Working Across Time Zones Can Be Tough Heres How To Manage
Scheduling and assigning a task list at the start of a week gives your employees a scope to analyze the target work beforehand. If they encounter any queries, a mutually suitable time can be assigned for a meeting to discuss them. Thus, setting weekly objectives can help keep the workflow going, irrespective of different time zones. I live in California and the company is based in Hawaii, so there’s a 3 hour time difference, and the platform is set to HST. Be clear which meetings are mandatory and work-related and which are more social or cultural appointments. 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.
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- As a freelancer, especially if you’re working as an individual contributor, other members of the team or group may forget where you’re located.
- I don’t know if this is exactly what you mean, but over the summer, I physically worked from Alaska but “worked” on Central Standard Time, as that’s where my company is based.
You may think acknowledging time zones goes without saying but often times it is overlooked and this can lead to miscommunication and confusion. Let’s look at some tips and tricks you can adopt for your distributed team to get the most out of the benefits such teams offer and thus bypass a lot of the disadvantages. This means that employees have the luxury of being able to work in any location, and this could even extend to having the freedom to work at any time. When you have a distributed team, you also gain time zone coverage. This means that essentially you have a team that is available and working 24/7 since at any point in time there is someone available and online. And with the COVID-19 Pandemic changing the way offices and the work culture are structured you need to know how to work across time zones. We also encourage team members to meet via our Camper Coffee Lottery.
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In addition to real-time video calls and asynchronous communication, we also do real-time chat in Slack. It’s an issue that presents both pros and cons for a remote team, and we’ve definitely had to work to address it for productivity, collaboration and culture. While I was abroad, we moved all meetings to overlap with my time difference. That meant meetings were the first thing on my calendar at 5 am and the last thing on my co-workers’ schedules at the end of the day. When I logged on, we were in slightly different headspaces and quickly learned I don’t effectively think on my feet at 5 am. If a meeting or event calls for certain colleagues to wake up early or stay up late, try to make up for the inconvenience in some way. You could give colleagues who have to stay up late an hour off the following morning or expense coffee and donuts for those coming into the office early.
- 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.
- In the end, it was a great remote learning experience for me professionally.
- Whatever the case, there is no denying that myriad challenges arise especially as regards the issue of varying time zones.
- Global teams are incredibly beneficial, in fact, studies predict that by 2022, 75% of businesses that employ diverse front-line decision-makers will be able to exceed the financial targets they set.
- There are more time zone tools at TimeandDate.com, too, so be sure to check it out if you want to find local times around the world for your event, convert times for any location, and more.
Consider making a record of all culture-specific holidays to make sure no meetings or group work sessions are scheduled around those dates. With all the apps and tools available, the time zone difference can create plenty of confusion among employees working across time zones. Asynchronous collaboration is the default workflow globally distributed teams turn to to optimize their processes and overall culture. This is not surprising, given that the flexibility of asynchronous collaboration represents the ideal response to the challenges of working across time zones. Another key feature of such team chat apps is the pin option as it helps keep the important documents top of mind and easily accessible. So it’s fair to rotate meeting times between time zones every month or quarter.
Customer Contact Center Representative Remote Arizona Time Zone
If you’re a remote team, I hope that this post has given you some ideas to help you do better work across time zones. Pay particular attention to whether any options are unavailable in certain countries — you want all of your employees to be using a cohesive suite of products, regardless of where they’re based.
This ensures no one team is constantly making the sacrifice to stay connected. And it may get everyone to start thinking twice about holding meetings when they’re the one clocking in odd hours. One of the best things about remote work and being a digital nomad is that it gives you the freedom to travel and work in amazing locations. You could be in San Francisco for a month, the next in London, and Montreal after that. Quite often, your destinations will be in different time zones—day could be night, and night could be day. As digital nomads, an inherent part of the lifestyle is adapting to schedules with your team or clients. And to be successful at this, it’s essential to be productive when you get there – and there could be in a time zone 8 hours ahead or behind your normal office hour schedule.
