Managing virtual teams and working in different time zones has become increasingly popular. It’s estimated that around 10 million people work in this way and IT professionals in particular have been a big part of this shift in work culture.
More companies than ever before are outsourcing their IT projects across the world, whether for cost-saving purposes, or for the need to acquire specific expertise.
Managing virtual teams across time zones is not without its pitfalls though. If you are responsible for people working across multiple time zones, here are some handy hints that should help you work more efficiently:
- Keep everybody up to date – It’s easy for virtual employees to feel disconnected from their team especially when most of the team members are based in a different location. Keep teams in the loop with regular, scheduled virtual meetings by utilizing conference room technology such as wireless presentation, remote presentation, or videoconferencing.
- Set clear expectations – This applies especially to deadlines. Make it clear to your team members that the task needs to be completed by a specific time zone. For example, 4pm PST or 2pm EST. Setting clear expectations will help eliminate any complications and misunderstanding.
- Have all teams work from the same schedule – If most of your team members are based in the Pacific time zone, it would make it easier if your calendar is changed to the Pacific time-zone to accommodate their schedule. Additionally, placing all files on the corporate network or a shared drive would help team work collaboratively and efficiently.
- Unified Communication is key – Integrating enterprise communication such as instant messaging, data sharing, or even desktop sharing can help teams stay connected and gets responses in real-time.
- Get everybody together in the same room – If it is an on-going project, it might be valuable to bring the whole team together in one central location so different time zones wouldn’t be an issue
You will have noticed there is one common theme with all these suggestions: ‘communication’. Effective communication is the key to successfully managing virtual teams. Take a closer look at what Ubiq’s wireless presentation technology can do for you.