How To Manage A Remote Team Across Multiple Time Zones

This is a free and simple tool for macOS (other platforms “coming soon”) where you can see a list of people, their locations and current time where they are. You can import your team’s contact list directly from Slack to There, or you can add people and locations individually. 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. It’s laid out so that each time zone appears relative to one another, and if you register for a free account you’ll be able to customize the cities that show up and the order they’re in.

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  • Write what you’ve done that day, share where you’re hung up on a project, and ping others with ideas.
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  • The team-wide meetings should only be scheduled for high-priority and critical tasks.
  • Neighbors to Asia on one side, and the Americas on the other, these time zones are in a prime position.

A warning to anyone who is working with a client halfway across the globe. One client in India was 12 hours ahead and another in Australia was 15 hours ahead. That smartphone in your pocket is good for so much more than Candy Crush, selfies, and Instagram. I’m certainly guilty of spending way too long scrolling through feeds and panging with wanderlust, but it’s time to put that phone to a better use. To maintain my moniker of a part-time world traveler, I spent winter 2016 in Europe, living in Berlin for all of November.

Encourage Virtual Watercooler Chats

Moreover, it removes the sense of isolation that remote work can lead to. Finally, a successful asynchronous collaboration calls for a set of functional tools to seamlessly tie all autonomous teams and operations together. Using a single, multifunctional tool such as Pumble, to streamline diverse conversations and collaborative projects across time zones can increase overall productivity by 30%. Teams operating across time zones require a unique set of functionalities specifically customized to meet the needs of the asynchronous workforce. When assessing team chat and collaboration apps for your distributed team, look for features that allow flexibility, autonomy, seamless collaboration, and transparent availability status options. Teams employing a globally distributed workforce should pay special attention to learning and optimizing for different cultural specifics.

working in different time zones

To do this effectively across time zones, you must be in tune with their current time and their schedules. Spell out your location in introductions, or speak up when a team is setting up recurring meetings. It’s all part of the challenges of working in different time zones, but it’s easily resolvable. The most important thing to do when working remotely is to grow comfortable communicating asynchronously whenever possible. Even though your whole team may be in different major cities or different countries, with geographic and time zone differences separating you—with effective async communication, none of that matters.

Our Best Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Global Teams Schedule

With this global team, you create morediversity of thought, which can result inmore innovation and revenue. Yet from a business point of view, it’s hard to argue against operating across multiple time zones. As much as there are challenges, there are numerous benefits that ultimately outweigh the hassle. Here’s how to mindfully do it with tips and best practices for distributed engineering teams. This may not always be possible, but being mindful of international schedules ensures that all employees feel included and that their time is respected. When international collaboration is done poorly, you might run into frustration from colleagues, all sorts of misalignment, and a sense of personal and professional disconnection across teams.

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  • The ideal way to tackle this problem is to hire workers in similar or overlapping time zones.
  • This will allow global workers to keep on the same page with each project, leaving one another notes for seamless handover.
  • This allows colleagues across time zones to manage their schedules, knowing that they won’t be wasting time on a casual chat that could have been spent working productively or catching up on sleep.
  • Set up guidelines, tech, and communication expectations with your team.
  • Unless it is an extremely critical function with absolute high priority, you must avoid communicating in off-hours with your employees.

This is why study after study after study has shown remote workers to be more productive than their in-office colleagues. Traditionally companies have relegated themselves to hiring people who live within commuting distance of their offices or at most, the same time zone. Working across time zones is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices. How to give constructive feedback when working remotely Only when feedback is constructive and properly presented can remote employees reap its benefits.

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It will also ensure that you’re available to your international department without needing to stay up all hours of the day. When your global teammates feel like their schedule is respected, they might feel happier at their job, less stressed, or have an easier time tuning out of work communication outside of their main work hours. Ultimately, these things will help boost job retention, productivity, and your team’s overall performance. As a hardworking employee located farther away from your company’s office, you might find feel pressure to say yes to every meeting you’re invited to. Additionally, you might also find it hard to say no to meetings — or suggest other times — for meetings scheduled outside of your regular working hours. As I mentioned before, it’s not too hard to exaggerate the number of meetings in a short period. Keep the golden middle – try to schedule only these meetings that are really necessary for flawless workflow.

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  • Thinking of your company through the prism of location limits the hiring opportunities.
  • The gradual shift to remote work settings has transformed the landscape of various industries.
  • On Slack, for example, if you set your time zone, other users will be able to see your local time when they interact with you.

When scheduling a meeting or call with remote team members, make sure to ask them what time zone they are in so that you can account for any time difference with their local time when you schedule. Managing a global team is more complicated than managing one that works from the same office. You’ll need to account for different time zones, work styles, and cultural norms in your management style. It’s not all 9-5 anymore with remote teams, with some works preferring to wake up in the early morning to get a head start before the day begins, and others starting late but working in the evening. When you meet frequently with the same people, take time to understand when they work remotely.

Collaboration And Communication Difficulties

Only users with admin level access can change the workplace time zone. Interactions where people feel equally immersed help build high-trust, happier, and better-performing employees. Some of the most effective meetings I’ve had with clients take just five or 15 minutes. It allows me to connect with a client, show my face, discuss pertinent details, and then move on with our day.

Employees no longer need to be in the same location to collaborate on projects. With these new changes come new challenges to face when you have a global team. When working with a remote team, it’s important to rotate the suffering. It’s likely that someone on the team will be inconvenienced by the time that a meeting is scheduled. Whether they have to get up early or stay at work late or even get up in the middle of the night, someone will suffer. 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.

The Pros And Cons Of Working Across Time Zones: What To Expect When You Work In A Distributed Company

For one, it threatens to disrupt the trust between team members, as there’s not sufficient information and knowledge sharing going around. Of course, differences in locations and backgrounds can also add another layer to the misunderstanding and distrust. If left unattended, this malpractice can take root and degenerate further into team silos. If teams don’t experience any overlap in work hours, there’s bound to be some time wasted as one team is waiting for the instructions or the input from another one, working at a later time. And, as team communication working across time zones is directly correlated to productive collaboration, it can lead to unnecessary delays, missed messages, and an overall drop in productivity. 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. To work successfully across different time zones, organizations need to focus on building a positive company culture, by removing all barriers that have originated due to the difference in time zones.

We’re Himalayas, a remote job board, that is focused on providing the best experience for remote job seekers and employers. If you are providing information, invest the additional time upfront to answer any questions or solve any issues you think the person may have ahead of time. But the biggest benefit might be how much it cuts off onboarding new employees who can simply read the archives and get up to speed on key decisions, culture, and work styles. Fewer interruptions leads to more deep work, which can dramatically increase productivity. Deep work, a term coined by Cal Newport, is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. This distraction-free concentration pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit and creates new value, improves skills, and is hard to replicate in our world of instant satisfaction.

Please note our typical freelance engagements require full time (40 hrs/week) support, Monday – Friday within continental US time zones. We also need to keep in mind daylight savings, which starts and ends at different times of the year across our offices.

working in different time zones

You can start by setting how notifications work inside individual apps, or even turn on the Do Not Disturb mode on your phone altogether. On iOS, choose Do Not Disturb from Settings, and if you haven an Android device, pick Sound and vibration, then Do Not Disturb from Settings. Check out our remote jobs, leverage our remote company database, or sign up and create your free company profile. One of the best things about Help Scout is that they publish how they work and their post on how to build a globally remote team that really works is a great example.

There may be delays in communication and response times, which means you can’t always expect real-time conversations and results. These are all positive developments and are applicable skills for managing employees over greater distances, too.

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