Virtual Teams – Fixing Invisible Schedules

One of the most difficult things for us to manage as a team has always been schedules. As in working schedules for each person on the team. We always work more than we should, and nobody has specific hours. On our recent retreat, we decided that we finally needed to set some concrete schedules for a few reasons.

  • We want to know when everyone is available for each other. Working hours help set expectations of when everyone is working and when you can discuss things together.
  • Chris and I want to promote an environment where working 8 hours is enough. Setting a fixed 8 hour day makes it easier for the team to leave at the end of the day. No guilt because someone else is still working. You have your 8 hours and that's enough.
  • Make sure that we cover almost 24 hours with support. We pride ourselves in excellent, quick and responsive support. Having a team in multiple time zones helps us accomplish that. With a schedule we can ensure that everyone has a schedule for support too (it's actually a bit extended from what you will see below)

So, as soon as we all got back from Greece, we figured out our individual schedules. We submitted them all to Gilbert, and he quickly created this pretty, simple html page for us to refer to. Some of us have a few flexible hours, so they show up as more or less on the chart, but the bulk is pretty accurate.

Schedules

Believe it or not, now comes the hard part: sticking to the schedule. Being virtual and devoted makes it very difficult to specify an 8 hour day, but we hope this will really help encourage it. If you catch one us on our off hours, feel free to let us know!

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