How Our Remote Team Manages Collaboration Across 9 Time Zones

Open ‘Employee Experience Platform’ navigation menuClose ‘Employee Experience Platform’ navigation menuEmployee engagement → Understand your employees via powerful engagement, onboarding, exit & pulse survey tools. Transform your organization and build a competitive advantage by putting your culture first. 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. The fact that your team is dispersed all over the world means that you must pay special attention to keep it working as a cohesive unit.

working across time zones

Some tools can help managers and teammates have an easier time of scheduling meetings, booking flights, planning calls, etc. Keeping track of GMT, UTC, and the like is a headache, especially if no one really knows for sure when Australia jumps ahead an hour.

A sound organization is necessary to a dispersed team working like a well-oiled machine. Occasions will arise which will require a last-minute change of plans. Nothing can be perfect at all times, so it’s important to have a contingency plan, and to make room for bumps in the road. Getting organized means working to oblige people no matter the spot from where they work. It might sometimes feel like herding cats, but managerial discipline and thoughtfulness are necessary to keep a team from falling apart when working across time zones. I find a few hours of uninterrupted focus, outside my teammates’ working hours, to be really valuable, if used correctly. Being 2 to 4 hours ahead of most of my teammates and clients gives me an opportunity to have a focused work sprint before they get online in the morning.

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There are team members that have to get up early or stay up late to make this daily meeting, but it’s a small price to pay for all of the benefits of remote work. And that in many cases, real-time collaboration isn’t the best way to be productive as a team (and that real-time meetings don’t automatically equal productivity). GitLab might be the world’s largest fully distributed company with 1,400+ remote workers in 65+ countries.

  • Below are three ground rules to get you started with collaboration across time zones.
  • Thus they don’t get assignments for hours outside those they’ve agreed to work.
  • This gives everyone an idea of what’s on the itinerary and keeps meetings on track.
  • 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.
  • I find a few hours of uninterrupted focus, outside my teammates’ working hours, to be really valuable, if used correctly.

It is the simple act of a confused time zone that can lead to major issues such as missed interviews, overdue projects, and more. This allows you to work on projects and products continuously, passing them off to other team members when your workday is over.

Leaning into async practices and collaboration tools, as well as building and nurturing relationships across distances. Megan Wheeler, leadership trainer at LifeLabs, shares best practices for remote work – including a checklist you can use to optimize the WFH experience. Check out our menu of Career Services provided by our team of certified professionals, including resume and career coaching services for remote jobseekers. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts for both company and client campaigns.

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Share these with the team, so everyone knows when it’s okay to dish work and when it’s not. Teams can collaborate to meet deadlines without the need for overtime or late-night shifts. Employees in one time zone can hand off semi-completed projects for coworkers to finish in the next. This way, team members can explain their ideas as they show their work on Sketch or InVision without the need for a real-time meeting.

working across time zones

It makes the information easier to digest for anyone watching it in their own time—including visual learners, those who need to pause and process information, working across time zones or people who want to take notes from a slide deck. The other side of sharing your wins, is that your teammates can help you celebrate them.

Organise Your Time Responsibly

Engineering teams, in particular, requiredifferent types of meetings along various stages. At the same time, whenever you’re in a meeting you’re technically not getting anyfocusedwork done. Despiteattempts to reinvent time zonesto make it easier for everyone around the world, we still can’t seem to come to a universal agreement. Generally, this isn’t too much of a problem as everyone understands the time zones in their region.

  • Technology has advanced leaps and bounds and now working remotely or from different locations is hardly an issue.
  • While it can be challenging to manage a distributed team, fully remote companies have many benefits.
  • Keep a dialog open about work-life boundaries and communication windows.
  • Such tools will help your team stay connected but also offer the ability of all your team members to keep everyone updated as to progress or the task at hand.

If you have recurring team or department meetings, change up the time every so often to avoid inconveniencing the same employees for too long. You can rotate meeting times so that some employees have to meet earlier (7 to 8 a.m.) or later (5 to 7 p.m.) for their time zone and can all share in the burden of having a less desirable meeting time temporarily. If you are looking to harness the global pool of talent and hire remote developers for various profiles in your company then you must sign up with a jobs matching platform like Turing.

You’ll have early birds, night owls, and employees who fall somewhere in between. You may also have team members who like working split shifts, where they work part of the morning, take time off to run errands or pick up their kids from school, then continue working at night. Customers, contacts, and colleagues — instantly build better relationships no matter where or when you work using async video communication. Please note that if one of the participants are in the United Kingdom, you should select a city there (e.g. London), instead of UTC / GMT. London/UK is one hour ahead of GMT during daylight saving time and this service will adjust for DST automatically. Remote employees not just save on commuting costs but also on theopportunity costsof the time they spend commuting and the stress they incur during their travels to and from work.

Respect Others Working Hours

To successfully utilize key principles of asynchronous communication to their advantage, distributed teams need to prioritize efficient, written communication. When working on a report, for example, globally distributed teammates won’t necessarily have the opportunity to ping a coworker and get the missing info right away. This is why it’s paramount to keep detailed written records of all the processes and projects. Make sure to always assess each document, guide, or message for clarity. Also, ensure every person involved has the right admin access to avoid late-night calls, hold-ups, and rescheduling.

She also produces videos with artists about their work and processes, and conducts live interviews with creators. It can also be rewarding for the individuals involved, who are each able to build a routine and a schedule that works for their own situation.

  • This will let employees in one part of the world experience a different schedule, and you might even find that it works better for everyone.
  • Remote teams are more productive when teammates have overlapping time zones vs opposite time zones.
  • Unless there’s an urgent issue, be mindful about contacting team members when they’re off work, even if it’s just by email.