New Set Of Project Management Bottlenecks
By being aware of times and locations, along with good communication, companies can become global workforces, working together no matter where they are. So, if your company has turned into a global business and wants to retain all your valued employees, you will need to ensure that the employees in their respective time zone feel appreciated and respected.
You’ll probably have a mix of remote team members working from home and digital nomads who travel to a new locale every three months. But as we learned in our State of Remote Work Report , more people want to work remotely than ever before. So you may soon see team members working across borders and time zones becoming the norm. If you always keep a customer-first working in different time zones mindset, the challenges of different time zones are easy to navigate. Be willing to sacrifice for their comfort and ease of working with you. Along with time zone issues can also come cultural considerations. Workers familiar with that culture can improve the customer service experience while also removing the time zone issues from your plate.
Use The World Clock In Your Phone As A Quick Reference Tool For Time Zones
We use them to brainstorm ideas and build our version of an editorial calendar. Our 10AM check-in keeps us all on the same page, and provides very real culture benefits, too. Also European and US Daylight Savings time doesn’t start at the same time. And neither does Australian, at which point they’re falling back and we’re springing forward because their Fall is our Spring.
Having conversations in public forums builds visibility, which ensures that no one is out of the loop even if they’re not awake when a decision is being made. Teams can help enable distributed employees by providing a discretionary budget for tech like noise-canceling headphones, microphones, high-quality laptops with cameras, and high-speed Internet access. Having the right kind of gear empowers remote employees to actively participate in the conversation—to literally be seen and heard. We created this blog to share some of the knowledge and experience that we have around travel, remote work, photography and beyond! Within Google Calendar, one of my absolute favorite ways to stay productive while working at home or freelancing, you can have your time zone, and a second one. Getting familiar with the map can help you visualize time zones before you even get to World Time Buddy in your browser .
The Anyplace blog is your go-to resource for all things related to the digital nomad lifestyle, from travel to remote work. You’ll find tips, insights, news, trends, events, personal stories, and more written for digital nomads and remote workers of the world—and those who aspire to become location independent and travel. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our circadian rhythm by working as a darkness signal. It’s produced by a small gland in your brain called the pineal gland.
- One thing you could do is have a flexible schedule at certain points during the day.
- Schedule Skype or Facetime calls every once in a while, to keep the human element involved.
- From private chats to team channels, to food photos, cat photos, and more – we have a channel for it.
- 🎓 To learn more about the pros and cons of asynchronous communication for remote teams, be sure to check out our in-depth guide on the blog.
- For starters, flexible work hours have been scientifically proven to reduce burnout, stress levels, and psychological distress while increasing job satisfaction.
Create a video chat guidelines document to ensure that you won’t waste precious time waiting for everyone to connect or wondering whether you have your microphone muted. This should include technical information about using your video platform, as well as in-house etiquette that ensures everyone has a chance to be heard. Scheduling a meeting or planning a project is definitely easier when you actually know if your colleagues are out for lunch or just had their morning coffee.
If this half-day concept doesn’t suit you why not use this concept and apply it to your week instead? For example, you could work some days according to your location’s time zone and then some days of the week according to the other time zone.
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. Research shows that organizations spend around 15% of their time on meetings. We can only imagine what these numbers mean for distributed teams that need to put extra effort into planning a perfect schedule that won’t disturb the regular work and sleep schedules of the people involved. Managers and decision-makers are the ones facing the harshest challenges when working with teams who operate across time zones. Along with aligning operations, other risks could seriously disrupt major processes, if left unchecked. Let’s get a better insight into the challenges of globally distributed teams to get a clearer idea of what to look out for and how to prevent any larger issues.
Continually strive to keep the communication channels open, build cohesiveness and respect each other’s time. These are the three critical components to managing a remote, diverse team successfully. If you’re working with an international team https://remotemode.net/ spread across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia, things get even messier. On the east coast, it can be complex to meet with countries that have eight to twelve-hour time differences, such as Shanghai, Beijing, New Delhi, Tokyo, or Sydney.