Long Distance Working: Managing Employees From Around the World

man on phoneWith the world’s borders increasingly opening up and companies hiring employees regardless of where they find themselves in the world, you might be sitting in the United States, but you’re managing a team of people that don’t share your office, or even your time zone.

 

Here are a few simple tricks and tips to help you work more efficiently and effectively across borders, especially if you’re the boss!

 

Get Used To Skype

 

Skype still the remains the most favored way of communicating across borders. It will become one of your most-used tools, so make sure you download it on your phone, your computer, your tablet and any other device that you may use.

 

As soon as a new member comes on board, add them to your Skype contacts first. You will be having the majority of your conversations here, so make sure you have a sound Internet connection too.

 

Watch the Clock

 

Punctuality is one of the backbones of doing successful business. It is almost more important when it comes to doing business with colleagues from around the world. When you have a video call appointment with group of people, all of whom are in different countries and different time zones, you simply have to be there when you say you will.

 

If you’re the manager or the person conducting the meeting, make sure that all the members can see you online at least 10 minutes before the start of the meeting, and remain available for a time afterward. You want your employees to feel that you are easy to reach.

 

Stop Watching the Clock

 

Working with people from around the world, and managing them, means adapting to their time zone. It means that you’ll have to answer emails and respond to requests outside of you own business hours. When you’re the manager, and people are depending on your feedback before they continue working on a project, you will delay much of the work if these requests are only answered once you hare back in the office.

 

This doesn’t mean you have to be on call 24/7, but be open to answering emails two hours before work and perhaps for an hour in the evening, depending on the time zone of your employees.

 

Communicate Clearly

 

Working across borders depends heavily on clear communication. If you have trouble communicating your thoughts clearly, attend a workshop that will help you with this. There are many courses out there that can truly assist you in conveying your thoughts and opinions clearly, and concisely.

 

This is important for those working for you, as they will be able to work more independently in their respective countries if they know exactly what is expected of them.

 

A Strong Vision Is Key

 

Before you start working on a project, and before you let the new employees get cracking on their work, make sure that you share a vision. This vision should be imbedded into each office and its people. You will work together much easier if you know exactly what you bigger goal is.

 

Meet Face To Face

 

It is expensive to fly employees all over the world, but it is also important to let them all get together at the head office at least once a year or once every two years. Especially new employees will benefit from experiencing the hub of the business and from meeting you, their superior, face-to-face. It’s much easier communicating with someone across borders if you have a clear idea of how they are in real life. It is also easier to do work for a company when you understand the environment in which it operates.

 

Don’t Let Money Be an Issue

 

Employees living in different countries have different bank accounts and it may seem a massive burden when employing them. This is not the case. International money transfer has become as easy as clicking a few buttons. This means that you never have to miss a payment, and knowing that their salaries will be in the bank on the same date every month, will make them more loyal, more trusting, and more willing to go the extra mile.