Be On the Same Page, Even If You're Not in the Same Time Zone

Launching a geographically distributed company is increasingly common these days, especially for small businesses that find it extremely cost-effective to tap remote expertise, wherever that talent may be located—around the block or around the globe. In my experience, the key to fluid movement and communication in a company that has sales in one place, R&D in another, and manufacturing and service in yet another, is making sure all parties are consistently on the same page. Internal communication becomes increasingly important, especially in a small business. Keeping all arms and legs of the machine operating in sync will ensure your customers and investors are not negatively affected by a geographically distributed operation.

No doubt many challenges arise due to the various locations, and scheduling company-wide meetings across different time zones can be a real nightmare. That’s why it’s important to maintain a few simple guidelines. Try to schedule meetings to minimize impact on employees’ lifestyles— nobody likes 4:00 a.m. meetings. Keep meetings short and to the point. Avoid jargon and idioms that may confuse non-native English speakers. And remember to back everything up with short summaries.

Even though I have sales offices seven hours ahead of my R&D teams, we all still work to the same beat—and that’s invaluable to our success.

Shahar Kaminitz CEO WorkLight (formerly Serendipity Technologies) Yakum, Israel (with offices in Boston)