How to work effectively across time zones

To do this on Gmail, create the email as you would draft any other message. Then, when you’re ready to schedule the email, click the arrow on the send icon for the “Schedule message” option. With all of the technology at our fingertips, many teams are no longer required to work in the same location or at the same time.

  • To allow more space for effective communication to happen, companies working across time zones need to rethink traditional channels of communication, such as email, and adopt more flexible solutions and methods.
  • Or maybe you’re fully distributed, with teammates on every continent around the world.
  • This sort of impromptu, off-the-cuff discussion can resemble “watercooler chat” and enables colleagues to brainstorm various topics and connect on a more personal level.
  • It makes it easier to track who is speaking and avoids prioritising communication between select groups.

Companies employing diverse teams spanning multiple time zones enjoy complete time zone coverage. Having all shifts and time zones covered is especially convenient for support and customer service as people don’t need to work past the conventional work hours in their countries, in the case of an emergency. However, other departments and industries can benefit from the approach as well. To learn more about key aspects of working with international or remote teams, check out these blog posts on hosting virtual meetings, working with global teammates, and international communication tips. Research shows that organizations spend around 15% of their time on meetings.

Con: It takes more effort to stay in sync

A time shift, though, forces you to show what you’ve actually accomplished, since few others were there to see if you were logged in all day. Teams working remotely and across time zones lack the spontaneous chats in-office coworkers are accustomed to. The social disconnect can breed various productivity and personal obstacles that could wreak havoc on your organization over time. To foster better relationships within your team, be intentional about cutting across time zones, cultural, and generational differences and creating more opportunities for connection between your remote team members. Follow these 5 tips to effectively manage teams across time zones
Utilize tools to assist in managing time zones.

It’s easy to think of only the problems that can come about from coworkers trying to collaborate from different locales without having the same start and stop to their workday. But this asynchronous setup confers some advantages alongside the drawbacks. The cornerstone of remote work is technology and it can do a lot more than just enable employees to log in and jump on video calls. When you’re working remotely or in a different location from other team members, you can’t easily turn to them, ask a question, or make conversation. This can make it hard to communicate and develop a relationship with your colleagues.

The pros and cons of working across time zones: What to expect when you work in a distributed company

Read on for 10+ strategies on making your communication inclusive and seamless. –
Maintain order and understand your zones
Make use of Google Calendar
Regularly and clearly communicate
Plan your day appropriately. There are ways to combat the difficulties of working across time zones that can be adopted as part of constructing a good working culture as a developer. There’s a lack of social and human interaction during working hours which can be needed for anyone to boost their productive working mood as no man is an island. Teams exchange messages with one other without expecting a response right away.

Knowing the difference between Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time alone isn’t enough anymore. You’ll need to know which times of the day your colleague in London will be awake, and the times you’re most likely to get support tickets from your Australian customers. If you’re always waiting for someone to tell you what to do next, and that someone’s asleep while you’re working, you’ll never get anything done. That’s why the most crucial part of building a remote team is hiring self-directed workers—”managers of one,” as the Basecamp team calls them in their book Rework.

Tips for Working with Teammates in Different timezones

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working across different time zones. Companies have the luxury of leaning into shared experiences and physical venues when developing a culture in an office-based workplace. Now my 10th and last tip for today is even when we’re working with global teams, don’t forget to meet face-to-face every once in a while. Time zones can really keep us apart and it can keep us from connecting with each other as much as we need to or want to. So every once in a while, whenever possible, get the team together face-to-face and rebuild that human connection that we can easily lose when we go remote. So when you do have meetings or things that the team needs to know about, that everybody inputs that time into a shared calendar, then the time zone conversions are automatically done.

These discussions will better help your team learn how to strategize and identify respectful or empathetic solutions to timezone-related challenges. As a hardworking employee located farther away from your company’s office, you might find feel pressure to say yes to every meeting you’re invited to. Additionally, you might also find it hard to say no to meetings — or suggest other times — for meetings scheduled outside of your regular working hours. If you have a large distributed team, you might not need to try so hard to stay connected. “Since there are people working from nearly every time zone in the world, there was always someone online to help with a problem or joke around with when you’re working,” he wrote in his book.

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