10 Best Practices for Working Across Multiple Time Zones

Whenever possible, it’s important to develop the ability to communicate asynchronously when working remotely. No matter where your whole team is located and what time zone or geography separates you, effective async communication allows you to stay connected effectively. Some of the best practice examples suggest encouraging employees to craft their own shared experiences in company team chat apps. 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).

working remotely in a different time zone

Furthermore, you will be able to stay in touch with your international department without staying up all night. It is equally important for managers to schedule meetings within their teams’ working hours. Be sure that your entire team is able to find times that work for all of them. Make sure you don’t let your dispersed team members hop on a call at 7 am just because it’s convenient for you. A shared team calendar might be helpful as everyone can see each other’s availability. Project management tools and productivity apps can be a real asset here, helping to streamline the process by providing clear timelines and task assignments.

Pro: It’s easier to value output over time-in-seat

Almost by definition, remote work tends to facilitate isolation among team members, and the matter only gets worse once we add the time zone dimension to the equation. 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. Teams in traditional office settings sometimes measure productivity by how long each team member spends at their desk. But remote teams can fall into the “I’m online, so I’m being productive” trap, too. 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.

  • Just imagine a chatroom with all the features of texting and emailing available today and you’ll have Slack.
  • “I’d quite happily sacrifice staying a little later or getting up a little earlier to avoid the stresses of a morning commute in rush hour traffic.”
  • Hosting an 8 AM meeting in New York City, which seems completely appropriate to start your day, would mean someone in Los Angeles needing to be up and ready to go by 5 AM.
  • Relationships foster trust, increase collaboration and boost productivity in any work environment.
  • If you’re working with a global team, it’s good to heighten your awareness of what time it is for people in different parts of the world that you’re working with.

Cisco WebEx is another video conferencing software platform that is popular. With HD videoconferencing available, it offers https://remotemode.net/ high-quality pictures. The software can follow the speaker to make it easier to follow along with a conversation.

Best Team Practices When Working Across Time Zones

GitLab might be the world’s largest fully distributed company with 1,400+ remote workers in 65+ countries. More than 30 million users and 100,000 organizations from startups to global enterprise organizations use GitLab to deliver great software at new speeds. While operating with time zone differences has its benefits, it’s also challenging. Particularly if you don’t introduce new processes to manage a truly global team. When everyone lives in different time zones, writing, planning, and documentation tend to become the default behavior for remote employees. This means people who were offline can dive into documentation to catch up, rather than having to wait for answers.

working across multiple time zones

Without holding real-time meetings, you may send fast messages, explain new methods, and clarify complex topics with your team working across time zones. Everyone can look through these at their leisure, take notes, and return to your instructions or ask questions afterward. Do you want to improve your message writing skills when your team is working across time zones? Next, use these suggestions to help your team communicate more effectively while working remotely. By being able to see who is working, people can save time not reaching out to those who aren’t available and adding more to inboxes.

Decide on a fair time for meetings.

It also means that you’re not necessarily communicating at the same time. If so, then you know the challenges in staying on the same page that come with working remotely. Managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating. 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.” David Fullerton had to overcome the communication hurdle when he was growing the Stack Exchange team.

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