Working Across Multiple Time Zones as a Remote Team

Working Across Multiple Time Zones as a Remote Team

Working remotely in a different time zone than your team can be a rewarding and challenging experience. You can enjoy more flexibility, autonomy, and diversity, but you also need to overcome some obstacles, such as communication, collaboration, and productivity. In this article, you will learn some of the benefits and challenges of working remotely in a different time zone, and some tips on how to make it work for you and your team. Working remotely in a different time zone presents distinct issues not seen in more standard work structures. Because the benefits exceed the negatives, it’s worth investigating the best team practices outlined above for successful working across time zones.

They will assist you in developing the ideal combination of flexibility, asynchronous work, and an inclusive mentality to propel your remote team to continuous success. Teams that operate remotely and across time zones miss out on the spontaneous conversations that co-workers in the office are accustomed to. The social separation can result in various productivity and personal challenges that can wreak havoc on your business over time. As more businesses go remote, a new wave of businesses is focusing on honing the art of working as a globally distributed workforce.

Use Time Zone Converters

You may want to consider timing your booster around events like holidays or travel plans when you’ll be at higher risk. Along with older people, infants under 6 months – who are too young for the shots – had the highest rates of hospitalization from COVID, according to the CDC. So the best way to protect these youngest ones is to vaccinate those around them, says Dr. Tina Tan, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. While a CDC analysis found that kids ages 5 to 17 were much less likely to get very ill from COVID compared to other age groups, kids do sometimes get severely ill, even those with no underlying medical conditions.

working remotely in a different time zone

“For us to speak at the same time, someone would have to be miserable.” “A remote work environment should encourage performance—not presence,” says entrepreneur Neil Patel. Then, you won’t have to worry about time off and how many hours people are working. Fried and Heinemeier Hansson offer another upside to remote work in their book on the topic.

Prep before meetings.

This isn’t how high-performing remote teams working remotely collaborate. The manager in my group was stressed because she was having to discipline an outstanding employee for not being truthful on their residential location. As we know from decades of research managing large teams is extremely challenging.

One is legal and regulatory, and these barriers may take time to work around. Many firms sent employees home in a hurry in 2020, deciding to keep them on the same pay rate. This meant remote employees ended up being tethered to the pay-scales of their former offices as they migrated around. Starting with async standups via Slack or weekly progress reports from team leads through recorded video messages, you can get started.

Make use of asynchronous work

Switching to a fully remote set up definitely took some time to get used to. This might mean taking breaks throughout the day to stretch, meditate, or exercise, and setting aside time for hobbies and other non-work related activities. Finally, another important aspect is establishing a dedicated workspace and avoiding working from your bed or couch. By creating a physical separation between work and home life, you can help to maintain a healthy balance and avoid burnout. To overcome this substantial obstacle, it’s important to utilize technology to its fullest potential. This might mean using instant messaging platforms like Slack or Skype to stay in touch throughout the day or scheduling regular check-ins to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

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Maintaining open lines of communication and a positive attitude can go a long way in building strong relationships with your colleagues. As a remote worker, I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing clients and colleagues worldwide. But there were times that I really struggled with the time zone difference. Timezone messages like the one above can help you be mindful of what to send when to send it, and if your message is urgent enough to send as soon as possible. For example, if you have a few messages you want to send, but notice it’s 9 p.m. In another employee’s timezone, you might either want to avoid sending til the morning or schedule an email.

Establish asynchronous communication

For instance, tell those working in New York City that when they’re eating lunch, you’re eating dinner in Barcelona. A vivid image of what time looks like for both of you will help demonstrate when you’ll be online. Once the home time zone is established, save that in your phone in a world clock app. That way, you can pull up the IRL time in the home zone at any minute just to be sure. It’s easy to attack the inefficiencies of meetings, especially in an online format.

You might even find time to visit some of the incredible cities on Nomad List while still contributing your all to your team. You might find that there’s no perfect time for your team, but at least you’ll find options that aren’t excruciating. Plus, you can add the correct time to your calendar in just a click, if you’d like.

One person will have to regularly get up too early or stay online too late. across countries and cultures is another aspect of internationally distributed teams. This may be a very important asset in terms of views and ideas, but it can also be a difficulty if it isn’t acknowledged. It is not always possible to organize conference calls at convenient times.

  • It will also ensure that you’re available to your international department without needing to stay up all hours of the day.
  • It may be difficult to interact and form relationships with your coworkers as a result of this.Prepare to hop on a phone/video call without needing to set up a time to do so.
  • When working across multiple time zones, it’s easy for team members to feel like they are in their own world sometimes.
  • Invest time to improve your onboarding process to hire people already familiar with the remote work culture or those you can trust to work with minimal supervision.
  • If you have a large distributed team, you might not need to try so hard to stay connected.
  • By doing this, you ensure that whenever your team is assembled for a few moments, everyone comes prepared and informed.
  • People even tested out the possibility of working from a foreign country or becoming more of a digital nomad.

In this case, you’ll have to constrain your hiring to specific regions or time zones. This sample team is spread across four cities in four different countries, and has two hours of overlap, presuming some folks can start at 8am, and others can end at 6pm. If the team sticks to a traditional 9-to-5 schedule, there’s not even a single hour of overlap. So if team members want to have a stand-up meeting, their protocol might be to have one that alternates between an 8am start time for San Francisco on some days, and a 6pm finish for London on other days.

Common mistakes to avoid when working with a dispersed team

For an even simpler way to see what time it is around the world, check out Every Time Zone. It shows the current time in your own city, along with others in popular time zones around the world. 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.”

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