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Updated: June 10, 2024 Advice

101: Managing employees across time zones

Technology is hastening globalization like never before. Remote jobs and hybrid options means companies can hire talent from all over the world. However, as interconnectivity grows, managers face the challenge of working with employees across various time zones. Establishing expectations, clear communication, and leveraging software are all ways you can make sure your team is on the same page, no matter where they work.

Establish expectations. It is important to make sure everyone understands their roles and expectations before they are even hired for a remote position. Being a remote employee requires trust, since they cannot physically be monitored. As a result, being clear on routine, outlining schedules, and being precise when giving assignments provides a sense of stability for your team, according to LinkedIn.

Prioritize asynchronous communication. Regular meetings and real-time check-ins are helpful but can be a hassle to schedule. While real-time meetings are essential for important topics, most of the everyday workload can be done through asynchronous communication. “Asynchronous communication is what makes remote teamwork sustainable, and when time zones are wide apart, it’s essential. Agree on reply times, and which communication channels you will use ... You need to develop formal systems to capture informal conversations,” Pilar Orti, director at Virtual Not Distant, said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Implement software. Even though employees may be in different places, they need to be focused on the same goal. Software like Slack and Asana improve productivity by allowing professionals to manage their piece of the company’s puzzle. Project management and scheduling tools lay everything out clearly so team members can confidently work independently but contribute as a team, said Grant Merriel from B2BHQ. Whether in another state or around the globe, businesses can work successfully in different time zones.

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