6 Best Practices for Working With Teams in Different Time Zones

Switch it up so each personality type has a chance to participate and have some fun. Plus you can play trivia games, host movie-watching parties, and take a virtual cooking class or cocktail mixing class together. Many companies are open to employees being within the same state or within a certain distance of the building. That could be fostered through social meetings thanks to video chat and conference calls. Consider milestones successfully met, celebrations of team birthdays, and weekly virtual water-cooler conversations.

  • A complete remote organisation cannot rely on many of these shared experiences and physical venues to help create our culture as a totally distributed organisation.
  • Conducting meetings for a group of 10 or more busy individuals may be difficult; doing so for a globally scattered team in multiple time zones can be plain terrifying.

Working and collaborating with a team with different locations and time zones can pose its own challenges compared to the traditional way that we all know. Remember that to make this way of working successful, you will need a healthy mix of flexibility, understanding, and an agile approach. On-the-fly collaboration tends to occur less frequently when working across time zones, https://remotemode.net/ but the right tools can change that. For example, implementing a virtual project management platform can help teams coordinate assignments, track individuals’ progress on tasks, and boost overall efficiency. 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.

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It is equally important for managers to schedule meetings within their teams’ working hours. Be sure that your entire team is able to find times that work for all of them. Make sure you don’t let your dispersed team members hop on a call at 7 am just because it’s convenient for you.

  • Version control systems are software tools that help developers track changes to their codebase and collaborate on software development projects.
  • If left unattended, this malpractice can take root and degenerate further into team silos.
  • The goal is to figure out what rules and expectations are going to be necessary to make this work for you and your team.
  • When it comes to quick communication some tools, like Slack, will even give you a notification before or after you send a message stating which timezone your recipient is in.
  • The lack of physical presence makes it easier for remote workers to lose connection with their team.

Instead of settling for local talent, remote workers give your company access to the best people in the world no matter where they are located. To work more efficiently with distributed teams, you need to treat your team like they are all working together in one office building. While this may not be possible, it is the mindset you need to adopt to organize your time and responsibilities. To work effectively with a remote team, you’ll need to put in the effort and build strong relationships across time zones.

Understanding the Challenges of Remote Work Across Time Zones

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.

As a result, you’ll be able to close any cultural communication gaps, which will lead to a more respectful and productive work environment. Suppose you work in one country but half your team is located in another. Consider working a half-day at the office and then working remotely one or more days a week at night or early in the morning. Often called split shifts, this involves working part of the day during your time zone, then working part of the day during the time zone of another team. If you are headed towards the popular remote work destination of Southeast Asia, digital nomad hub cities there, like Bangkok, are six hours ahead of GMT (London).

Challenges of working across time zones

And the vast majority of the studies came to the same conclusion – flexibility and freedom offered within the approach largely impact productivity in the virtual workplace. A 2020 Statista study shows 73% of respondents reported feeling more efficient working outside the office. A general lack of distractions, in addition to reduced commute time and the overall comfort of the home or other chosen work environment, have made the significant productivity boost possible. And, as the pandemic is dying out, and companies are issuing the return-to-the-office memos, it’s pretty much business as usual for teams working across time zones. These benefits aren’t going away with the pandemic for teams operating in international virtual offices. When it comes to the challenges of working in different time zones, team task management promotes collaboration between teams without expecting either of them to work solely antisocial hours.

Let’s explore the tools that enable teams to navigate time zones effortlessly. From world clocks and time zone converters to calendar integration for seamless adjustments, these tools facilitate seamless adjustments and enhance remote collaboration. It’s no surprise that an employee’s work environment and office working remotely in a different time zone setup will have a dramatic effect on their output. Make sure your team members have an equipped workspace that will help them maintain a high level of productivity. Many remote companies go the extra mile these days and provide a stipend for a standing desk, ergonomic chair, and other essential office gear.

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. 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. It’s not all 9-5 anymore with remote teams, with some works preferring to wake up in the early morning to get a head start before the day begins, and others starting late but working in the evening. When you meet frequently with the same people, take time to understand when they work remotely. Finally, you’ll want to adopt the habit of scheduling team meetings at optimal times for everyone.

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