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Communicate across time zones

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If you have employees in various time zones, connecting via phone and even email can be tricky. Follow these tips to overcome the challenge:

  • Reduce the need for talking. Streamline processes and establish systems that cut down on your need to speak over the phone. Project management software makes it easy for everyone to collaborate, stay up to date on projects and troubleshoot problems.
  • Share frequent updates. Keep your remote employees in the loop by emailing each day updates on changes, new initiatives and team priorities.
  • Schedule calls for when times overlap. Don’t expect employees to meet on your time. Instead, schedule calls during a window of time that you both share.
  • Use your face time wisely. When you are in the same location, don’t waste time by being unprepared. Create a detailed agenda, and schedule meetings with various stakeholders.
  • Change your idea of “urgent.” If you are on the West Coast and you dash off an email at 6:00 p.m.—9:00 p.m. for your East Coast employees—don’t expect an immediate response. It’s unfair to expect long hours from employees because they reside in a different time zone.

— Adapted from “Effective Communication Tips for Operating a Business Across Time Zones,” Anton Gladkoborodov, www.nextweb.com.

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