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Chapter 26. When Team Members Are in Rem... > The Virtual Team - Pg. 347

When Team Members Are in Remote Locations 347 It's not only language that differs from one culture to another, but the way business is conducted. In some countries, they take two or more hours for lunch, but may work later into the evening. In some cultures, it's customary for employees to get four or five weeks of vacation. In every country there are holidays or religious feast days that are observed, which of course usually differ from American holidays. To work collaboratively with members of teams in other lands, you must be aware of these customs and be prepared to abide by them. In planning work, keep in mind the customs and culture of the country to avoid unexpected lost time due to local holidays or religious observances. Develop Team Norms Protocols should be developed on how work will be assigned, what standards will be met, and how work will be measured against those standards. Guidelines should be agreed upon on the use of e-mail, voice mail, and other communication techniques. For example, one company set the fol- lowing communications protocol for its virtual teams: 1. 2. 3. All urgent e-mail must be answered within four hours; all other e-mail within 24 hours. In leaving a message on voice mail, briefly state the information desired, not just your name and number. Unless it is an emergency, schedule all conference calls or video-conferencing at least one day in advance. The member originating the call will be responsible for notifying other mem- bers and make any other arrangements needed. Team members will check the database once a day to check the progress of their projects and pick up any new information that has been posted. Progress reports will be e-mailed or faxed to team leader no later than specified in the as- 4. 5.