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12 Time Management Tips When Working in Different Time Zones

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.” At Zapier, we stay connected with our team in a number of ways. We post thoughts and updates about team projects on Slack, regardless of who’s online. Plus, each department has a weekly video call to map out that week’s work, and every Thursday we’ll have an all-hands call in order to get everyone together. Planning meetings across time zones might sound so painful that you’d rather just never have meetings—but don’t do that either.

  • When she is not researching the most productive collaboration techniques, she can usually be found trying out the latest team chat and collaboration tools and apps.
  • As much as autonomous work can be productive, sometimes it’s just more efficient to gather and talk it out.
  • If you do need to schedule something during off-hours, check first to make sure it is okay.
  • You can even host clubs around specific interests and encourage team members to join.
  • When you are looking for employees or business partners, it can be tough to find the right person in an industry where ‘who you know’ is just as important as what you know.

If it’s recurring and unavoidable (and it often will be), try to schedule meeting times so that the burden is shared across the team rather than by the same people each week. 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. When working remotely you might feel pressured to attend meetings at all times of the day.

Allow for synchronous and asynchronous communications

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. In 2006 Sam took a lead role in management of the company as CEO. 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.

In other words, communicate, and make sure everyone knows what you’re working on. 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. “What’s more, I have a feeling of intimacy with co-workers on the other side of the country that is almost fun,” Manjoo says. Too much of a good thing, though, can mean getting nothing done. A time difference gives you the freedom to code or write without distraction. Then, when the rest of the team is online, you’ll be more focused at what you need to discuss with them before it’s time to get offline.

The etiquette of working across time zones

Being able to select the best talent regardless of the location is one of the main factors that impacted the entire movement in the first place. TimeandDate.com’s World Clock Meeting Planner won’t win any design awards, but it makes time shift scheduling straightforward. You pick the cities where everyone lives, and the date for your meeting, and it’ll show in green, yellow, and red the times that are best, not too bad, and terrible for everyone. Staying up a bit late or getting up an hour earlier isn’t a bad tradeoff for a job you love, but how about 2 a.m.?

It was a total facepalm moment, but I also learned a new tool to add to my arsenal for seamlessly working across time zones and maintaining a work-life balance while traveling the world. Google calendar has a setting that you can choose your home time zone and then appointments will always be scheduled in that time zone unless you choose otherwise. Now I’ll be frank, I don’t like editing on a deadline because https://remotemode.net/blog/10-tips-on-working-in-different-time-zones/ there’s only so much editing a girl can do. I’m also a morning person, I do my best, most efficient work between 7 and 10 am. That’s a problem when editing studies because typically the researchers are still writing it mere days before submission. With 74% of professionals expecting remote work to become the new standard for business, technology providers are working hard to provide viable solutions.

– Fewer and Better Meetings with Karin Reed

Encourage team members to assign predetermined time into their usual work schedules for check-ins or quick discussions about issues and concerns. 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.

Yes, there are challenges but the benefits ultimately outweigh the hassle. Transparency in your goals has the added benefit of providing management with visibility into the work, without having to jump on those “checking up on you” calls. And then another one that I got from the buffer blog, actually, was an app called everytimezone.com.

Always Share Preparation Material

Flexible work hours also give team members a chance to work when they’re most productive, whether that be all morning, all afternoon, all night, or a mixed schedule. Gone are the days where you just need to know Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones. There are widely accepted benefits to distributed work, and anyone who manages remote team members is well aware of them. Expanding the talent pool, running operations 24/7, and valuing deliverables over seat-warming are just a few. If you’ve made it this far, there’s a good chance you’re either looking to find a remote job, already working remotely, or looking to hire remote employees. Founded in 2011, Help Scout has been a fully remote company from day 1 and is powering 12,000+ teams in 140+ countries.

working in different time zones

It is common to waste a lot of time waiting for confirmation when booking appointments or meetings with remote team members..A time zone difference makes it even more difficult to get a real-time response. You will likely not hear from the other parties until the next business day if they live on the other side of the world. An email exchange might even take a week to nail down an appointment.

Consider split shifts or workdays that accommodate different time zones.

Their 150+ distributed team is spread across 80+ cities worldwide. 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. A great way to introduce a more async, documentation culture is to build an employee handbook. An employee handbook is a written document that outlines the company’s mission, culture, core values, policies, procedures, teams, best practices, and any other information employees need to do their work. Remind remote team members that social interaction doesn’t have to come from co-workers or consider offering a co-working space stipend as a remote employee benefit.

Does Teams automatically convert time zones?

Selecting your preferred language and region also updates your time and date format. Moreover, when the meeting is sent to the participant, it will automatically adjust to the timezone set on their teams respectively to ensure that it is set on time for the other users.

Jeff Atwood found that when he started Stack Overflow programming on his own turned into a lonely job. “One danger of my job, as a columnist who works in California, is a feeling of disconnection from the mother ship in New York,” writes technology columnist Farhad Manjoo. Even still, odds are you’ll be working with someone who’s not online at the same time as you. 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.

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