How to work effectively across time zones

You will know what the local time is if you’re trying to video chat with your coworker in Bali or Paris. Visuals can help a lot when people are trying to understand the time differences. Have some fun with Photoshop or Canva and create a map that shows where everyone on your team is. Team members will adapt quickly to any of the communication tools you choose, but even if they are chatting via Slack all day, it’s important to have some time set aside once a week or twice a month to check in.

  • With all of the applications and tools available, time zone differences may cause a lot of confusion among individuals who operate across time zones.
  • It’s a great collaboration and communication tool for teams that are all over the place.
  • The ability to hand off work is a productivity benefit, but it’s also motivator since you know you must accomplish tasks so you can hand them off to co-workers at day’s end.
  • Aside from the few weeks every year when we’re all together at our company retreats, there’s always someone at Zapier awake and working.
  • But simply learning how to identify key variables that affect your productivity within a certain time zone and region will allow you to create a strategy to enjoy your remote position fully.
  • It can also be helpful to allow your team members to set certain times as ‘off-limits’ for meetings.

To make a remote team function, there is a need for a clear communication strategy to be established. This can be a very challenging task especially when everyone is scattered around the world, speaking different languages and cultural differences. Enforcing and executing assigned tasks where there isn’t proper effective communication can be a daunting experience.

Working Across Time Zones: Best Practices and Tools

But it doesn’t have to be that way if you organize your team and schedule your projects around the time zones of everyone on it. Asynchronous communication means working without being in direct contact with people, such as through email, online chat, or by sending video messages such as Loom videos. If your team works in different time zones, then you will need to communicate asynchronously most of the time. Managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating.

Juggling Time Zones for Work? These Tools Can Help – The Wall Street Journal

Juggling Time Zones for Work? These Tools Can Help.

Posted: Sun, 12 Feb 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

If left unattended, this malpractice can take root and degenerate further into team silos. Similarly, working across time zones is beneficial to companies on a larger, operational level. Having distributed teams working across time zones essentially implies round-the-clock workflow. Companies employing diverse teams spanning multiple time zones enjoy complete time zone coverage.

Working Across Time Zones: Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

By setting clear expectations, you won’t be faced with unwelcome surprises in the future. Now that we’ve covered the shift to more remote work, let’s look at some of the ways that you can help your remote team members and yourself effectively work across various time zones and locations. With teams expanding to numerous locations, there is a greater need to understand how to build relationships specific to a dispersed team structure. Workplaceless is committed to helping multi-time zone teams through learning and facilitation through our remote work training programs. Team building might be easily overlooked or pushed to the side when working across time zones.

To be productive and efficient when working across time zones, you should be respectful, organized, and adaptable. We have put a lit of our best pointers and practices to help you get through your intercontinental workday by working remotely in different time zones. It can also be helpful to allow your team members to set certain times as ‘off-limits’ for meetings. For example, you could set a rule that no-one will be forced to attend meetings between 11 pm and 7 am.

Schedule any meetings during the times everyone can attend

GitLab might be the world’s largest fully distributed company with 1,400+ remote workers in 65+ countries. More than 30 million users and 100,000 organizations from startups to global enterprise organizations use GitLab to deliver great software at new speeds. The Head of Remote position sits on the organization’s leadership team and is responsible for building and maintaining remote company culture and employee experience.

working across time zones

In this blog, I will talk about a few ways in which you can manage communications with colleagues in different parts of the world, making working across multiple time zones easier. To maximize their procedures and general culture, internationally distributed teams typically choose asynchronous collaboration as their preferred approach. This is not unexpected considering that the adaptability of asynchronous collaboration is the appropriate solution to the issues of time zone management. Speaking of connection among teammates, working across time zones makes it almost impossible to keep the team spirit and social engagement up. Almost by definition, remote work tends to facilitate isolation among team members, and the matter only gets worse once we add the time zone dimension to the equation.

Some of us do our best work late at night, while others prefer to get up early and spend the late afternoons away from the desk. And while some metropolitan areas offer certain lifestyle perks, other big-city issues—like high costs-of-living—will drive potential employees away. There are many features of the world that I simply cannot wrap my head around, and one of these has always been time zones.

  • Similarly, the rest of the team should be comfortable working autonomously with minimum instruction and interference to ensure maximum productivity.
  • This shared document can live in a project management tool or document storage location for the whole team to reference as needed.
  • The constant threat of earthquakes has led Japan to develop one of the world’s most sophisticated tsunami warning systems.
  • Nobody said that working in different time zones is effortless, painless, and does not need sacrifices.
  • Doing so will let you take advantage of the significant positive impacts of building a multi-national, diverse, and inclusive workforce.

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