How to Effectively Manage Employees in Different Time Zones

When it comes to successful international collaboration, everyone needs to be on the same page. Having the ability to hire remotely gives you the opportunity to build a really strong team, location irrelevant. Whether your employees are mainly in one country or you have team members spread across the globe, time zones can make managing an international team challenging.

Synchronous or Asynchronous Communication
Communicating with your team can seem like it would be challenging, but it can be easy if everyone is on the same page. This starts with deciding on the type of communication your team will be using: synchronous or asynchronous.

Synchronous communication is real-time communication, while asynchronous happens over time. The type of communication you choose for your business depends on what your business needs are. By using one of the 7 Best Employee Scheduling Software Apps, you can make the best effort possible to minimize lapses in communication ability.

Working with Teammates Around the World

Visual Explanations
When it comes to teaching, training, and explaining, typed-out instructions are going to be the least helpful. If you want to effectively get your point across, recording a video or a screen capture is a great way to do this. This way, you can talk through the steps and add in side notes without it being too hard to follow.

Be Clear About Expectations
If you have a presentation that needs to be done and ready to go at 5 pm Friday, it is important that you clarify to your employee what that deadline actually means. If you are in St. Louis and your marketing director is in Hong Kong, it can be really easy for miscommunication to happen. Make sure you specify what time zone will be considered ‘standard.’

Schedule Meetings
One of the things that are hard to avoid when working with a team is meetings. No matter what, getting everyone together in the same conversation is one of the only ways to ensure everyone is up to date on correct information, directly from your mouth.

One of the best ways to plan a meeting across time zones is to look at international clocks so that you can find an overlapping time between 8 am and 6 pm. This should allow you to find a time that will work for your entire team, hopefully without anyone having to sacrifice an early or late hour for the meeting.

Communicate Effectively
If you want your team to run smoothly, open and effective communication is key. Scheduling meetings without knowing who will be available can make things challenging. If there is a day that half of the team has scheduling conflicts, they’d likely miss the meeting. If everyone has access to the work schedule—so that they know when people will be at work—there won’t be any confusion on deadlines or meetings.

Part of being able to effectively communicate with your team is to have the equipment to do so. Providing your team with a discretionary budget they can use for work supplies can make a big difference to many people. Having access to a reliable laptop with a high-quality camera, noise-canceling headphones, and a microphone changes how your employees will communicate.

Internal Wikis
If you want your employees to succeed, you need to set them up for success. One of the best things you can do is set up an internal wiki. These files are full of important information, from company policies to procedures on how to do things. You can also use wikis for keeping everyone up to date on notes from the latest staff meeting to project plans. Any bit of information you think your employees would want will be great to include in your company’s internal wikis.