Does it Matter When Your Employees Work?
As an IT employer, you may be working with a staff that includes remote workers, as well as clients and vendors in different time zones around the world. To help non-office employees work to the best of their ability, it can help to allow flexible work hours. For example, if you have workers in other time zones, forcing them to work within your time zone could result in them punching in for an overnight shift. And most people have visions of Netflix, a bedtime snack and sleep dancing through their heads by that point in the day. So, what can you do?
Instead of keeping to strict work hours, it can help to manage a non-office team that spans multiple time zones by using five tried-and-true techniques.
1. Station a member of management in different time zones.
Employees and vendors in other time zones will need someone to check in with when they have questions or need more information. So it can help to build a leadership team and post a member of management in appropriate time zones (if they’re an hour or two off, this still works). That way, when you’re not available—your leadership rep can be.
2. Hold a weekly meeting that accommodates all.
Now, while expecting remote workers to sign in every day during your time zone is a big ask—a weekly meeting is not. Using conference call technology is the best way to do this. Sure, some of your workers may be calling in their jammies, but you will need a way for your staff to be able to communicate with each other regularly.
3. Maintain a strict email policy.
Email should be answered within 24 hours. Delayed responses across time zones can result in missed deadlines. Maintaining a global staff negates the luxury of popping over to someone’s cubicle, and you’ll need to account for this.
4. Fly workers to team meetings.
Once or twice a year, hold a team summit where all your staff gets together in the same location. This will require you to fly some employees in for the event, but it’s a valuable opportunity to allow everyone to interact, bond and brainstorm the next Big Ideas in person.
5. Harness the power of new tools.
Technology is constantly advancing to help us connect remotely. Skype, FaceTime, Dropbox and Spark are just some of the real-time and file-sharing options that can help your employees work together more effectively across different locations.