Popularized in early 2000, working across time zone has become quite a common phenomenon. Startups, SMEs or corporates like the idea of working with teams across different time zone as it is, economic, widens exposure for the business and employees, expands the talent pool and makes the business omnipresent.
Yet, newcomers find it a little tough to adjust or take a while to excel in working with colleagues, teams or clients overseas.
To help newcomers with the idea of working with people across the time zone, here is DBS India a Business Center listing some tips that can help one gradually ease and excel in this process:
Use Your Smartphone
A smartphone makes working with people from different time zone so easy. Download the right app and let your smartphone do the following tasks on your behalf:
a) Create calendar invites for scheduling meetings with the overseas team.
b) Use any free world clock app and cross-check your client’s time before you call or message them directly.
c) Ensure to stick to your deadlines. Though, working in different time zone allows quite a lot of procrastination, make sure to use a task management app and get work done on time.
d) Every time you communicate about work with your counterpart abroad, make a gist note about the conversation on your smartphone. Juniors can always share these gist notes with their leaders for transparency in teamwork.
e) You can use free web-based project management applications to set up an online project space where both you, your team members and offsite staff can share work in bulk size.
Manage Your Team
Often it has been observed that in a team, the same set of people stay back at work or walk in early to ensure communication with the team on the other side. To avoid this, you can try the following tips within your team and thus, simplify the challenges of working with international teams:
a) Reshuffle the roles and responsibilities among the team members to keep them motivated.
b) Ensure a healthy work-life balance for everyone in the team for enhanced work productivity.
c) Include an offshore site visit as a perk or reward for the best performers.
d) Assign one task to one person only. Multitasking, in this case, creates confusion. Keep inspiring every team member to stand up to their accountabilities.
e) Brief your team about the local culture of the other country such that they don’t react surprised in front of the remote team.
Considering the distance, there is a huge high chance of miscommunication when you are part of an overseas project. It is only when both you and your overseas team put in the effort to communicate crisp and concisely that it can lead to productive work.
a) Every time, plan your side of the communication content before beginning calls, emails or chats.
b) Talk one at a time. Ensure, your counterpart gets ample time and scope to talk. You or your team cannot be the speaker alone.
c) Don’t hear but listen and try to understand their tone.
d) Communicate regularly but not so frequently that it becomes disturbing.
e) Try connecting with your offshore team on social media or personally. This gives you the scope to communicate more and build a deeper insight into your colleagues abroad.
Working across the time zone has no scientific formula for success. As you will work and experience it on a day-to-day basis, you will understand the tricks and tips associated with offsite work and projects.