Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: October 23, 2023

Managing and Engaging Your Distributed Team

Working with a distributed team has its advantages and its challenges. Coordinating schedules and communication across different locations, time-zones and cultures can be a tad stressful. We’ll walk you through a few tips on how to best engage with your distributed team members.
Managing Distributed Team

We know that you’re probably tired of hearing this but company culture is a thing… just look it up! And this still applies, even when your team is distributed globally. Managing distributed teams requires a nuanced approach to foster a cohesive and productive work environment.

Expansion-ready businesses have been diving headfirst into the global talent pool. But now that you have hooked your talent and the onboarding is complete, how do you engage effectively with your employees when they are on the other end of the word? 

We all know that the perks of creating a distributed team are endless but time-zone conflicts, cultural mishaps and disengaged talent are some of the issues that might keep HR on their toes!

So, how, you may ask, do you keep everyone happy and in the loop, at different places and at different times? Well, as usual, we’ve got all the answers you need when it comes to managing distributed teams, so sit tight and read on. 

How To Engage With Your Remote, Global Talent

Get Ticking with Time-Zone Tools

If you haven’t seen the light yet, a time-zone management tool might just be your best friend so that you can keep up with your employees regardless of their location.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to a text from your boss. This might be a forgivable mistake if it happens once or twice but constant interruptions after hours might be enough for employees to start doubting efficiency, and who can blame them? Managing distributed teams effectively requires a delicate balance between productivity and respecting personal time zones.

Unless you work on Wall Street, you probably don’t have twenty clocks on your wall showing the different time zones. Or hey, maybe you do. Either way, if you have global talent scattered around the world, you don’t need a clock wall or perfect maths skills to keep up with the time zones! Fortunately, technology has kept up and time zone management tools are available to do the conversions so you don’t have to.

Having a time management tool guides you in establishing the best time to communicate with your employees and they will thank you for it!

woman managing distributed teams

Project Management Tools

In an office-based scenario, task delegation and clarification can be communicated simply by speaking over your computer screen! But when your team members are working together virtually, you need to find a virtual solution that works for everyone in the organization!

When managing distributed teams effectively, you need to use tools and practices that enable seamless communication and collaboration, regardless of physical location: it’s about creating a digital workspace that keeps everyone on the same page.

Project management tools come in many shapes and sizes – you will need to find one that floats your boat or risk being swallowed by waves of poor performance!

When choosing a tool, keep in mind language barriers and your employees’ experience level. The program you choose ideally needs to be simple enough to use for all your employees. 

Party On! (Virtually)

Now of course we don’t mean that you should be throwing Zoom rave parties for your team (unless you want to). But when working in a remote setting where Taco Tuesdays and casual Fridays aren’t an option to get the team bonding – virtual events can help shake things up and build team morale. This is especially crucial when it comes to managing distributed teams, as creating opportunities for connection can bridge the physical gap.

Fun events like virtual trivia and karaoke nights are a great way to spice things up. Who knows you might find that some of your talent have their own hidden talents! 

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Throw in Some Moola for Overlapping Time Zones

Having your team spread across the globe means they will be working at different times of the day. When you are ready to get your day started, some of your employees might be getting ready to hit the bed! Now while accommodating various time zones is necessary, there may be times when managing distributed teams means that members might have to work during ‘out-of-office-hours’ to coordinate with people at the head office.

From our experience when asking people to sacrifice their 40 winks, you best have an incentive involved. So consider paying your foreign teams for their overtime or adopt a policy that accommodates overlapping time-zone hours. 

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Communication Really Is Key!

Not to sound cliché, but communication really is key, especially in a virtual workspace. Coordination with your talent across the globe to meet deadlines, schedule phone calls, meetings and team-building events are a lot. Managing distributed teams effectively hinges on robust and transparent communication channels, ensuring that everyone is aligned and informed, regardless of their location.

Putting pen to paper in the form of attractive policies and new-age contracts is great. But the proof is in the pudding, and how well you execute your company culture and engage with your teams is really what it comes down to.

But as we like to say, never fear when Playroll is near! Not only can we take your global talent onboarding to a whole new level but we can ensure that your transition into the global workplace is smooth sailing.

If all this organisation and coordination sounds like a lot…well that’s because it is. But we have been in the game for over 20 years, overseeing and managing your foreign talent around the world is just another day in the job for us! Book a Playroll demo and find out more. 

Successfully Managing Distributed Teams: A Playroll Perspective

In conclusion, effectively managing distributed teams is a multifaceted endeavor that requires careful consideration of time zones, communication tools, and engagement strategies. Despite the fact that team members are scattered across the globe, creating a cohesive work environment is essential.

With more than 20 years of global expansion and remote team management experience, we understand the challenges of global expansion and remote team management. We offer comprehensive solutions to streamline your global workforce, ensuring a smooth transition into the global workplace. We specialize in overseeing and managing foreign talent worldwide.

So, whether you’re looking to optimize time zone management, implement project collaboration tools, or organize virtual team building events, Playroll is here to assist you.

Contact us today and let’s navigate the world of distributed teams together.

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