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How to Manage a Global Team

Keith Tan
November 7, 2016

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Outsourcing may be the answer to your HR woes, but how do you manage distributed teams?

Managing a remote office is common nowadays, simply because it offers so many advantages: “Distributed teams”, as they are commonly known, can work on projects around the clock and — as we’ve mentioned before —  more affordable and often stronger talent can be found in developing countries.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a stress-free experience for a young CEO.
You’ve got to think about time zones (imagine coordinating meetings with someone in New York, 12 hours behind Singapore — someone’s always going to have to work overtime just to make it). Instilling your company culture in people so far away also poses a challenge. And let’s not forget cross-cultural issues — there are holidays the other teams might celebrate that you’ve never even heard of.

Don’t be discouraged though. Here’s a few simple tips to bridge local and remote offices, so you’ll never realise that your tech talent is in Indonesia, and not with you at the Launchpad.

How to Manage a Global Team

Spread the love:

Make sure that each team is self-sufficient, so that no one has to wait hours for the other team to come on. Distribute knowledge — of everything, including codes, systems and processes — throughout teams, so that the annual Cuti Bersama celebration (an Indonesian public holiday) doesn’t leave you paralysed.

 

How to Manage a Global Team

Get personal:

It may seem expensive, but getting your teams to meet every now and then is priceless. Video conferencing can be an option if it’s not financially viable to organise a retreat. Consider having your team members rotate through your offices on short stints, so they better understand the challenges and strengths of each team.

 

 

How to Manage a Global Team

 Clarity matters:

No more vague policies, no loopholes — everything, including instructions, operating procedures and definitions should be spelled out in black and white. This is also useful when teams aren’t online at the same time.

 
How to Manage a Global Team

The Golden Intersection:

There’s likely a golden hour of opportunity that allows teams between time zones to interact . Use these for meetings, but make sure they are conducive and effective.

 

Last Word: If you want to know how we help companies build and manage remote, and distributed teams in Indonesia, find out more about our operating model:

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