When teams are spread across the country or time zones is when team management becomes challenging. The best solution for managing successful teams across multiple time zones is to create standard operating procedures (SOPs).
These procedures ensure that all teams have a protocol to follow that ensures cohesion and collaboration within and among other teams, even when they are several time zones apart. The following are standard operating procedures for managing such teams:
The first SOP you should have to manage teams across multiple time zones successfully is to set clear boundaries and expectations between you and the team. Your employees should know what you expect from them daily, even though they work remotely.
Due to the time difference, there may be pressure to do more work or attend more meetings outside agreed hours to ensure headquarters is served. However, as long as employees meet their daily expectations, they should be able to take time off work.
There should also be boundaries governing when you can contact employees and when they can contact you. The clearer the boundaries you set, the better the working relationship.
To successfully utilize the technology necessary to manage successful teams across multiple time zones. Video call technology is the farthest many companies go as far as global team collaboration is concerned.
You can use many technological tools to your advantage and ensure that your remote teams are functioning optimally. Workflow management tools like Bynder, Hive, Kissflow, and Hubspot could streamline your workflows and make you very efficient.
Online time clock software will also help you track your employees’ working hours which is essential for payroll procedures and holding teams accountable. There are numerous technological tools that you can use to find those most suitable for your business.
Data is vital for the operations of every company, and in the information age, the more accessible the information is, the better a firm will perform. Remote teams across time zones mean that people may not always be available to present information.
Therefore, to manage remote teams successfully, remote team managers should ensure that information is easily accessible by all team members. Have a workflow management tool where anyone can enter information into a central repository, and all employees can access depending on their access level.
The best would be a centralized, cloud-based workflow system. Data should also be presented in a manner that is easy to understand and use. However, ensure the information is secure as such a system can be easily compromised by a single team member.
An asynchronous meeting is a meeting where communication does not occur in real time, and responses do not have to be immediate. Such meetings remove the need to match schedules with a remote team, giving both sides more freedom. And, such meetings also require a sense of structure, so they do not run amok, but they will be beneficial.
Flexibility is the core of what will allow you to manage successful teams across multiple time zones. Standard operating management procedures are important because they give your company structure even when teams are numerous time zones away.
However, these procedures should include an element of flexibility so you can quickly adapt to change and do whatever is necessary to succeed in any situation. Flexibility applies to your schedule and operations as well as those of the remote team.
The more flexible and adaptable to change you are, the more success your remote teams will have.
You can do much to ensure you manage successful teams even when they are across multiple time zones. Embracing asynchronous meetings, utilizing technology, making information easily accessible, setting boundaries & expectations, and being flexible will help. Evaluate your firm and find the best SOPs for successful remote team management.