Okay, my next tip is to get in the habit of double-checking your times. If you’re going to work with global teams, it just happens even to the best of us. Even though I double-check and I’m constantly aware of it and I’m supposedly a pro, even I get time zones wrong every once in a while. That’s a very simple time zone check that you can do with yourself in just one other time.
- Slack has a number of apps that can help you run polls, or there are free websites you can use (Doodle is one I use all the time).
- When scheduling a conference or call with remote team members, ask them what time zone they are in so that you can account for any time difference with their local time.
- “For us to speak at the same time, someone would have to be miserable.”
- Make sure to always assess each document, guide, or message for clarity.
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- You can’t just be aware of time zones, you need to construct a company where time zones are at the core of every internal operation.
This can be through phone calls, video chats or even using an instant messaging platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams. If your team works in different time zones, then you will need to communicate asynchronously most of the time. If so, then you know the challenges in staying on the same page that come with working remotely. “Be ready to jump on a call/video-call without having to schedule a time for it,” Ronnqvist Ahmadi advises.
Use polls to choose meeting times
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. 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. That way, they’ll be able to keep the project moving along once they’re back online, or have enough information to know a face-to-face meeting is needed.
You can keep this information securely on the cloud or the company intranet. With website personalization, you can even make certain approved documents into a public resource that customers can access as part of a self-service help platform. Our website is built to provide a faster, more engaging experience.
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For even easier access, add the clock widget to one of your phone’s home screens. The days of having three different clocks hanging on your wall are over. Now, you can have them displayed on Google Calendar whenever you’re planning your week. On the web (not on mobile, sorry), click the cog icon (top right), then Settings and Show world clock to configure one or more world clocks that will be visible on the left-hand side of the calendar interface. 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.
But scheduling meetings across time zones is still necessary for many people. Here are the tips you need to make it easier — and less error-prone — than ever. If each of your international teams keeps a 9-to-5 schedule in their own time zone, it could be impossible to communicate directly with some of them. Instead, experiment with different shifts to keep the conversation flowing between teams. Options could include one or more days per week on which employees work a half-day in the office, then remotely at night or early in the morning.
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“The hardest thing to do is to make sure you don’t end up working 12-hour days routinely,” Kelly notes. While creating processes that allow employees to work in different timezones is logistically beneficial, on a deeper level, it also makes it easier for diverse global talent to join your team. And if you want to learn more about how you can work from anywhere, visit collaborationsuperpowers.com, a website full of tips and best practices for the practical remote worker. The meeting invite will then be updated with the correct time for each person’s time zone. Slack has a number of apps that can help you run polls, or there are free websites you can use (Doodle is one I use all the time).
This will ensure all your colleagues can attend and participate in discussions without having to be up early or stay up late. To work more efficiently with distributed teams, you need to treat your team like they are all working together in one office building. While this may not be possible, it is the mindset you need to adopt to organize your time and responsibilities. This is easy for teams that work with people across two or three time zones that are all next to each other. However, it becomes more complicated when working with a global workforce (people who work on opposite sides of the world).
When referring to a specific time, everyone reading your message needs to be aware of it. Rather than working the same number of hours consecutively, split your shift into two. Async communication, on the other hand, refers to sending information at different times and delaying the delivery. Examples would be sending an email or leaving a voice message for them to respond to whenever it’s convenient for them. Furthermore, some of the best practices for holding productive virtual team meetings include having a shared goal and describing what you expect to accomplish. When working with teams in different time zones, the most important thing to remember is to be mindful, empathic, and courteous.
- When it comes to delegating assignments, managers should always clearly communicate deadlines and explicitly state both their and the employee’s time zone to eliminate any confusion.
- You need to respect the different work styles, preferences, and cultures of your team members, and avoid imposing your own norms and expectations.
- Trello, Basecamp, and Asana are project management tools that keep track of what everyone is working on as it progresses through the pipeline.
Probably one of the most talked-about challenges of working in different time zones is the effort it takes to schedule meetings. It can get overwhelming trying to set up a time that works for everyone. It’s important to understand the cultural norms and traditions of the countries in which your company has remote workers.
Tech tips for working with people in different time zones
With the available tools and services, it’s possible to have a team that spans the planet. Google Calendar, Slack, email, and Zoom are tools that help us stay connected across offices. By being aware of times and locations and working remotely in a different time zone good communication, companies can become global workforces, working together no matter where they are. The best way to be mindful of different time zones is to disregard time entirely and rely on asynchronous communication.
I try my best to frame the annotations so that someone who isn’t familiar with our codebase can understand the intent behind my change. The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce.