There is a growing category of managers out there: ones who deal with employees not just in different time zones – but truly global teams. These managers are a talented bunch who have unique work challenges.
In a world of shrinking management and flat org charts it is hard to over emphasize the importance of a manager who is responsible for a scattered and diverse work team.
Eric Barton describes some Keys to managing from afar in his article about video conferencing with employees around the globe.
Is this situation familiar in your workplace? Or are you considering such a job? Well, I hope you like the sound of your alarm, because living by the clock will be a large part of your routine. It is kind of like running Grand Central Station with the time zones displayed on the wall and juggling/managing your team around the world.
Managing global teams is tricky business.
I facilitate a technical group that meets once a month via conference. Some people are good at keeping up conversation online and others just kind of stalk the meeting – listening in on mute with no video link. Those are the ones I wonder about.
Not everyone is comfortable with the conference medium but I know those who participate get a lot more out of the meetings.
Sometimes I call these people after the meeting to gauge how things are going, rather than just assuming everything is OK. A big part of being a successful manager is being fluent in many forms of communication and generous with your time.
And how common is that in this busy work world?