In a physical office setting, personalities, idiosyncrasies, and preferences come into play for both productivity and atmosphere. For a team with some remote members, it can be difficult to accommodate people who aren’t in-house. A team solely made up of delocalized employees, it can be even harder to find a rallying point for everyone. If you can bear a slight difference in time zones, Brazil is a remarkable option, with the local time zone being only 1 hour ahead of EST.

By setting a clear expectation that communication won’t happen in real-time, you can take the pressure of people in different time zones to be “on-call”. Remote companies that embrace multiple time zones must rely on asynchronous communication. For background, async communication happens when information is exchanged without the expectation of an immediate response. Spell out your location in introductions, or speak up when a team is setting up recurring meetings. It’s all part of the challenges of working in different time zones, but it’s easily resolvable.

Communicate Clearly About Timezone Boundaries With Your Team

There are a lot of benefits to be gained from such diverse teams and here are just a few of those advantages. Global teams are incredibly beneficial, in fact, studies predict that by 2022, 75% of businesses that employ diverse front-line decision-makers will be able to exceed the financial targets they set. At Zapier, we’ve formalized communications about what we’re working on with a Friday update post that lists our top priority for the week and what progress we made on it. Each of those live in Async—an in-house tool that gives everyone a set place to write anything they need to share with the entire team and forces us to “work in public.” No matter how independently you can work, and how hard you try to stay connected, you won’t be in the flow of what everyone’s doing unless you have a team chat tool. “At TechCrunch and The Next Web, having a central point of contact is critical,” says Russell.

  • Teams can still work effectively and in an efficient, coordinated manner across time zones and distances with the aid of technology, smart business practices and some creativity.
  • Of course, if you can’t afford to fly your entire team to a location very often, you can turn to virtual team-building events to keep up the team spirit in the meantime.
  • But it’s also critical that you make time to understand what they can manage.
  • This is because your environment, including where you live, impacts the work you do and how you work.
  • Mark these hours out in your public calendar or agenda, so that colleagues know when it’s appropriate to get hold of you for a quick video call or to clarify a point.

There may be delays in communication and response times, which means you can’t always expect real-time conversations and results. These are all positive developments and are applicable skills for managing employees over greater distances, too. Create safety for learning.There are always limits to our knowledge around work. But acknowledgment that the whole team is learning creates a safe climate for someone to admit when they do not know something. Imposter syndrome is normal when challenged to increase our skills and knowledge, but hiding areas for growth makes it much more difficult to develop professionally. Top 8 Strategies on How to Manage Developers Remotely Even though the concept of remote work is not new, it took a pandemic for people to actually leverage its benefits… Top 10 Tips on How to Hire Back-End Developers in 2022 With market competitiveness at an all-time high, back-end teams are being challenged to provide solid solutions that improve efficiency…

How We Manage A Team Across 9 Time Zones

Remote teams in opposite time zones can be detrimental to the success of companies that require a great deal of collaboration amongst teams. Meanwhile, time zone overlap is the silver lining that allows companies to hire a workforce from different geographical locations while maintaining seamless communication. Below, you’ll learn about the hassle of working in opposite time zones and why time zone overlap should be a consideration when you’re hiring workers for remote jobs. In this article, we’ll tackle the biggest struggles for those who have freelance jobs online, or any professional who has been freelancing remotely for years. In working with distributed teams in different time zones, you have to be prepared to be flexible, accommodating and always on top of changing clocks, global holidays and miscalculations. To learn more about key aspects of working with international or remote teams, check out these blog posts on hosting virtual meetings, working with global teammates, and international communication tips. When working within different time zones, it is very important to be mindful of your teammates’ time zone.

working across time zones

In his spare time, he runs a YouTube channel, podcast, and blog focused on strategy and management. We’re Himalayas, a remote job board, that is focused on providing the best experience for remote job seekers and employers. Many Heads of Remote will spend time in both worlds, improving the internal experience while advocating for remote-first beyond the organization. But the biggest benefit might be how much it cuts off onboarding new employees who can simply read the archives and get up to speed on key decisions, culture, and work styles. Icons/design/feather/breakout chart Marketing Advertising, digital marketing and brand management jobs.

By now, you should know that working remotely in different time zones comes with its fair share of complications and shortcomings. Many companies are hesitant to hire remote employees because of the perceived challenges in communication. However, the Brazilian workforce has a considerable English proficiency rating, making communication a breeze. With everyone on the same page and immediately available for correspondence, teams can easily move tasks forward without any delays. It also eliminates the need for long email chains or messages in chat apps, which are time-consuming at best and unproductive at worst.

Reassess what constitutes a successful meeting in a working environment with dispersed employees in different time zones. When you schedule meetings and send meeting invitations, clarify the time zone in which the meeting takes place. However when meetings do occur, use those opportunities to deepen connections. Agree on documentation practices.Clear documentation processes and information are vital to working across time zones and communicating asynchronously. Consistent documentation allows your team to become more self-reliant and provides an efficient flow of information to an outcome.

Thankfully, there are a host of tools and best practices that can help you to get around this challenge with ease. These help boost productivity through efficient management of the team. It is important for managers to have a streamlined process for the various frameworks that can help them to scale up the company’s objectives. When you are hiring remote developers for your company’s requirements, it is important to communicate the challenges of working in a remote environment with potential candidates. So you would need to be transparent about the overlapping time zones, mandatory syncs with the team members, and working independently on projects for which the developers have to take ownership and responsibility. Video chats also come into play during our new hire onboarding process.

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