Being responsible for global reporting involves unusual working hours. Usually, Susan gets on the phone even before sunrise. Her first conference with colleagues from QIAGEN’s U.S. headquarters in Germantown near Washington, D.C. or from Hilden, Germany, starts at 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time.
There is a good reason for starting early: The East Coast is three hours ahead, and Europe is nine hours ahead. “We can get started immediately and determine the agenda for the rest of the day,” explains Susan, who heads a virtual team of two employees in Los Angeles and Maryland plus a freelancer in Florida. “As a truly global team, we can work around the clock by passing the ball from continent to continent.”
When the afternoon sun shines over the West Coast, Susan can finish her routine of phone calls and emails and turn to her actual work of figures and spreadsheets. After the end of normal working hours on the East Coast, she takes a break in order to care for her two sons aged 12 and 16. “As I am part of a virtual team, I can effectively reconcile my work and private life, accommodating the requirements of both sides,” she says.