3 Ways to Manage Distributed Teams Across Time Zones

3 Ways to Manage Distributed Teams Across Time Zones
Vlad Kovalskiy
September 28, 2021
Last updated: October 8, 2021

Very few things can revolutionize a company better than diversity. Having a team or team member from another country or continent not only extends your company’s reach but also teaches your organization a lot about their culture, beliefs, and, in turn, what makes them valuable additions to your team. We’re always looking for something new, ways to make our team, company, and product better than before and new ground to cover in business. If you have a diverse team, you can be sure you will never be short of anything new and better to achieve. 


Reasons to hire talents across time zones

Let’s be honest. Some companies have been sending their jobs offshore because it’s more affordable to hire talents from other countries. They’re able to offer a more comprehensive employment package at a fraction of the price but still expect the same, if not better, results. Aside from economical reasons, here are some of the other reasons to outsource jobs across time zones:
  • Productivity – If you want to implement 24/7 operations, hiring offshore employees is your best bet. Since their day is your night and vice versa, you can be sure someone will always be online to assist customers and make sure the business is taken care of.
  • Variegation – This is important if you’re looking into possibly establishing a new office in another country. Even if you’re not, hiring someone from another country to work with you can help you see what they have to offer, what their views are on certain issues plaguing your company, and their contributions to help solve these.
  • Problem-solving – Nothing solves a problem better and faster than sharing it among teammates, including those in other time zones. You’ll be surprised at some of the ideas they bring to the table, how they approach a problem, and their plan of action.
  • Culture – Want to enrich your company’s values beyond the monetary? Hiring a team member who lives in another country not only broadens your understanding of one’s culture but this appreciation can be spread and shared with the rest of your organization.
Working with distributed teams can be difficult enough without challenges and issues arising but they often do. Here are 3 ways to manage distributed teams across time zones:

1. Be the taskmaster

Not the screaming, yelling out the orders kind, mind you. There is a better, smarter way of going about how to manage distributed teams in agile and how to manage distributed scrum teams. Thankfully, there are tools to help you manage projects and tasks to make sure nothing falls into the cracks and gets missed. Even with team members scattered across time zones, you’ll be able to accomplish deliverables on time and in top quality. Bitrix24 has a robust task and project management suite of tools for you to put to good use. These tools help you keep an eye on backlogs and a good track of the progress made per task and project so you won't have to wonder how to distribute work among teams. Whether you find Gantt charts easier to use compared to Kanban boards or if it’s the other way around, you’ll love Bitrix24’s tools. You also have the advantage of monitoring employee workloads, task counters, and roles, among many other useful functions.


2. Rally the troops

Meet and greet with everyone, as much as you can, give them their marching order and make sure they all understand what’s expected from them, and then send them on their way. Don’t hover and, as difficult as it can be, don’t micro-manage. How to manage geographically distributed teams is to schedule a weekly team meeting or short huddles at the beginning of each shift to connect with everyone before they set off for the day. How can this be possible if you have teams coming in at least three shifts a day? Bitrix24 makes getting and keeping in touch very easy regardless of the timezone anyone belongs to. From HD video conferencing and crystal clear audio calling capabilities using both mobile and desktop gadgets, you’ll also have the ability to make your own calendar and share it with the rest of the team, schedule events, and create meetings that you can be sure everyone will be able to attend. The only other thing you need to do is to make sure you’re clear about the time and date for each meeting so everyone that needs to be there is certain about the schedule.


3. Give power to your people

How to manage distributed teams involves being able to give people the freedom to have a certain balance between their personal and professional lives. This means being able to keep track of the time worked so they can be compensated properly. At the same time, it also entails giving them time off to destress from work whenever they need it. Bitrix24 is a software that comes packed with Human Resources management apps that can allow you to do all of these and more. You’ll be able to create and view the company organization, view employee profiles and measure their stress level. If it all becomes too much for them, they can request for time off, online, even. You can be sure everyone in your team will feel valued and cared for no matter where they are in the world.


In summing up

Learning how to manage distributed teams can be challenging but, like every other task that requires a lot from you, it can wear you thin if you’re not using the appropriate tools or missing out on important details. The key to your survival and one of the best practices for distributed teams, apart from delegating tasks to senior team members and leaders, is finding the right tools for the trade.

Bitrix24 is packed full of every application you need to manage distributed teams across time zones. Whatever you need, whether it’s project management, communications, human resources management, or another area of business in the company altogether, Bitrix24 will see you through. You’re welcome to visit the website and browse the wealth of applications at your disposal. You can sign up for free and enjoy a lighter workload and some breathing space. If you want to tour the offerings, book a demo today and see how everything works.
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