Virtual teams are often dispersed globally, which requires communication amongst team members to be asynchronous. For teams to effectively communicate and be successful, team members must adopt varied ways of communicating in both real-time (synchronous) and delayed time (asynchronous) through communication tools and technology. Globally dispersed teams inevitably require team members to work across various time zones. Asynchronous communication tools allow for team members to interact together, however, due to various ‘daylight’ or ‘working-hours’ differences across team members, time-sensitive projects can suffer from the delays in response.
Best Practises for Remote Teams
- The leadership of virtual teams should ensure ‘timezones’ are taken into consideration as a critical success factor before starting a project.
- Consider how you remote employees will keep up-to-date with organisational updates, and how much time they spend filtering through information as to what is relevant to them and what isn’t.
- Ensure the right technologies are in place for remote workers to feel connected to their time-zones.
- Proactive communication & updates from all team members are vital to successful team-work.
Inevitably time zones within virtual team settings create a need for asynchronous communication. Challenges arise within team projects where there is a high level of dependability on the availability of people from other time zones. Teams consisting of employees from all of the world brings a diverse range of languages and cultures, which requires team members to be more aware and considerate while also ensuring their own language, especially in written text is extremely clear.
As all teams are different in relation to time zones and culture, management of remote teams should create and implement a communication strategy specific to their teams, including the preferred communication tools for each communication, and schedule relevant team updates on a regular basis, ensuring each team member is up to date on organisation updates, regardless of their time zones.