Managing Distributed Teams: How to Manage Your Time and Energy as a Leader

Manage Your Time

With companies beginning to think about ways of reuniting their teams globally, you need to be aware of certain things as a manager of distributed teams. One of the more effective things to do is to be mindful of managing yourself. Everything from how you are planning the daily schedule to your strategies for team meetings has to be managed properly. Here are some tips to manage your time and energy when you are the leader of a global organisation.

1. Spend your energies with mindfulness: Hiring foreigners for your disturbing teams is becoming typical for businesses that want to grow and expand internationally. If you are a manager of a worldwide team, you will be trying to attend all the meetings across different time zones. This can be a sure recipe for causing burnout. You will be driving yourself to the ground when you are trying to take part in all these meetings at different time zones that are suitable for your team. Rather, you need to attend just the important meetings. Become comfortable with the delegation of responsibilities to these regional teammates that can be trusted to get the work done. Encourage the team members from every area to lead their communities. When you are prioritising the different meetings, you will have more energy to concentrate on the opportunities and challenges where a greater impact is possible.

2. Change the working hours: When you have teammates working in several areas around the world, it is fine to change the working hours. For instance, if you are based in New York and working from New York coworking spaces, you can opt to have the timing of 7 AM to 3.30 PM for accommodating the European team members. You may work between 10 AM and 7 PM for Asian team members. Incorporate this in your schedule and communicate the timings to the team members. Place this on your calendar together with the DNS hours. Never try to work for 12-14 hours daily. It is not enjoyable. When you are rested you will present your best self to the team members.

3. Be a master of the different time zones of your team members: When you are planning your team meetings be mindful of the time zone variations. You may have a team that spreads across Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. Unfortunately, there isn’t a reasonable time when all the team members can meet. Several countries never observe daylight savings and this makes it harder to schedule the meetings. You can use the online tools for planning your meetings with the team members. Try not to have the meeting too early or too late for any member of the team. However, this can lead to the meeting time not being suitable for anyone.

4. Have more face time: Keep in mind that everything in a meeting does not have to be live. The meetings where info is disseminated can be shared and recorded. You need to reserve the timings where it is truly essential to have live meetings. Sometimes you can record some meetings that can later be watched by other team members during their working hours. For the team members that are unable to be present live, you need to record a video for sharing their priorities in the week. Everyone can watch it together in live meetings. A combination of remote work and having a distributed team for more than a year has brought forward the significance of regular facetime for building rapport and connection.


When you are managing global teams, you can pretty much expect that you will be participating in meetings that happen either too early or too late. It is a part of your responsibilities as a global team. Never grumble about it with the team members. Do not reiterate that this is what you get for being responsible for conducting global work. Remember, the occasional inconvenience you face is worth the trouble. You will get great exposure to different cultures and develop cross-cultural communication skills. You will feel that you are a part of a larger world than the one you see every day from your window. You get to grow a team of global professionals that are passionate about productivity, collaboration, and project management.