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. It will help if you switch meeting times weekly and make them more convenient for people worldwide to prevent burnout in one employee. Perhaps you can have two different meetings on one day at two different times so everybody can get a chance to participate.
It was popular to organize volunteers during election season thanks to this feature. The key to successfully working across multiple time zones is good communication and setting clear expectations is the first step. Team building might be easily overlooked or pushed to the side when working across time zones. Building relationships is vital for any thriving business, even for teams in multiple different time zones.
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These meetings should be an efficient and good use of time, so if you feel they aren’t productive, try scheduling them further apart. Having a placeholder on the calendar for the team to get together will help ensure that everyone is staying on task and has a place to come together as a team and hold each other accountable. Many companies are open to employees being within the same state or within a certain distance of the building.
For asynchronous collaboration to work, teams need clear processes and guidelines on hand at all times to get a clear direction and understanding of priorities, boundaries, and goals. With the limited opportunities for verbal communication and even virtual meetings across time zones, distributed teams need to rely on written and video records to obtain all the information. Additionally, team members can create a shared document with their work schedules highlighting no-contact hours to ensure clear boundaries are being set and respected.
Collaborating Across Different Time Zones: 5 Best Practices and Tools for Greatness
Working in an office (or with the same work hours) is filled with impromptu moments that break up your day, many of which are unwanted distractions. Other moments, like grabbing lunch with colleagues, working remotely in a different time zone are a great way to break up the day. Being able to select the best talent regardless of the location is one of the main factors that impacted the entire movement in the first place.
When you are looking for employees or business partners, it can be tough to find the right person in an industry where ‘who you know’ is just as important as what you know. By hiring remote workers, you’ll never have to worry about geographical limitations again. There’s no need to wait for a conference call or meeting to start talking when you work together from the same office. But when working with a distributed team, communicating takes more effort. There is a false perception that remote workers are lazy, taking every opportunity to slack off because nobody is watching.
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We also have a lot of tools for asynchronous, everyone-at-their-own-pace communication, including Threads, Trello and Paper. In these tools, we can log what we’ve done, what we’re doing or questions and comments we have and know that other team members can read and comment later on their own schedule. Using these tools to keep time zones top of mind makes sure that all team members have an equal opportunity to work smarter, not harder, and that they can engage or disengage when they want.
- Additionally, team members can find it harder to collaborate in an asynchronous environment, and it can take a while for them to adjust.
- The main project management tools include Trello, Basecamp, and Asana, which keep track of what everyone is working on as it progresses through the pipeline.
- Valuing the sacrifices made by other workers creates an efficient and healthy work environment.
- With the many collaboration tools we are listing below, you should be able to drastically cut down on the number of calls that are required to get the work done.
- While it may seem overkill to hire a person solely dedicated to this, it’s a mistake to think that you can simply take what was working in the office.
Have some fun with Photoshop or Canva and create a map that shows where everyone on your team is. Working remotely has its challenges, not the least of which is working across multiple time zones. A key to communicating with colleagues is knowing precisely what time it is—for everyone involved. Even for remote employees who have worked remotely for years, knowing the time difference between CEST, PDT, and other time zones may still be challenging.
The Best Way to Work with a Global Team
Even between the east and west coast of the United States, there is a three-hour time difference. Hosting an 8 AM meeting in New York City, which seems completely appropriate to start your day, would mean someone in Los Angeles needing to be up and ready to go by 5 AM. Even with a smaller difference, the morning and late afternoon meetings can be really challenging for some, especially if they are managing a family and multiple schedules. Consider meeting times that fall in the middle of the day so they fall within everyone’s normal work hours. Technology has continued to shape and develop the way we do just about everything in our daily lives.