Working Across Time Zones Can Be Tough Heres How To Manage

These meetings are often a gathering of members dispersed throughout our offices. As we expanded to four offices in pretty disparate time zones, we’ve had to move to a system of rotating our All Hands meetings. This means one or more of the offices is not online for the live meeting, and instead watch a recording later.

You can use an online tool like to determine the time zone your colleague is in. You can also try asking them what times they are available during, and when their day starts/ends so you know how much overlap there will be with yours.

working in different time zones

This is why when you are managing a remote team, it is vital to be lenient and flexible by incorporating the different working hours for different people. Boundaries work both ways when it comes to remote international teams. Your employees need to understand what you expect of them on a day-to-day basis. But it’s also critical that you make time to understand what they can manage.

Virtual Employment Trends: Q3 2022 Remote Job Reports

One of the primary reasons why developers and employees from around the world prefer the remote work culture is because of the flexibility that they get about their working hours. There are a host of tools that are available in the market and you can choose a suitable option based on your company’s requirements. Ideally, you should compare the features and functionalities of the different time management tools and then select one that you think can be compatible with the business requirements of your company. This is where evaluating the soft skills of potential candidates comes in handy.

Meetings, and other forms of synchronous communication, have their place. 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.

Case Studies: How To Work Autonomously And Asynchronously Across Time Zones

So, to avoid this, minimize the messages you send after hours and be patient if you don’t immediately get a response back. Odds are, a great teammate will get back to you when they begin working the next day. To learn more about tools and software that can help global and remote teams, check out this helpful list. When you have a successful game plan, you’re regularly able to video chat with colleagues, hear their thoughts, and gain insight into what the workplace is like on the other side of the world. These benefits allow your team to work better together and can lead your international teammates to feel more included in your team’s day-to-day work. As someone who’s managed marketing initiatives at companies with remote employees and offices around the world, I’ve seen what successful and unsuccessful international collaboration looks like first hand. As remote work and satellite offices become more common, marketers are discovering that global teams can be incredibly beneficial to a company’s culture and ability to hire diverse talent.

working in different time zones

While it can be challenging to manage a distributed team, fully remote companies have many benefits. This is why we’re seeing a consistent increase in the number of distributed teams hiring globally. It’s easy enough to understand time zones where you live, but if you’re working in a remote team spread across the world, it gets harder to remember what time it is for your team members. Working across time zones brings unique challenges rarely encountered within the more traditional work models. As the rewards largely outweigh the drawbacks, it’s worth exploring the best team practices provided above to make working across time zones work.

Use The World Clock In Your Phone As A Quick Reference Tool For Time Zones

You can share quick messages, explain new processes, or outline complicated concepts with your team sans real-time meetings. Everyone can view these on their own time, take notes, and refer back to your instructions or ask questions later.

  • If you do need to schedule something during off-hours, check first to make sure it is okay.
  • We also need to keep in mind daylight savings, which starts and ends at different times of the year across our offices.
  • There’s an endless number of services, apps, and websites that “make communicating easier.” All you have to do is use them.
  • If your co-workers overseas are a little relentless, there are multiple ways to make sure a ping from your phone doesn’t interrupt your full eight hours of sleep.

An overwhelming amount of research has been conducted over the past year to analyze the effects of the pandemic-mandated remote work. And the vast majority of the studies came to the same conclusion – flexibility and freedom offered within the approach largely impact productivity in the virtual workplace.

A Guide To Working Remotely In Different Time Zones

And a lot of people will try to have teams that really overlap a lot, even though they are in other time zones. Have them working on separate things with just a small amount of overlap when the times are convenient. There are a lot of different scenarios that we could play out here, but the thing to keep in mind is try organizing your team so that it’s less painful. When working across time zones we work with people from across the globe, we often have to work at unusual times. We have to work odd hours if we want to interact with our colleagues on the other side of the world. And we simply can’t squeeze the world and bring time closer together. Working in the office is much easier for team integration; however, working remotely doesn’t make it more impossible.

  • Here are some ways to work together as an effective global team.
  • We found that Same bed, different dreams is what could happen when people in a team design in isolation and forego sufficient alignment with one another.
  • Google calendar has a setting that you can choose your home time zone and then appointments will always be scheduled in that time zone unless you choose otherwise.
  • Meetings, and other forms of synchronous communication, have their place.

It clearly shows all the deadlines, who’s assigned to each task, and who’s currently available if needed. Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop and take care of a thriving global workforce.

Always Ask: Is This Meeting Necessary?

On Fridays in the US, the Melbourne team is already gone for the weekend, and on Mondays in Australia, our US folks are still wrapping up their Sunday dinners. Here are a few tools we use to stay connected and some tips on what we’ve learned about operating and having meetings as a distributed organization.

