3 Elements at the Forefront of Global Team Success

Opinions expressed by businessman the collaborators are theirs.

When I started in cyber security in the 1990s, the process of partnering with companies in other parts of the world, while maintaining current working relationships, required big changes on both a business and personal level. Geographic distance was a much bigger obstacle, so much so that after Microsoft acquired my security company, GIANT Software, my wife and I moved with our infant daughter from the East Coast to Seattle to continue with our mission.

However, in 2022, the scenario is very different as our expectations of office location and employees have changed and the popularity of the hybrid work model has increased exponentially. Having weathered the pressures of businesses closing their offices, employees working remotely, and entire teams experiencing setbacks due to the pandemic, it’s no wonder the nature of running a business has changed dramatically.

Related: How to lead a global company in 2022

As the CTO of Reason Labs, which is based in the US but also has offices across Europe and Asia, I’m not entirely sure I could have predicted how we would be working as a global team in this decade. Fortunately, the development of technologies to handle drastic changes in the office lifestyle, as well as a greater appreciation for being able to meet face-to-face and travel when possible, has made the metamorphosis towards 2022 challenging but also exciting.

Although our teams are very spread out, I think there are certain aspects that are important to focus on:

Prioritize strong communication habits

It has never been in my interest to be a distant leader or simply a figurehead – maintaining and building relationships with my teams is a priority. The evolution of remote work has redefined the difference between office and offshore meetings. In the office, natural conversations already happen outside the meeting room, which means meetings get going as soon as they start.

Instead, global video meetings need to take into account the lack of natural human interaction and allow these meetings to be a little less formal, so people can connect and feel comfortable. Many employees may never have met their manager in person, so these remote calls are an opportunity for both parties to make an impression.

That’s why I would also emphasize spending time on the important things. Everyone has a busy schedule, but meeting with my international teams, chatting in Slack channels with employees around the world, and joining HR-operated work functions, even if it’s via Zoom, they are part of the connections that matter a lot to me. . That’s why, when choosing technology for your company, I advise you to choose programs and applications that are universally available.

After overcoming the time zone hurdles and settling in for a meeting, I increasingly find myself engaging in open discussions with employees, whether they’re R&D specialists, QA or marketing teams , never ceases to inspire. Never be so on the sidelines that you stifle creative flow – sharing ideas with global teams will always lend itself to an eye-opening experience.

Related: 6 Rules for Effectively Leading Your Globally Distributed Team

Security, security, security

Safety is at the heart of a successful global team. Employees need to feel picked up, especially when working remotely. A distributed team means a distributed network and distributed tools. If one is compromised, your entire team could be affected.

For example, phishing scams have increased in the past 24 months, with employees citing distractions at home, a lack of cybersecurity training, as well as threat actors using pandemic chaos and confusion to their advantage. as some of the main reasons.

Your security posture should be a key business focus – updating your security systems, antivirus and EDR providers, VPN choice and password management is a must. Additionally, endpoint protection of devices across the enterprise is just as crucial. With many employees using more than one screen as well as personal devices to check their work emails, instilling clean digital hygiene habits throughout the company should be a constant theme.

At Reason Labs, we practice what we preach, as our IT and DevOps teams constantly improve our internal cyber and OPSEC practices. This task is difficult enough for a single office, but when working around the world, with offices in different time zones, plus people working independently from home, this challenge becomes more important, as we re-address our assumptions and continuously improve our infrastructure.

Additionally, we strongly believe in nurturing our own cyber solutions within the company, both because we believe they add value and to see where we can make improvements. The advantage of already being a global company is that we can test these products on other continents and see how their efficiency is affected.

Related: Clockwatching: How to keep your devices in sync across time zones

individual well-being

While there were people working from home before 2022, the scale of cybersecurity needs is now much greater in this regard. This has brought more awareness to how we work remotely, rather than assuming that people will only work from the office. In the same way, it is imperative to protect all technology endpoints in the company, as well as our entire infrastructure, so the well-being of the people within the company is also at the heart of our operation.

It’s the little things, like being able to bring your dog to work or offering benefits for employees to build their workstations at home. Valuing employees’ personal milestones also makes a big difference in how people approach their workplace and how comfortable they need to feel in their remote work environments.

Of course, there are many other factors involved in leading global teams, whether it’s cultural awareness, a clear work ethic, setting achievable goals, and managing expectations. Ultimately, trusting your instincts and delegating are two of the biggest advantages you can use, and of course if you can make those business trips to spend time with your teams it’s always worth it.

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