How To Manage A Team Across Different Time Zones

This helps your team in other parts of the world align the outlined time zone with theirs. Failing to clarify your expected time due to time zone boundaries can create confusion about submission dates, conference meeting time, and possibly, damage your entire strategy. Acknowledging the challenges faced with managing remote team members across time zones is the first step to overcoming them. Nevertheless, there are two sides to the same coin, and working with distributed teams also brings with it its challenges—one of which being how to manage them across time zones.

working across time zones

As the saying goes in the United States, “Spring forward. Fall back.” Remote workers can come from anywhere in the world, which means they have unique perspectives to share with their colleagues. This is great for increasing creativity and innovation within your company. You’ll also want each team member working from a private space with minimal distractions . If colleagues are close by, try asking them to work together at one desk so they can easily collaborate on projects as necessary. A designated point of contact in one time zone will be responsible for sharing updates, information, feedback, meeting notes, etc., with a designated point of contact in a different time zone. Team leaders can assign tasks here, add resources (like spreadsheets, mockups, slides, etc.), and set deadlines.

Get Asynchronous Communication Right

This may work better for colleagues who want a more regular schedule to fit in with family commitments. Sometimes you need to know how time zones fit in with each other—that’s where World Time Zone comes in.

  • 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.
  • The ability to see what others are saying not only gives you insight to how others are working—something you might glean by working together—but it also enables the more fun aspects of working in a team.
  • Zapier are on a mission to make automation easy and accessible to everyone at work.

Access innovative business ideas fueled by psychology and data science to create a better world of work. Transform your organization and build a competitive advantage by putting your culture first. You won’t see distant employees as often and certainly not without intention. Fill out the form and one of our representatives will contact you within one business day. Essentially you’re working solely on one initiative in your queue for twenty minutes straight , and then you give yourself a five-minute break.

Experiment With Schedules

For instance, if a sales rep closes a sale and hands off the client to customer service, the customer service rep needs to know the details of the sale and the previous communication the client has had. Working remotely means you don’t have the luxury of calling a quick team standup meeting or walking over to your co-worker’s desk to ask a quick question. However, when done right, remote work can actually enhance your team’s collaboration and the overall working across time zones level of communication. Managing a remote team, especially a highly distributed one, often makes us forget that we need to maintain the relationships between the teammates. A team is a small family; each member should know at least a little about the others – e.g., what are they responsible for or what’s essential for a successful remote team up – their availability. Employees that work in different countries know their local markets the best.

Founded in 2011, Help Scout has been a fully remote company from day 1 and is powering 12,000+ teams in 140+ countries. While it may seem strange to let people work at all times of the day, you’re already going to be doing that indirectly by working across time zones. 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. It was first suggested by Andreas Klinger, CTO at On Deck, and pioneered by GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and Darren Murph.

Limited Opportunities For Employee Effort Recognition

With the time on my calendar, strategy demanded that I don’t ignore and deprioritize it for more “quick-wins.” It validates the legitimacy of doing work that doesn’t always have an output. If a teammate requests feedback from me, I record myself and my screen to save time typing long, convoluted paragraphs.

  • When you’re working with a distributed global team, communication, coordination, and collaboration are crucial to successful operations.
  • Luckily, there are many scheduling software tools on the market that help automate this process.
  • Therefore, any amount of time difference can be used as an advantage for distributed teams, considering it gives employees time to work undistracted.
  • Whether your meeting is in work time or after hours, it’s important to be mindful about scheduling these events.

Misunderstandings are expected when working remotely; however, it’s easy to avoid them introducing unified communication guidelines for the entire team. A common stereotype closely connected to the over-the-shoulder management mentioned above.

How To Manage A Team Across Different Time Zones

It’s important to create a sense of community and culture beyond borders. Thanks to conference calling and video chat, this can be fostered through social meetings.

Cohesion in a teamis the invisible force behind highly performing teams that impacts performance, engagement and well-being of team members. It is multidimensional, dynamic in nature and is based on a shared purpose of a goal or a sense of belonging. While it is suggested to decide a fixed day and time for meetings to avoid the confusion of complex schedule updates. Managing Distributed Teams Why operationalizing distributed work means going beyond just technology Creating an effective remote work environment for your team. Managing Distributed Teams Managing your operational expenses for remote workers Better manage your business expenses to pay remote workers. It’s harder to get to know team members when everyone doesn’t work in the same office, not to mention in the same time zone.

Tips For Working With Teammates In Different Timezones

Or, this could mean that you develop a virtual team meeting schedule that fits within everyone’s active work hours — rather than making some teammates call in late at night or in the early morning. As a hardworking employee located farther away from your company’s office, you might find feel pressure to say yes to every meeting you’re invited to. Additionally, you might also find it hard to say no to meetings — or suggest other times — for meetings scheduled outside of your regular working hours. When international collaboration is done poorly, you might run into frustration from colleagues, all sorts of misalignment, and a sense of personal and professional disconnection across teams. These negatives aren’t helpful for retaining employees or building a positive company culture. Email communication is always important, but it’s not always personal or the best way to connect with your teams. Cloud solutions like video conferencing software, Slack channels, and project management platforms can take your team communication to the next level.

working across time zones

If a meeting is necessary, make attendance optional so you’re not asking teammates to stay up late to get up early. If it’s recurring and unavoidable , try to schedule meeting times so that the burden is shared across the team rather than by the same people each week. Working in a global team spread across time zones means embracing a remote-first, not a remote-friendly, culture. 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. We often assume when we’re talking to someone new that they’re in the same time zone as us. When scheduling a meeting or call with remote team members, make sure to ask them what time zone they are in so that you can account for any time difference with their local time when you schedule.

If You Must Send An Unscheduled Message, Be Patient

Thus, setting weekly objectives can help keep the workflow going, irrespective of different time zones. But, did you plan on how to manage teams and different employees located in various parts of the world? Having a team spread across different countries can give you access to new markets and high business reach, but only if you can successfully manage different employees of your team; located all over the world. However, when you’re managing remote team members, not all communication happens in real-time. Being respectful of your remote team members’ office hours may equate to less synchronous communication.

working across time zones

Balancing a global organization with employees working from different locations from all over the world can be challenging to say the least. Nevertheless, a well-strategized work culture that successfully manages work hours of different time zones, can conclusively mark massive growth for your company. Also, remember to be very specific with time zones while marking details for scheduled meetings, deadlines, or in any random project discussion.

Leverage Tools To Help With Time Zone Management

This also creates diverse teams that contribute unique viewpoints and backgrounds which, according to aMcKinsey report, can lead to performance returns above the industry mean. In a traditional, physical office space, it is easier for a newly joined employee to adapt to work culture. This is because there are other teammates around to help guide them as needed. In contrast, in a remote work environment, you need to dedicate specific separate time to help newly hired employees understand and adapt to the work culture.

Behavioral And Technical Interview Questions Asked By Top Tech Companies

Proving to be a driving force in all aspects of his performance, Sam brings over 25 years of experience in commercial risk management to the table. Four years after joining the company, Sam assumed shared responsibility for the daily management of personnel, client relations and operations. He dedicates every day to help reach his team’s dreams of building a path for their career growth as they continually strive to meet and exceed client’s needs and expectations. With more employees working remotely following the pandemic, teams are more dispersed than ever.

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