  • Only users with admin level access can change the workplace time zone.
  • Alternatively, if your work does not require extensive collaboration, an opposite time zone won’t affect your work processes much.
  • With these tips in my back pocket, I hope there will be many, many more time zone adventures.
  • Since you will not always be able to manage your employees in real-time, it is ideal that you clarify your expectations from your workforce at the very beginning.
  • Seeking skills regardless of the location allows you to find people who genuinely deserve being hired for a particular position because of their knowledge and experience.

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. Let’s outline all the key steps companies can take to better manage working across time zones within the asynchronous collaboration framework. Customer service – Virtual tech support teams often employ global staff for the simple convenience of covering diverse customer demographics across time zones.

The clockwise is one of the best tools for managing the calendars and meetings for remote developers in your organization. The clockwise is essentially a smart calendar that helps in optimizing your workflow so that the right resources are allocated to the important tasks and projects.

How To Streamline The Team Communication When Working Across Different Time Zones?

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. And that just helps minimize some of the mistakes that we can make when we’re scheduling time. PRIORITIZE YOUR OVERLAP TIME.On most teams there will be one or two hours of overlap and that’s when the meeting should be scheduled.

  • I’m also a morning person, I do my best, most efficient work between 7 and 10 am.
  • But there are ways to tackle differences between time zones that preserve collaboration and keep communication effective.
  • HR teams have a pivotal role to play as companies navigate profound changes to their workplaces and workforces.
  • Having the right kind of gear empowers remote employees to actively participate in the conversation—to literally be seen and heard.

When working with a distributed team, you don’t have to limit yourself to hiring locally. Instead of settling for local talent, remote workers give your company access to the best people in the world no matter where they are located. Time zones are geographical locations where people experience similar daylight hours at any given time throughout the year. The difficulties of managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating.

I spent a week in Florida in February collecting seashells, eating the best doughnuts in existence, and reading at least a book a day. I also put in a few hours each afternoon writing and scheduling client appointments . Now I’ll be frank, I don’t like editing on a deadline because there’s only so much editing a girl can do. I’m also a morning person, I do my best, most efficient work between 7 and 10 am. That’s a problem when editing studies because typically the researchers are still writing it mere days before submission. Another benefit of hiring employees from Peru is the country’s high English proficiency.

Strike The Right Balance Between Asynchronous And Synchronous Communications

Could you take care of foundational research, synthesis, and concept definition locally? Once the project and design direction are defined, you can then bring in people from other locations and get the work done in a relay-style format where people toss their work back and forth. Consider adjustments of your own schedule to accommodate one-on-one meetings with employees. If you elect to have one, you’ll have to cover employees’ travel and accommodations.

When sending an assignment, email, or before making a call, ensure that the time matches the receiver’s work hours. Planning ahead of time and maintaining a worklist according to urgency will help you manage task deadlines, despite the existing gap in time zones. Emergency situations are the exception, as both parties should understand the need of the hour for an organization’s growth. But, did you plan on how to manage teams and different employees located in various parts of the world? 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. If you’re working with a remote team, it might be even easier to give the time of the meeting in Coordinated Universal Time or UTC.

For example, Iceland, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, and India don’t follow such trends. This gives everyone an idea of what’s on the itinerary and keeps meetings on track.

You can also easily adjust the time slider at the top of the screen to go back or forward in time, which is helpful when planning meetings and projects. 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. The need to be online at specific hours on specific days means people don’t have control over the structure of their workdays, and never-ending meetings can force people to work longer hours to get work done. The only way it can work is if you keep team meetings to a minimum, record them for those that can’t attend, and make attendance optional.

Communication in particular is hard when one team is arriving at the office just as another is leaving, or when one teammate is sleeping peacefully just as another is hitting their midday stride. But there are ways to tackle differences between time zones that preserve collaboration and keep communication effective. Maybe your sales team is in Chicago and your dev team is in Dublin. Maybe you’re headquartered in Sydney but work with contractors around the globe. Or maybe you’re fully distributed, with teammates on every continent around the world. Building an asynchronous culture can seem intimidating but you’ll need to if you plan to work across time zones.

Kicking Off A Greenfield Project: What Product Managers Need To Know

If you’re having trouble logging into your When I Work account, follow the steps in this article to troubleshoot and get back into your account. The app displays an “Incorrect username and/or password” message at the top of the screen when you log in with the wrong email address or… It’s also important to be aware of any language barriers that clients might have. When there is a language barrier, it just takes a little extra time to make sure both parties understand what is expected. The digital age brought with it the ability to receive immediate responses. I think for all of our health, we need to cool this expectation.