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Tips for managing a team across different time zones

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With the continually growing globalisation of the world, it's a great time to be alive for businesses.

Today you can run a remote company in London while having employees in Hong Kong, India, and Amsterdam. Due to the advancements in technology that you have at your disposal, managing a team across different time zones is possible and highly beneficial.

It allows you to get the best employees from around the world who in-turn bring a unique and much-valued perspective to your business. However, it's not without its problems, different time zones mean that getting everyone together at the same time is nearly impossible. It takes a certain amount of patience, adaptability, and a willingness to communicate with people.

It can be difficult but there are certain things you can do to make your life a lot easier.

Here are some helpful tips and advice on how to manage a team across different time zones:

Aim not to work 24/7

Working around the clock is a common mistake people make when managing a team across different time zones. You might think that staying up late every night and getting up early is part of the experience, but all it will do is burn you out. A work-life balance should be an important part of your strategy.

Get around this by sharing out the responsibilities across the board and rotating time schedules. Doing so isn't just for your benefit as the boss, it's for everyone on your team because a team that is well rested and happy will do their best work. So make sure it's not just you who gets a good rest every now and then.

Carve out a consistent schedule

A big problem with employing team members from across the globe is being able to bring an air of consistency to proceedings. Unpredictability is never good for business, which is why it is your job to be consistent with your plans. That means booking important meetings at the same time every week, this will build cohesion in your team.

Make sure the same person doesn't always draw the short straw

Basically, this boils down to sharing out the agony in even amounts. The fact is everyone on your team at some point will either have to stay up or wake up at an unforgiving time; it's unavoidable. What you can control though is making sure it's not always the same person. When scheduling meetings make sure everyone has to deal with this inevitability an equal amount of times to keep everyone happy.

Stay abreast of new collaboration tools 

It's also very important to stay on top of the new or improving tools that help you to collaborate with your team because these tools are what will make everyone's life a lot easier. Technology advances almost daily so always be on the lookout for the next Dropbox or the updated version of Skype. Constantly update your software and add yourself to the appropriate mailing lists so you stay in the loop. The tools that are at your disposal will only help you with work and communication so take advantage of them!

If you follow all of the tips laid out above you will find that managing your team is easier than you once thought. It does take some time to find a rhythm and a routine that everyone is comfortable with, but if you use the advice above it won't be long until you reach that sweet spot and are able to avoid the daily headaches of having a team from all over the world.

With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia's leading online educator.

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