesion and collaboration.
  • Management and Performance Monitoring: Managing remote teams requires effective leadership, communication, and performance monitoring strategies to ensure accountability, productivity, and engagement among team members.

Hence, these are the four most common types of teams in the workplace.

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