6 Best Practices for Working With Teams in Different Time Zones

In addition to removing the time constraint of the traditional synchronous approach, the asynchronous method, ideally, ensures communication records remain at hand. Diversity and inclusion drive innovation and positively impact overall business targets within remote companies that span across time zones. Organizations employing culturally diverse staff, especially in the higher management positions, tend to escape the echo-chamber effect and conformity since they are exposed to multiple perspectives and viewpoints. Understandably, this approach largely supports innovation and ultimately leads to more profit in the long run.

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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. Developers, perhaps, have it the easiest with code comments and pull requests, but everyone should share what’s happening in their own “manager of one” domain. To work effectively with a time shift, you’ll also need to work in public. In other words, communicate, and make https://remotemode.net/blog/10-tips-on-working-in-different-time-zones/ sure everyone knows what you’re working on. Every employee is also assigned a random “pair partner” each week— that means we’ll jump on a call with one of our colleagues just see how things are going, and perhaps work together on a cross-team project. Staying up a bit late or getting up an hour earlier isn’t a bad tradeoff for a job you love, but how about 2 a.m.?

– Building Blocks of Hybrid Collaboration

Little did I know at the time, I booked every appointment for eastern time (Florida) when I live in the central time zone (Texas). To avoid team blockers related to timezones, one thing Susanne Ronnqvist Ahmadi, HubSpot’s Vice President of International Marketing, says you should aim to have a flexible schedule at certain points of the day. When you’re working remotely or in a different location from other team members, you can’t easily turn to them, ask a question, or make conversation.

Pick up the phone and talk it out if you need something done quickly or want your coworker to make a choice right away. These moments will strengthen your team’s bond, making working remotely more productive. Synchronous communication, or real-time communication between teams, is still necessary for team development, bonding, brainstorming, and celebrating project achievements. No one should feel compelled to be alert when working remotely constantly. Employees who do not establish clear work boundaries risk burning out, which negatively impacts the entire team’s productivity, creativity, and collaboration.

Promote Virtual Watercooler Conversations

As much as it’s important to keep a strong bond between remote coworkers through continual communication and real-time collaboration, there’s also a strong case for the asynchronous, no-distraction work. This is especially true for creative work that requires maximum focus. We’re familiar with the premise that it takes around 25 minutes to resume your workflow flow after an interruption. Therefore, any amount of time difference can be used as an advantage for distributed teams, considering it gives employees time to work undistracted. With all of the applications and tools available, time zone differences may cause a lot of confusion among individuals who operate across time zones. Teams employing a globally distributed workforce should pay special attention to learning and optimizing for different cultural specifics.

  • This wouldn’t need to be a daily task, but maybe just pick one day and everyone enter it so there is a visual the whole team can use until they get the hang of it.
  • Remember, too little information could result in a day of wasted work as they wait for an answer.
  • If it’s recurring and unavoidable (and it often will be), try to schedule meeting times so that the burden is shared across the team rather than by the same people each week.
  • Building an asynchronous culture can seem intimidating but you’ll need to if you plan to work across time zones.
  • Asynchronous communication (“async”) is when information is sent at separate times with a delay in between.

Always, always include time zones and dates when talking about & setting meetings. Do not ever assume that the other person knows what you are talking about. You’d also be very popular if you propose meeting times in the other person’s time zone so they don’t have to do the conversion.

Tips for Hosting a Virtual Brainstorm, According to HubSpot Marketing Managers

This approach eliminates the challenges of coordinating schedules across multiple time zones. It also significantly reduces distractions from messaging notifications during and outside of work hours, allowing team members to focus on their tasks, be more productive, and achieve a better work-life balance. 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. When working with teams in different time zones, it’s also worth considering how you can automate processes to maximize employees’ productivity. Consider which time-consuming background tasks could be suitable for AI to make the most of your international team’s time.

working across multiple time zones

The best way to keep things going well is to be occupied and busy only 80-90% of your working hours so that you have enough time to plan, think, organize and breathe. Maximize your workplace performance with this free guide and set of four templates. “Alternatively, you can also block the time at the end of the day with a private reminder that says, “Go home now, you’ve been here since 6 am,” Kelly adds. “One danger of my job, as a columnist who works in California, is a feeling of disconnection from the mother ship in New York,” writes technology columnist Farhad Manjoo.

Face-to-face time will help professional relationships develop, and rapports form. Working with a distributed team can be challenging at first because it’s difficult to build the kind of rapport that comes naturally when working in an office setting. It takes extra effort for remote teams to stay on task without face-to-face communication. Splitting your hourly schedule around your team’s timezones allows you to be more available for meetings or quick communication with your international colleagues without ignoring the colleagues in your office. It will also ensure that you’re available to your international department without needing to stay up all hours of the day.

  • Finally, you’ll want to adopt the habit of scheduling team meetings at optimal times for everyone.
  • With 24% of remote workers reporting feelings of loneliness, being mindful of inclusion can go a long way to keeping your colleagues invested and happy at work.
  • Plus, each department has a weekly video call to map out that week’s work, and every Thursday we’ll have an all-hands call in order to get everyone together.
  • A broad team that spans multiple time zones also spans a variety of regions that often have distinctive cultures, points out Erhard.
  • Next, use these suggestions to help your team communicate more effectively while working remotely.
  • For synchronous, everyone-at-the-same-time communication, we use Slack for written chats and Zoom for video chats.

Mountain Standard Time (MST) spans Utah’s Rocky Mountains all the way over to Arizona, and Pacific Standard Time (PST) includes California and Nevada to Washington State. You’ll also want each team member working from a private space with minimal distractions (a quiet office or home office). If colleagues are close by, try asking them to work together at one desk so they can easily collaborate on projects as necessary. Be very sensitive to cultural differences around work, time off, and holidays. I spent a week in Florida in February collecting seashells, eating the best doughnuts in existence, and reading at least a book a day.

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© Copyright QGest 2021 – P.IVA 03799910751 – Powered by Envision