It is important to mark your standard work hours on the team calendar along with your and your employees’ time zone to avoid any confusion about work hour availability. Developing and using a management portal that displays the timeline with important time zones can help keep track of work schedules and updates and compare them to their respective time zones. Join us as we go through common challenges of managing remote team members across time zones and five practical tips to overcome them.
Compare hours and time zones to see if you can find one hour in common each week. Google Calendar looks basic at first glance, but it’s packed with features that make it great for remote teams—or really any team. You can set your own time zone, and save the time zones you work with most to have an easy way to switch between them.
My 9 Lessons Learned For Remote Success From Across Time Zones
Even when you’re working with a colleague in the same country as you, not getting as specific as possible about dates or times can cause confusion or slow your processes. “There’s a give and take. So long as you check with the person on their preferences, it’s fine to ask. Some might even prefer to work a non-standard shift anyway,” Kelly explains. If you’re based in your office headquarters, Kelly says you should “remember that your counterparts in most international offices are accustomed to working odd shifts all the time.”
Icons/design/feather/codepen Development Frontend, backend, web and app developer jobs. Try pinning important messages make it easy for team members to sort through a mountain of messages to see what content is most important for them to catch up on. This gives everyone an idea of what’s on the itinerary and keeps meetings on track. This means that if one team member works while another is sleeping, it does not mean they can’t communicate or collaborate with each other effectively . Alternatively, Kelly says you could also consider picking a few days per week where you’ll work on another international team’s schedule entirely.
Get Specific When Discussing Dates And Times With Peers
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. Across industries, project managers are seeing a spike in demand for faster delivery, the Project Management Institute acknowledges.
For example, evaluate the duration and size of typical meetings. If there is a certain block of time in which all employees are working and availability overlaps, consider designating those as core meeting hours. For example, if you have employees across the country, perhaps the middle of the working across time zones day is best for meetings. At one point, we had an impressive (or just over-the-top) 500+ channels in Slack. From private chats to team channels, to food photos, cat photos, and more – we have a channel for it. Because Slack is always on and available, discussions can happen asynchronously.
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“Since there are people working from nearly every time zone in the world, there was always someone online to help with a problem or joke around with when you’re working,” he wrote in his book. The Couchsurfing team has a similar schedule to make sure everyone’s connected. “We have a bi-monthly full company meeting to make sure we all know we still exist,” writes designer Ben Hanna. The best job for you might not be in your hometown, and you might work better when you aren’t shackled to a 9-to-5 workday. And that’s ok on a distributed team, as long as you can manage the time shift. Your team will likely get more done, and you’ll be able to provide better support for your customers—but you’ll also need to figure out how to make the world feel a bit smaller.
But when working with a distributed team, communicating takes more effort. Here are some ways to work together as an effective global team. Managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating. For those used to working from the same time zone or physical space, considering the other person’s needs might not be a habitual way of working.
Using Outlook or Google calendar to schedule meetings will typically automatically adjust the meeting time for each participant. Try Every Time Zoneto super quickly see what time it is where all your coworkers are located. Having tools in place will take the guesswork out of figuring out someone’s time zone, and can help you avoid reaching out to someone when they’re already off the clock or out for lunch. Remote workers and companies experience lots of benefits—cost savings, less distractions, and increased productivity, to name a few.
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Asynchronous communication should be standard for remote teams, especially those with employees in different time zones. As the above example from Help Scout’s design team demonstrates, working across time zones doesn’t mean you have to work 100% asynchronously.
While it is suggested to decide a fixed day and time for meetings to avoid the confusion of complex schedule updates. Performance reviews are one of the many routine occurrences of in-person offices that seemingly dwindled as the global pandemic took hold and many employees began working remotely. In a global context, it’s probably worth your while to spend a little extra time on goal-setting, check-ins, and expectations. You want to be sure you and your direct report are on the same page about who is doing what, when, and why.
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Working across time zones is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices. One-off videos and screen captures shouldn’t be the only place that teammates can turn for information and context in real time.
Occasions will arise which will require a last-minute change of plans. Nothing can be perfect at all times, so it’s important to have a contingency plan, and to make room for bumps in the road. Delocalized teams require means of communication both asynchronous and in real-time. The latter is especially true for teams working across time zones.
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• Create a virtual “water cooler” and encourage personal chatter. This is a great way to build collaboration and cultivate a shared sense of team and connection. Typically via an internal chat system, employees can share some lighthearted banter and connect informally, even if they can’t physically meet at a break area. It may seem obvious, but team members need to actually know which time zones all team members work in. Even just juggling a few US-based time zones can get confusing when East Coasters are stepping out for lunch just as West Coasters are kicking off their day. Employees should have a clear and easy reference for each team member’s location.
- It’s important to know what times overlap so we can schedule meetings that require people from distributed teams to be in attendance.
- 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.
- Meetings, and other forms of synchronous communication, have their place.
- It also means that you’re not necessarily communicating at the same time.
Just because something seems to make a lot of sense, in theory, doesn’t mean it will go well in practice, so be prepared to adjust as you go. There are a number of software tools and solutions that make managing a remote team easier. Perhaps you’re still working out the kinks of a dispersed workforce or are realizing that the perk of being location independent isn’t something https://remotemode.net/ you’ll be able to easily take away. Regardless, here’s a crash course on how to manage workers across time zones. Working across different time zones will always be a little challenging, but if you approach it in the right way, it’s certainly not unmanageable. Once you create a system that works and get into the swing of things, you’ll find that it’s nothing you can’t handle.
There are many advantages to having a partially or fully delocalized team. However, managing a successful team spread over different time zones requires proper planning and a sound strategy. Especially if your headquarters is the place where most employees work, time zones can quickly be incorrectly assumed, and meetings can be derailed as a result. Fortunately, with right strategies, you can stay sane and healthy while you learn to navigate working with clients and employers across multiple time zones.
How Do I Manage Remote Team Members Across Multiple Time Zones?
For example, if someone works in Australia while another is located in the United States, it may be difficult to attend a meeting at the same time unless the Aussie gets up pretty early in the morning. Time zones are geographical locations where people experience similar daylight hours at any given time throughout the year. To work effectively with a remote team, you’ll need to put in the effort and build strong relationships across time zones. The difficulties of managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating.