Working Across Multiple Time Zones: Tools and Strategies
It saves time, money, and resources are allocated effectively and put into efficient use. Research shows that organizations spend around 15% of their time on meetings. We can only imagine what these numbers mean for distributed teams that need to put extra effort into planning a perfect schedule that won’t disturb the regular work and sleep schedules of the people involved. With these systems in place, teams can effectively communicate both asynchronously and synchronously, allowing for efficient collaboration and productivity across multiple time zones. Additionally, having a shared understanding of these processes can help build trust and transparency within the team, creating a stronger remote working culture.
Often called split shifts, this involves working part of the day during your time zone, then working part of the day during the time zone of another team. Suffice it to say, when working with teammates in different time zones, finding a good time for a meeting is a constant battle full of compromises. Applications like Trello are commonly used to manage team projects, but there are other products on the market that might be better suited to your team. The Anywhere.app, for instance, allows you to create custom collabs to manage individual projects with specific team members. Combine this with Teleport.video for face-to-face meetings and you’ll find it much easier to keep everyone on the same page.
Tips for Working With Teams in Different Timezones
While this may not be possible, it is the mindset you need to adopt to organize your time and responsibilities. This is easy for teams that work with people across two or three time zones that are all next to each other. However, it becomes more complicated when working with a global workforce (people who work on opposite sides of the world). For example, if someone works in Australia while another is located working remotely in a different time zone in the United States, it may be difficult to attend a meeting at the same time unless the Aussie gets up pretty early in the morning. Sometimes, scheduling a meeting at a time that works for all timezones is easier said than done. For example, if you’re based in the U.S. and have teams in Asia and California, finding a time that fits into everyone’s schedules and usual work hours can be tricky.
Below we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of working across time zones and possible ways a company can mitigate the limitations that come with this kind of organizational structure. How many of us often find ourselves hitting loose ends and empty, awkward pauses when talking to a colleague who is 10 hours ahead of our time zone? You have to navigate not just the time difference but the difference in language, accent, and even energy levels. The person on the other end of the Teams or Zoom call is having their last call of the day and you are just getting started with the highest possible energy level or vice versa. It will help if you switch meeting times weekly and make them more convenient for people worldwide to prevent burnout in one employee.
Con: It can be complicated and costly to manage global teams
It is likely that a truly great teammate will contact you when they start to work the next day. In short, make sure you take everyone’s time zone into account when setting meeting times. In order to avoid inconveniencing the same people repeatedly, you may want to rotate the start time.
- Read to know more to find out the best practices and working remotely tips and tools.
- With these strategies in mind, your team will be able to collaborate more effectively—no matter where they are located.
- Many Heads of Remote will spend time in both worlds, improving the internal experience while advocating for remote-first beyond the organization.
- Tell us the skills you need and we’ll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.
- When you have a colleague in Portugal and another in India, it’s harder to keep track of time.
- Companies employing smaller internationally distributed teams are more likely to have staff members experience feelings of isolation and being left out from the company culture and general social interactions.
Make use of Google Calendar’s built in setting which allows you to put in working hours and locations you want to see on your calendar. We can thank a series of world wide events which have created a domino effect. From the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the Great Resignation, and the infamous shortage of skilled workers, mindsets and attitudes towards work are changing – and they’re changing fast. Leverage opportunities to strengthen team culture by using the connection rituals in our Hybrid Team Toolkit today. The start of the New Year is a chance to set a plan for your career and personal development and start new habits.
Schedule any meetings during the times everyone can attend
This respect is so key to maintaining work-life balance across time zones, and making sure that everyone is communicating in a productive way. It only allows you to set up two time zones including your local region so check out World Time Buddy should you need to set up more. Don’t forget– if your team is doing late night shifts or early mornings, make sure you have a flexible work policy to help them avoid burn out. Team building might be easily overlooked or pushed to the side when working across time zones.
- A good research about the company and good preparation is key to having a worried-free digital nomadic lifestyle.
- Social relationships with colleagues not only combats isolation, but it decreases barriers to asking questions, getting help, and taking risks that are crucial to growth.
- These benefits aren’t going away with the pandemic for teams operating in international virtual offices.
- Organizations employing culturally diverse staff, especially in the higher management positions, tend to escape the echo-chamber effect and conformity since they are exposed to multiple perspectives and viewpoints.
- Traditionally companies have relegated themselves to hiring people who live within commuting distance of their offices or at most, the same time zone.
Some companies have introduced a 4 days a week policy in their effort to take off the pressure that comes from working across time zones as compensation. This in many cases has improved productivity in more companies that have employees that work in different time zones. To make a remote team function, there is a need for a clear communication strategy to be established. This can be a very challenging task especially when everyone is scattered around the world, speaking different languages and cultural differences. Enforcing and executing assigned tasks where there isn’t proper effective communication can be a daunting experience. In such situations, time and resources which could have been allocated somewhere else are usually wasted on trying to get the job done.