How to Effectively Manage Time Zone Differences While Working with Remote Teams

Although it can get challenging at times to manage a geographically dispersed team, there are still many more benefits to the approach. And this is particularly why we’re seeing a consistent increase in the number of companies employing globally. Let’s break down all the benefits of working across time zones to get a better understanding of the trend.

Teams can use Slack for better communication, which will also assist you overcome the disadvantages of a remote working team. In your remote developer job, you can use the tools and practices that are the best fit and make working remotely a pleasurable experience for everybody. After all, having employees working in different time zones is the equivalent of offering your organization a 24-hour workplace — with the top talent on the planet. Without the need for overtime or late-night shifts, teams can collaborate to fulfill deadlines. Employees in the one-time zone can hand over half-finished projects to peers in another time zone to finish.

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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. By hiring remote workers, you’ll never have to worry about geographical limitations again. If so, then you know the challenges in staying on the same page that come with working remotely. Managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating. While many people seem to like the idea of remote working, you cannot trust everyone to work under minimal supervision. Some people require constant check-ins if you want them to perform optimally.

  • If you’re always waiting for someone to tell you what to do next, and that someone’s asleep while you’re working, you’ll never get anything done.
  • But remote teams can fall into the “I’m online, so I’m being productive” trap, too.
  • Establishing overlapping work hours each week allows team members from different time zones to have dedicated time for real-time collaboration and communication.
  • This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
  • Also keep in mind that meetings are sometimes better than offline chat — just use good judgment and always think about alternatives.
  • With teams spread across different time zones, companies can ensure continuous progress on projects.

Once companies open the options for flexible work locations, it’s important to set clear expectations. Are you expecting team members are able to travel to the office multiple times each year? By setting clear expectations, you won’t be faced with unwelcome surprises in the future. Team members should update their time zones in their profiles or settings to ensure accurate scheduling and coordination.

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If a phone call or video conference is necessary, try rotating the schedules so everyone gets a turn to take calls late-night or off-hours. Some people might have to be available for an 11 PM call once a month, but it’s way easier to be onboard for that if they know that everyone will take a turn with the weird hours. With the many collaboration tools we are listing below, you should be able to drastically cut down on the number of calls that are required to get the work done.

working across time zones require

However, it’s important to be mindful of cultural norms and individual preferences when making such decisions. Finally, you’ll want to adopt the habit of scheduling team meetings at optimal times for everyone. This will ensure all your colleagues can attend and participate in discussions without having to be up early or stay up late. The best part is that you can always share a recording with other team members who weren’t available for the meeting.

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Companies often struggle with coordinating schedules, ensuring clear communication, and maintaining collaboration across different time zones. Meeting windows may be narrow, and there may be inconsistent collaboration and communication due to time differences. When team members are spread across different time zones, it can be working remotely in a different time zone difficult to ensure consistent collaboration and communication. With limited overlapping work hours, delays in response times can occur, leading to miscommunication and potential project setbacks. By leveraging teams across different time zones, companies can extend their working hours and ensure round-the-clock productivity.

Teams that work across multiple time zones can’t rely on real-time communication. There’s no room to ask clarifying questions and you don’t have the luxury of reading a person’s facial expressions or tone of voice. 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 (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.

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