The power of the global team
20 September 2016
The nine-to-five working day is dying out as organisations become increasingly globalised. It is rare today that employees shut off their emails, calls, and ideas at five sharp, because it’s still a working day in at least one country.
The rise in teams spanning time zones mean we have developed an “always on” approach to work. The danger for employers is that teams misunderstand this to mean they must be available anytime, anywhere. The benefit of an international team is that there is always someone, somewhere within their working day. It’s about harnessing collective power, not overworking individuals.
Organisations should build teams that “follow the sun”, with members spread across time zones. This allows them to take advantage of collective intelligence and make sure someone is always driving projects forward, without exhausting any single employee.
It’s the future of work and it’s possible today with the advent of technologies that make us productive from anywhere. You can join an important conference call while waiting for a flight, a video collaboration from home or a “huddle space” in the office. Collaboration technologies bring the whole team into a virtual meeting room, in a way that makes it as natural as face-to-face meetings.
This is because of the rise in technologies built around people and their preferences, such as Polycom® RealPresence Centro™, that lets you sit “in the round”, facing each other in a circle instead of staring down a “bowling alley” at a screen on the far wall of a meeting room. Or, Polycom® RealPresence Trio™, specifically designed for smaller meeting or “huddle rooms”. And there’s no waiting for everyone to walk into a meeting. If everyone is used to a team scattered across the world, there is no holdup – a meeting starts at a click of a button.
We have the people power and products to make us productive, we just need to get the processes right: prioritising a truly flexible working culture will bring these benefits to the business.
Marco Landi is president, EMEA, Polycom
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