10 Best Practices for Working Across Multiple Time Zones

Teams exchange messages with one other without expecting a response right away. Employees can give each response the time and attention it deserves when they take a break to check their messages. Employees may work independently, uninterrupted, and more productively as a result of this. A popular communication tool like Slack will help you with its features like emojis and others.

  • There’s no room to ask clarifying questions and you don’t have the luxury of reading a person’s facial expressions or tone of voice.
  • Therefore, team members working across borders and time zones may become the norm soon.
  • Alongside the benefits of working across time zones, there are some challenges to consider as well.
  • It may also cause everyone to plan a meeting across time zones when they’re the ones working unusual hours.
  • To embrace the diversity and complexity of the world, you need to be curious, courageous, and flexible.

It’s not only employees who can potentially benefit from working across time zones—this arrangement also allows distributed groups to be more responsive and available when customers need help. GitLab might be the world’s largest fully distributed company with 1,400+ remote workers in 65+ countries. More working remotely in a different time zone than 30 million users and 100,000 organizations from startups to global enterprise organizations use GitLab to deliver great software at new speeds. While it may seem strange to let people work at all times of the day, you’re already going to be doing that indirectly by working across time zones.

Use an online calendar.

It allows individuals to have uninterrupted focus during their work hours and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Right now, I’m the only person in Australia working in a company of 70+ people, spanning 12 different timezones. When you’re not in the same place with your teammates and you don’t have set work hours, one thing that becomes really important is frequent, clear communication. When you require immediate responses to a question, synchronous communication is ideal. It encompasses all forms of real-time communication in which replies are instantaneous.

  • For example, if someone works in Australia while another is located 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.
  • We change up meeting times to try and make it more available to people around the world, or hold two different meeting times so that it’s during the day for everyone.
  • “One danger of my job, as a columnist who works in California, is a feeling of disconnection from the mother ship in New York,” writes technology columnist Farhad Manjoo.
  • I’m working on a few meaty projects, and being remote and in a “quiet” timezone offers great headspace for deeper work.
  • In this article, we will explore some of the most common challenges of working in a different time zone and share some tips on how to cope with them.
  • 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.

Another thing you should remember is to specify the timezone if you are writing about time. As businesses attempt to attract workers back to the office, HR professionals have the job of ensuring workers see the value of getting into cars or onto trains and heading into the workplace. We change up meeting times to try and make it more available to people around the world, or hold two different meeting times so that it’s during the day for everyone. If you dont have a great process which has tuned exclusively for this kind of a scenario, then different time zone is going to kill your project deadline. Atleast one side should be very flexible to adjust their time for the meetings. But ofcourse that will eventually create frustrations among the team members.

What are the key factors in successfully working with team members in different time zones?

If you’ve made it this far, there’s a good chance you’re either looking to find a remote job, already working remotely, or looking to hire remote employees. A great way to introduce a more async, documentation culture is to build an employee handbook. An employee handbook is a written document that outlines the company’s mission, culture, core values, policies, procedures, teams, best practices, and any other information employees need to do their work. Ideally, your company will set up Google Drive, Dropbox, or whatever file-sharing system you use so files are automatically accessible to the entire company.

One of the best ways to communicate across different time zones is to be aware of the time zones and try to be available when your time zones match up. You should also utilize different virtual tools and be clear about what time zone you’re completing projects in. Most importantly, using task management and progress trackers make it simple for employees in different time zones to login and see what an employee in another country has already completed during their workday. 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 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.

Leverage tools to help with time zone management

Teach your remote team to be flexible about time, though, and everyone’s lives will be easier. Plus, you’ll be able to hire the best people from anywhere around the globe. At Zapier, we’ve formalized communications about what we’re working on with a Friday update post that lists our top priority for the week and what progress we made on it. Each of those live in Async—an in-house tool that gives everyone a set place to write anything they need to share with the entire team and forces us to “work in public.”

  • “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.
  • Initially, you’ll be tasked with exploring, which essentially means progressing through Valhalla’s core “loop” of challenge rooms and Sanctuaries.
  • It is also recommended to deactivate notifications during off-hours to maintain work-life balance and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
  • For example, some sects celebrate some Chrisian holidays 2 weeks later than most Christians,e.g.
  • In order for the company to be effective and at the same time productive, adaptation will be the key to unlocking that potential.
  • It fosters a sense of connection and facilitates immediate feedback and problem-solving.
  • The most popular company channels in team chat apps usually include those public, #random channels, or some more specific channels that gather people who share the same interests (e.g. #books, #gaming, #memes).

There’s no need to wait for a conference call or meeting to start talking when you work together from the same office. There is a false perception that remote workers are lazy, taking every opportunity to slack off because nobody is watching. In fact, remote workers are generally more productive than their in-office counterparts. You’ll also want each team member working from a private space with minimal distractions (a quiet office or home office). If colleagues are close by, try asking them to work together at one desk so they can easily collaborate on projects as necessary. Clear communication about timezone boundaries ensures that everyone’s work-life balance is respected and that deadlines are met.

Mind cultural norms

Using a meeting productivity tool like Fellow to share and collaborate on meeting agendas, notes and action items. The Daylight Savings Time (DST) framework was proposed by Benjamin Franklin during his stay in Paris and is concerned with accelerating the standard time within the region or zone by one hour to extend daylight time. Synchronous communication (“sync”) is when discussions are conducted in real-time, allowing for immediate responses and feedback between colleagues. This can be through phone calls, video chats or even using an instant messaging platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Remote workers can come from anywhere in the world, which means they have unique perspectives to share with their colleagues. This is great for increasing creativity and innovation within your company.

challenges of working in different time zone

With more & more companies adopting a remote work model, the tips & tools will help you achieve success while working remotely with teams in different time zones. Read to know more to find out the best practices and working remotely tips and tools. While there are times when hiring new, experienced talent will be what’s needed to ensure companies have critical skills, that can’t be the only approach. To increase workforce flexibility and capability given the magnitude of the skills change anticipated, companies will have to build a talent strategy that also incorporates reskilling and upskilling their people.






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