Some companies today have all of their employees working in one main headquarters or office location. However, with the ease of telecommuting, many other companies have remote employees working from different locations and time zones around the world. Before you open up any additional offices or hire at-home staff for your own business, take a moment to consider the pros and cons of having employees in different time zones and what you can do to get the maximum productivity.
Clearly, there are benefits associated with having employees in different time zones. The best benefit is the ability to serve customers or clients in different geographic locations on a personal basis. Customers will almost always catch someone on the phone or online who can answer their questions and help their issues. In addition, companies can utilize online sharing features to maximize productivity and extend the work day. For example, one employee may start an assignment on the East Coast and another may finish the assignment later in the day on the West Coast.
The most significant drawback of workers in different times is the hindered communication between co-workers throughout the day. For instance, when the staff members at one office are just starting their work day, the staff members at another office may be going to lunch. This is also true for international remote workers who have opposite sleep schedules. File sharing and quick email responses are usually the best weapons to combat time zone miscommunications.
While there are both pros and cons to having employees in different time zones, the benefits are generally far more significant. The trick is to understand the rhythm of each remote office or remote worker to get the most work done during the work week.