How To Manage Employees in 15 Countries
Some people have asked me:
- "What does your day look like, leading a remote team?"
Well, this was yesterday (a particularly busy day):
Starting the Day
Sat at my home office in Portugal.
The first thing was to check the async standup from my team members in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
- For the ones who are on track, there's no need for meetings.
- For the ones who report blockers, I follow up by message asking what they need help with.
One team member in Nigeria reported a breakthrough in his research task but needed guidance towards the next steps. He needed input from me and a PM in India. The three of us had a quick meeting to clarify those.
Meanwhile, a staging environment had issues that were blocking a part of the team. I jumped in to pair with a backend engineer in Pakistan to fix it together and informed the team members in India, Pakistan, Turkey, Portugal, and the US, who were blocked by it.
Then I joined my only scheduled meeting of the day. It's an external meeting, where I'll join my sales reps in India and the US to meet with a client, whose team members are in France, UAE, and India.
The engineer in Nigeria concluded his research task, and the QA engineer in Armenia approved it for release.
It was an important feature for the sales team. I immediately informed the sales leaders in all regions, based out of Greece, Brazil, the US, and India, for a joint rollout.
Later in the Day
A bug was reported by a team member in the US, and it referred to a task released the day before (damn QA issues). I jumped in to pair with a backend engineer in Uganda and a frontend engineer in the Dominican Republic. We quickly recovered the wrong data and merged a fix.
I dropped a message to team members in Japan, India, and UAE, to let them know this issue was fixed.
They were sleeping at that moment but would find it useful when they return the next morning (I'd be sleeping by then).
That's what async communication is about.
By the end of the day, I've worked with people sitting in 15+ countries. All this while never leaving my home office in Portugal.
I love how international my career is, as part of a remote team.
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