5 Oct · 4 min read
The term “global village” has been extensively used recently. Advancements in technology have made it easier for companies to have global teams, now more than ever. Businesses and companies are now able to hire people despite their geographical locations. Especially in the case of IT companies, the onset of the pandemic was just the push required to switch to global teams and remote working.
But managing a team that resides all over the world comes with its own challenges. When the team is spread across different time zones, speaks different primary languages, and follows different work ethics, it might be hard to get collaborative work done. Keeping people motivated and connected is also quite tricky. Here are a few tips to manage international teams.
With a global team, it can get difficult to build a trusting relationship with the stakeholders. By maintaining transparency about work hours, each person’s contribution towards the project, clear deadlines, comprehensive reports, etc., you can create a trusting environment among developers, project managers, investors and any other stakeholders.
For example, during product demo meetings, developers could showcase the features they worked on in the particular sprint. Companies like Softnauts use specific software (Softnauts Operating System Client) that tracks hours spent on each project.
Because of the time zone difference, it’s quite possible that not everyone is able to attend a meeting. Create meeting summaries to share with everyone after the meeting. You can also record the meetings so that people can watch them at a later time.
With a global team, there can be a lot of cultural differences among team members. Use this as an opportunity to learn about different cultures. Sharing viewpoints, ideas etc. can give you some new insights on how things are done in different parts of the world.
A virtual office can make it easy to forget that there are actual humans on the other side of the screen. Don’t forget basic interpersonal skills like being respectful to each other, being polite in emails, etc. Also, be mindful of time zone differences. Just because you’re awake on your side of the world doesn’t mean that someone else is available to work.
Effectively managing a global team can take a lot of practice. But this also builds new skills and you’ll get to learn quite a lot. So don’t be afraid to onboard more people from diverse geographical backgrounds.