Are you looking for ways to keep your team connected across different countries? Try out these 3 strategies to ensure successful teamwork and collaboration, no matter the distance!
however giving one group of employees priority over another can have a number of unfavourable effects. The workers who are inconvenienced will eventually feel the burden on their personal relationships, mental health, and capacity to maintain a work-life balance. Many people must ultimately decide between switching to a different time zone and going on to another business.
The alternative choice is to allow employees to keep convenient working hours regardless of where they are located, although that has its own difficulties. In particular, it may amplify the effects of minor misunderstandings or communication gaps. In a conventional organisation, team members can instantly obtain clarification or fill in information gaps when anything is missing or unclear. Multinational teams, however, may waste a day of work waiting for an explanation from a co-worker who is asleep halfway around the world. It becomes more difficult to fulfil deadlines, reach decisions, and close agreements as a result of these costly delays.
Live meetings at odd hours are typically the approach chosen by most organisations in these situations. Although if after-hours meetings may be required in an emergency, companies that adopt this strategy run the danger of creating a culture where employees feel like they are “always on,” which can have a negative impact over time.
Live chat is the response most businesses use when faced with situations like this. All of these detrimental effects come at a price. Recent research found that 31% of American workers would forego some of their pay in order to improve their work-life balance. Also, the average worker would need $10,000 in extra pay in order to give up some of their work-life balance.
According to a different study, staff members who strongly identify with their company take 75% less sick days than those who don’t, while those who feel alienated have a 50% higher turnover rate. Miscommunications cost the typical small business (with fewer than 100 employees) $420,000 a year in lost productivity, turnover, and trust issues.
Hence, without relying on after-hours conversations, how can teams function effectively when their workdays only overlap for one or two hours every day? Here are some of the finest practises we’ve discovered in our more than ten years of operating Bubbles entirely remotely.
Since team members only have a few hours of their workday to spend together, it’s critical to make the most of that time. In particular, meeting periods during certain windows should be minimised, and only team members who have something significant to contribute—something that can’t be given in a note later—should be included.
Prior to the meeting, attendees should have sufficient knowledge to ensure that the opening minutes are used effectively to bring everyone up to speed. Moreover, only urgent, crucial, or difficult-to-address asynchronous issues should be on the agenda.
Most information that travels across time zones will instead be transmitted asynchronously, utilising communication methods that don’t require real-time participation, when overlapping hours are restricted. As a result, team members must rely on their communication skills to write or record communications that can be easily understood by team members in other time zones.
Slack and email, which frequently need great written communication skills, are not sufficient for effective asynchronous communication. With the help of our platform, Bubbles, users may participate in asynchronous conversations using text, voice, or video, giving everyone an equal chance to contribute using the medium that comes naturally to them.
It’s usually helpful to have a second fallback option in case the information requested after a brief real-time chat within those few overlapping hours or an asynchronous conversation is still lacking. An informational repository usually serves as the final safeguard before calling a frantic after-hours meeting or risking a day of missed production.
Organizations will find it increasingly difficult to compete in the post-pandemic economy if they ignore the opportunities that a more decentralised workforce presents. Yet, in order to access a global workforce, potential communication barriers must first be closed. International teams can still efficiently interact even with limited overlapping working hours by making the most of the hours, learning to communicate synchronously, and providing extra informational resources.