October 31, 2023

Working Across Time Zones: Best Practices and Tools

By SanyaOlu Ameye

Here, remote workers can complete tasks without communicating away from the platform. SMB leaders should be mindful about choosing the communication methods that work best for their company overall, and managers should do the same when it comes to how best to communicate with their individual teams. Undoubtedly, one of the trickiest parts of working across time zones is scheduling meetings. If all meeting participants aren’t on the same page in terms of when the meeting will occur, some people could miss or be late to the meeting, wasting everyone’s time (and the company’s money). Many business leaders are re-calibrating and tailoring their operations to best support a dispersed workforce.

  • The idea was slow to gain traction until World War One when European states sought any strategies to conserve fuel.
  • The dissemination of information comes in several forms and a good communication format can make a tremendous difference in an organization, especially working with teams across different time zones.
  • “You want someone who’s capable of building something from scratch and seeing it through. Finding these people frees the rest of your team to work more and manage less,” the book explains.
  • Probably one of the most talked-about challenges of working in different time zones is the effort it takes to schedule meetings.

The actual time difference poses one of the biggest barriers to effective communication across distributed teams. Slack, for instance, lists each team member’s time zone, how many hours that is from your local time, and that person’s current local time whenever you click their name. Or, if you attempt to message everyone in a group, Slack can let you know it’s late for some people before you hit send.

Decide on a fair time for meetings.

Even the most introverted remote workers need social interaction, humans just aren’t designed for solitude. In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits and challenges of working across time zones, as well as the best practices you need to follow. Working across time zones is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices. Working across different time zones with your team needs a special level of inclusion, empathy, and respect.

working in different time zones

Meetings, and other forms of synchronous communication, have their place. This leads to a better run company, less stress, and higher quality work. Not to mention that if all time zones are covered, then the company can serve its customers 24/7 without the need for late-night shifts. When you don’t need to consider time zones, you can attract and hire the best talent regardless of location. This is a massive benefit, even if you are located in a hub like San Francisco or New York, chances are the best person for the job doesn’t live within commuting distance of your office. It will help if you switch meeting times weekly and make them more convenient for people worldwide to prevent burnout in one employee.

Communication challenges

Suppose you work in one country but half your team is located in another. Consider working a half-day at the office and then working remotely one or more days a week at night or early in the morning. Often called split shifts, this https://remotemode.net/blog/10-tips-on-working-in-different-time-zones/ involves working part of the day during your time zone, then working part of the day during the time zone of another team. However, from a business standpoint, it is hard to argue against operating across multiple time zones.

working in different time zones

It’s important to set clear working hours to create a sustainable working schedule for yourself and your team. It may be a case of trial and error, but it’s worthwhile if it leads to the right tool for your team. If part of your meeting is taking place between people in the same room, those who cannot physically attend can find it more difficult to chime in.

What Sorts of Teams are Most Likely to Collaborate Across Time Zones?

It mainly consists of your best built projects, a summary of your skill set, and your achievements. Real-time information and context shouldn’t be limited to one-off videos and screen captures. Notion, Confluence, and even Google Drive can all be used to document best practices and processes on an internal wiki.

Thankfully, there are multiple tools and best practices that can help you to get around this challenge with ease. Managers need to have a streamlined process for the various frameworks that can help them to scale up the company’s objectives. For long-term projects, asynchronous updates on project management keep the entire team updated regarding the developments https://remotemode.net/ and help in streamlining the tasks. Several asynchronous communication and project management tools include Asana, Trello, Jira, Basecamp, and Hive. The distributed team environment has pros and cons when you work in remote teams. The gradual shift to remote work settings has transformed various industries’ landscapes and brought new dynamics into play.