Trying to find what remote employees expect can be a headache. Managing remote teams has turned out to be fatal for many organizations. You may face the same. When you tackle with numerous issues like scheduling interaction between remote teams, their tasks, and enhancing team productivity, you may find maintaining unity and engagement a primary concern. With this, what gets compromised is employee productivity. The lack of productivity is due to frivolous reasons like unusual sleep patterns, odd working hours, tedious work, etc. To work this out, you need to stick to the strict schedule and require adequate planning.

So here’re the points to leverage the value of a global team while minimizing the pain and disruption it gives you.

1. Communicate with remote teams more efficiently

To help beat time zone issues, you must encourage video calls and conferences. Organizations use many tools like Skype, Slack, Messenger already. These tools connect to your office and remote employees without any time constraint. When selecting tools, go for a platform which helps you to communicate with remote employees easily. The real-time communication is the best possible way to coordinate with remote employees. It lets you organize online meetings and discussions, and provide screen sharing features to project your plans and ideas.

2. Provide exposure to different work environments

You must have countered issues like lack of motivation and interest in people working at remote locations.

It is prudent to rotate team sites to have an impact on overall productivity. It also implies to meeting schedules, as time varies for different work locations in the various countries. Sometimes it may favor an employee on one location and sometimes to employee on another location. By rotating teams frequently, you can provide them exposure to different work environments and situations. This, in turn, removes monotony, raises morale and motivates employees.

3. Encourage informal discussions and build relationships

When you come across corporates, camaraderie with office and remote employees are not same as you find in traditional offices. To motivate employees, you need to build relationships and trust among your team members. Even if you can’t meet remote employees in person, let them know that they matter by visiting remote offices occasionally. You can also have video calls with your distant managers to keep yourself updated about the employees.

4. Uplift the morale of individuals

Identifying job satisfaction of your remote employees is difficult. Neither you are aware of the body language, nor you have any clue of trouble in the remote team. Less interaction might lead to lower morale. To encounter this, leverage the real-time communication in your process. You can use video calls and internal communication tools for the direct and easy collaboration with remote employees.

5. Get your goals & targets achieved

It’s quite challenging to manage and attain objectives and targets on time with distant teams. You must have witnessed remote teams failing to meet deadlines due to less understanding. Are you doing anything to improve?

For this, let your managers be aware of strategies and set objectives with daily updates. Define team purpose and set goals, targets, and tasks for every individual. The best way to simplify the process is to start using real-time communication tools. You can go for the software that helps team collaboration and manage the project with tools like Asana, Trello, etc.

6. Create a road map for your teams

If your remote teams lack focus, you need the ‘Team Charter.' Are you aware of this term? A road map to your team is the ‘Team Charter.' You must ask team leads to define team’s mission, everyone’s roles, and responsibilities, and know how the team operates. It will help you to ensure the focus of the team whether it is appropriate or not.

7. Why it’s important to have language barriers?

While communicating with remote teams there are several language issues in an organization. Even, if you are using same languages, it may vary certain times. Try to create guidelines for the terms used during a phone call and video conference. You need to ensure the language used is clear and easily understood. Whereas, you should go for the strong communication strategy especially if your team members are in different time zones and speak different languages.

8. Keep rewarding and motivating your employees

It is tough for managers to keep encouraging the employees without giving any rewards for their performance. To strengthen relationships and improve employee productivity you need to manage morale of individuals. For this, it is necessary to foster feedback and to maintain that; you should look into the following points:

  • You should stay in contact with everyone
  • Make sure that feedback is fair and consistent
  • Ensure that rewards are equal

9. Go for tools navigating you to different time zones

Many times you must have found your employees stuck into different time zone barriers. Don’t waste your energy catering knowledge and computing local time of various time zones. Some fantastic tools like World Time Buddy, Every Time Zone, and The Time Zone Converter are available for this. You just need to learn their abbreviations. You are already short of time, go for a tool which logically suits you.

10. Structure your day accordingly

Working at different time zones ask for compromises in a daily schedule. You may require getting accustomed to working even on a Sunday night to meet your requirements for Monday morning. This, in turn, may lack productivity of your entire team. To help thrive employee productivity, you need to structure the day of your teams accordingly and manage their tasks with real-time communication solution. You may integrate calendar with your existing internal communication tools or go for the one providing such benefit.

11. Try to bring flexibility in working hours

Employees find working hours a serious issue and it is quite challenging for them to complete it. You may find employees facing bizarre sleep routines due to strict working hours. Find flexibility in working hours. It’s important to set boundaries to maintain health and meet productivity. It’s good if you regularly share your availability with remote teams. But ask your teams to be careful while mentioning time, for instance, 4 PM should be stated as ‘4PM CST’.

12. Bring Everyone on UTC

Delays and disruptions due to time zone differences are gruesome. To avoid all such interruptions and delay in time you can get your teams on 24 hour UTC/GMT. Many companies are now using this to dodge such delays. Look forward to bring it in your work.

13. Mold your work approach for a pleasing environment

Make sure all teams interact with each other. For this, try to arrange such trips where they can learn more about different cultures and their approaches to work. Try to bring in fun to maintain the environment where people can gel together.

Share your ideas and strategies if you’ve ever worked with remote teams. We would love to hear your advice that helps manage teams in different time zones. If you want to share such experiences, inbox them!

Published On: Feb 27, 2017​