The Disadvantages of Working as a Team

Businesses set up teams to take advantage of the expertise of many people instead of just one person. Other benefits include a fresh insight into an old idea, along with gaining inspiration from the other members of the team. Despite all best intentions, however, working in a group is not always beneficial and problems can occur in a team environment. These problems can spell disaster for an important project unless they are handled in a timely manner.


Unless each team member is in constant contact with the other members, messages may go undelivered or could be misunderstood. Virtual teams often communicate only through e-mails and the tone of the email does not come through. Excellent communication skills are important when communicating with and among teams so that each member knows what is being said. Whether speaking in person or in an e-mail, precision is needed when expressing the needs of the task.

Cohesive Attitude

The team works well together if they are of a like mind. The entire group must be of one accord when making decisions and performing separate tasks. The goal of accomplishing a successful project is undermined when each member of the team tries their own way of doing each task. The team must know, from the beginning, what the final goal is and the program steps necessary to complete the project. While separate tasks may be delegated to individual members, if the entire team knows what is expected from the start of the project, the completed tasks are done with that mindset.


A unified team must designate an acting leader to take responsibility and make spontaneous decisions. A group who cannot decide upon one leader or in which everyone tries to lead may result in disgruntled members refusing to work or not performing up to their potential. The leader also acts as the motivator when tasks or the project stalls. Team members may not work as well as when the team leader acknowledges their individual accomplishments.


As a team, each member must pull their own weight to complete the project. However, one disadvantage of working as a team is the work being unequally divided among the group. One member may do more than one task while others accomplish just one job, or only observe. It is common among new teams to rely heavily on the work of one or two members. Good team management equally divides the workload among the entire team.

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About the Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.