Increasingly, businesses today must find solutions to managing teams working around the world. What is the best method of communication when staff is spread across multiple time zones? Here are eight practices to create a thriving, global workspace.
When employees are working remotely, helping them adjust to new roles and get up to speed is even more challenging. Be certain when you bring new staff onboard that they have the necessary skill set and affinity for remote work, because it isn’t for everyone.
Focus on onboarding
Once you have selected a skilled new team member, don’t expect them to solely figure things out on their own. Onboarding remote workers is even more important than helping someone on-site settle into their job. Create guides for remote team members that include team contact information, goals, and checklists, as well as any online training resources so the new hire knows where to turn when they hit a roadblock.
Search for new tools
While today’s communication tool may not solve your current pain point, tools are always evolving and improving. Always be on the lookout for the next big thing that will help you and your team video conference, message or stay in touch more easily.
Create a consistent schedule
Unlike a physical office, there’s no possibility of a chance encounter between someone in New York and someone in London. To facilitate interactions among team members, create and maintain a consistent schedule of meetings and interactions.
Remember remote members
It can be easy for staff who are in the same room to forget those who are connecting remotely during a meeting. Be sure to include those team members who have connected via a communication channel so that they feel both included and valued.
Building trust in your remote team is essential, but they also need to know that you haven’t forgotten about them. If you’re only checking in when something goes wrong, you aren’t sending the right message. Regular check-ins will assure team members and may even boost productivity.
Invest in travel
Spending some face-to-face time is essential, especially if your teams work on completely different schedules, such as employees based in North America and Asia. Even if remote work seems to be moving smoothly, making an effort to gather everyone in the same room several times a year is worth the time and expense for team building and cohesion alone.
Share the burden
When teams work across multiple time zones, someone may have to occasionally miss a meeting or work late. Because of this, every interaction shouldn’t be based around your schedule. Share the burden of early or late calls by rotating call or meeting times to accommodate those working in other countries.