How To Work Across Time Zones As A Remote Team

Here are some popular ways to use Slack with app automation tool Zapier to automatically share activity in your channels so everyone knows what’s going on. “They worked the night shift while my team in Redmond worked days,” Berkun says. “If I planned well, we’d find magic in going to bed frustrated by a missing puzzle piece, and waking to find it in our inbox. It was like having a friend in the future.” David Nield is a freelance contributor at Popular Science, producing how to guides and explainers for the DIY section on everything from improving your smartphone photos to boosting the security of your laptop. He doesn’t get much spare time, but when he does he spends it watching obscure movies and taking long walks in the countryside. Being up front helps co-workers know what kind of time commitment you’re looking from them.

  • Fill out the form and one of our representatives will contact you within one business day.
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  • At the same time, whenever you’re in a meeting you’re technically not getting anyfocusedwork done.

A team solely made up of delocalized employees, it can be even harder to find a rallying point for everyone. When I Work offers time zone settings that determine how schedules and time entries are viewed and created. This article covers best practices for Admins configuring the time zones for your workplace and users through example scenarios. There are benefits to both modes of communication and I like to have both for clients that I work with long-term. It’s nice to have periodic check-in meetings over the phone or video call, but I like to schedule them ahead of time and keep them to 15 minutes. If I’m in a creative mode and a client calls me, I’m all confuzzled and have a hard time answering their questions.

Where Can I Find My Employee Id?

Tools like collaborative documents, auto-transcripts of meetings, and recording software, can play a big part in enabling asynchronous work to function more seamlessly. If some members of your team or your clients are still asleep as you’re getting ready to wrap up your day, good communication can be your biggest asset—but only if the communication is clear.

Simply line up the cursor to find a time when everyone will be awake, or a time that aligns with other parameters set in place. An enormous amount of effort is needed to overcome this particular downside of global remote work. Record or take notes during the meeting to share with those who couldn’t make it. This keeps everyone in the loop without forcing anyone to cross their work-life boundaries.

How To Facilitate Communication & Meetings Across Time Zones

As we discussed in our guide on asynchronous communication in remote working environments, asynchronous communication happens “out of sync,” or not at the same time. Whatever they choose, it’s important to respect everyone’s preferred work hours and do-not-disturb hours — and know when these occur in their time zone. Share these with the team, so everyone knows when it’s okay to dish work and when it’s not. “Be ready to jump on a call/video-call without having to schedule a time for it,” Ronnqvist Ahmadi advises. “Let your team know you’re available over Slack , and build in ‘air-time’ in your agenda for check-ins or quick chats.”

working in different time zones

Having a team spread across different countries can give you access to new markets and high business reach, but only if you can successfully manage different employees of your team; located all over the world. Getting organized means working to oblige people no matter the spot from where they work.

Ask: How Can We Do This Asynchronously?

For teams that work remotely, it’s a great idea to schedule one or two annual meetings where everyone relocates and meets in person. Many remote teams schedule their annual get together around a conference.

working in different time zones

IT – A no-brainer, really, especially if we consider that information technology is what made remote work possible in the first place. IT companies pioneered distributed work, long before the world got shut down by the pandemic.

Leave Room For Synchronous Communication

Even after having an initial conversation, you should also speak up if you’re having issues attending many meetings in multiple timezones. Likewise, you should also encourage colleagues to communicate when they’re running into timezone blockers. These discussions will better help your team learn how to strategize and identify respectful or empathetic solutions to timezone-related challenges. Whether you’re working in-office, remotely, or in a global office outside of your main headquarters, make sure you are open to discussing your own work hours and boundaries with your dispersed team.

working in different time zones

Scheduled synchronous communication like planned video calls/syncups allow me to better mentally prepare. In addition to confounding my brain, time zones also provide some fun and interesting challenges when it comes to how we all work together at Buffer as a fully remote, distributed team.

Pros And Cons Of Working In Multiple Time Zones

“At TechCrunch and The Next Web, having a central point of contact is critical,” says Russell. “Tools like Slack, Convo and HipChat make that possible in a way that it never really was a few years ago.” The ability to see what others are saying not only gives you insight to how others are working—something you might glean by working together—but it also enables the more fun aspects of working in a team.

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.” Write what you’ve done that day, share where you’re hung up on a project, and ping others with ideas. Developers, perhaps, have it the easiest with code comments and pull requests, but everyone should share what’s happening in their own “manager of one” domain. No matter how independently you can work, and how hard you try to stay connected, you won’t be in the flow of what everyone’s doing unless you have a team chat tool.

Benefits Of Working Across Time Zones

These conditions allow more people to complete their education and become job-ready every year. When you’re working on an important project, real-time collaboration becomes necessary. You want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and can provide their input at any time. Shorten meetings and reassess the necessity of an employee’s attendance. Carefully evaluate communication and collaboration platforms for maximum effectiveness.

  • To build a successful team that operates autonomously, companies should consider setting clear employee expectations regarding personality traits and soft skills best suited for this work model.
  • Video chat programs (, Zoom, Google Hangouts) or messaging services will cover your real-time needs.
  • These moments didn’t require planning, and were crucial to helping us agree and get on the same page about what needed to be done.
  • Open up Every Time Zone in your web browser for an at-a-glance guide to your time zone as compared to multiple cities, including Tokyo, Berlin, and Dubai.
  • That way, anyone who’s jumping in at a different time knows where the most up-to-date info lives.

In fact, one of the aspects of the job that freelancers have the most trouble with is working to accommodate multiple time zones, and figuring out how to overcome time zone differences. 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. Asynchronous communication should be standard for remote teams, especially those with employees in different time zones. Although remote teams have the distinct advantage of not being able to walk up to a coworker’s desk to ask for a quick chat, meetings can still suck up a lot of time. Sometimes, that time might be in the early morning or late evening due to time zone differences. 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.

Be very sensitive to cultural differences around work, time off, and holidays. A warning to anyone who is working with working across time zones a client halfway across the globe. One client in India was 12 hours ahead and another in Australia was 15 hours ahead.

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