Are you wondering how you can effectively manage a remote team? With remote working being a customary pattern, you will often come across employees with time zone differences. Moreover, it is only worthwhile for the company to acquire talent, irrespective of the location.
That said, remote working from home comes with a diverse set of challenges, with the prime one being virtual management. In this article, you will get a hold of the potential obstacles in coordinating remote teams along with some practical solutions.
Read on to discover how to manage time zone differences for remote work!
Working with Time Zone Differences?
Whether it is about starting a new project or communicating on an ongoing one, time difference creates a host of blockages. Your colleague from the other corner of the world may be snoozing while you are waiting for a reply.
Still, the advantages of such a diverse team clearly outweigh these challenges. Here is a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of a team collaboration in different time zones.
Pros of Work Time Zones
The prime benefit of a global team is acquiring diverse talent that you could never find in a single city. The maximum skill and efficiency in each field directly lead to greater profits.
Another excellent advantage is that your work is continuously on, and you can serve clients throughout the day. Plus, someone or the other is always present for responding to emergencies and problems.
It is also good from the employee point of view. Your team can work in a relaxed environment and perhaps even lead a healthier work life. They can do standing desk exercise, cater to their mental health, and also make time for personal life. In turn, all of this will tweak their productivity!
Cons of Work Time Zones
When you work remotely through time zone change, one of the major setbacks that you will experience is desynchronized workflow. These include delayed responses, miscommunication, and complexity in arranging virtual meetings. Consequently, there are risks of missing deadlines and incorrect work.
Another significant drawback of different time zones and remote jobs is distraction. Despite multiple efforts, employees may lack resilience in work from home, resulting in poor productivity and morale.
Though your team may have numerous communication portals, time zone differences often lead to employee isolation. The lack of face-to-face communication and team activities may cause stress, depression, and more.
How To Deal With Time Zone Differences in Work From Home?
You cannot control a virtual team in a conventional manner. To manage time zone difference for remote work, you need to take small yet thoughtful steps. Well, here is a full-proof plan of dealing with a global work team with different time zones.
Remotely or not, one of the vital etiquettes of working is setting and respecting each employee’s boundaries. You must be transparent about your work hours and availability, along with encouraging employees to do the same.
An easy way to do this is by maintaining a work calendar, where each of you can share your respective timings. This way, you can get into a smooth workflow and coordinate without disturbing the other employee’s space.
Even if you are working from home, an ergonomic workstation is significant for maintaining productivity and preventing disorder in the workflow. Getting a smart desk and ergonomic chair will ensure your physical and mental fitness. This way, your inefficiency will not affect that of your colleague's.
Apart from that, it will also aid in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It will allow you to be available for important meetings and discussions.
Set Meetings at Mutual Timings
Like setting and maintaining boundaries is imperative, you must also ensure to arrange meetings considering every employee’s convenience. Expecting an employee to join a discussion in the middle of the night is downright unethical.
Meetings are productive tools for building strategies and ensuring smooth working, but they must not overload an employee. Several studies outline the best practices to organize conferences, such as planning in advance.
Be it regarding deadlines, work expectations, or any other minor issues, effective virtual communication holds the most weight in every workspace. To manage working in different time zones, you must ensure open communication grounds.
These can include a 24x7 chat group, ease of one-to-one conversations, minutes of the meeting, and more. Plus, you must get specific when discussing dates so that each employee understands the importance of a task and works accordingly. It will prevent confusion or misguidance, ensuring a smooth work routine.
Build A Resilient Work Culture
With all your employees dispersed and divided due to time zone differences, resilient work culture is even more important. Due to remote work challenges like stress, isolation, depression, etc., your teammates may lose motivation and enthusiasm.
You can fix this by incorporating activities, ideas, and work systems to promote a positive outlook towards work. This includes creating awareness about ergonomic workspace, incorporating rewards and incentives, arranging virtual activities like meditation and exercise meets, etc.
Flexibility and Patience
One of the key points to ensure when you work remotely through time zone change is maintaining enough flexibility. You need to incorporate a work culture where an impromptu call is acceptable sometimes. Practice it yourself and encourage others without crossing their boundaries.
Another essential point is observing patience. Your team members are not obligated to respond post or before their work hours. Make sure you are patient enough and respect their personal life.
Working with and managing a diverse team that is spread all around the globe can be overwhelming. It comes with a plethora of downsides like communication blocks, desynchronization, and employees' personal issues.
The good part, however, is that you just need a few considerate steps to deal with work time zone differences. Practices like transparency, communication skills, flexibility, and resilience are essential to remote employee management.
Lastly, remember to be empathetic and respectful towards your team and build a thriving work culture!
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