What Working Remotely Has Taught Us About Working Across Time Zones

Originally from Ohio, US, she now calls Taipei, Taiwan home. Engineering teams, in particular, requiredifferent types of meetings along various stages.

When we used to work in the same space, we’d align on direction and process by tossing back and forth impromptu ideas and questions. These moments didn’t require planning, and were crucial to helping us agree and get on the same page about what needed to be done. Group video calls wandered and dragged on for 3 or more hours. Daylight specializes in end-to-end projects that require research and strategy up-front and buildable solutions towards the end. We adopt the human-centered design process, which invites us to start with open-ended questions and be inspired by the people we are designing for. Don’t fixate upon one particular day and time of the week for too long.

New Set Of Project Management Bottlenecks

There are more time zone tools at TimeandDate.com, too, so be sure to check it out if you want to find local times around the world for your event, convert times for any location, and more. That might not be enough to schedule meetings across a number of time zones, but it’s a quick way to figure out if you’re ok to call your boss at 6 p.m. David Fullerton had to overcome the communication hurdle when he was growing the Stack Exchange team. “When there were 4 people, everyone knew everything. When there are 75 people, that no longer scales,” he says. The Couchsurfing team has a similar schedule to make sure everyone’s connected.

  • With the limited opportunities for verbal communication and even virtual meetings across time zones, distributed teams need to rely on written and video records to obtain all the information.
  • Customer service – Virtual tech support teams often employ global staff for the simple convenience of covering diverse customer demographics across time zones.
  • If your company is spread out across more than a few time zones, you’ll need to tweak the guideline, perhaps having some people stop by 6p and others by 9p, depending on where they are.
  • With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, everyone can work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, and more.
  • 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.

The pressure to be consistently productive each day on one’s own tired out members of our team. Since you have employees across several time zones, a scheduled meeting time can be convenient for few, while disappointing for the rest. So, in order to offer equal respect to every individual’s time zone, try changing meeting time at regular intervals. Google Calendar lets you set a secondary time zone, though only through its web interface. Click the cog icon , then Settings, and Secondary time zone. Once you’ve set it, and checked the Display secondary time zone box, it’ll show up in the day, week, and month views alongside your current time zone.

Cons Of A Distributed Team

When deciding on a date or time try and include or state both the time and date according to the time zone you are in as well as for those that you are speaking with in order to avoid confusion. I’ve been working with clients in East Asia a lot this year. Like I mentioned above, you want to avoid sending someone a meeting invite and having it pop up for them on a Saturday, or on a national holiday in the country where they live. I had transitioned from working full-time to freelancing when Dan and I set off for our remote work trip around the world to explore how we could use travel to build this website together.

We’ve got a few etiquette rules to help you take this challenge head on and work effectively across time zones. It’s harder to collaborate when you’re all on different time zones, since you have less time to do it. So, work up a consistent routine to help your teammates to predict when you’ll be around, and carefully plan your collaborative efforts.

Project Management Across Time Zones: 7 Lessons

Let’s break down all the benefits of working across time zones to get a better understanding of the trend. Another way to be mindful of different time zones — and disregard the clock — is to default toasynchronous communication.

This is not surprising, given that the flexibility of asynchronous collaboration represents the ideal response to the challenges of https://remotemode.net/. Another key feature of such team chat apps is the pin option as it helps keep the important documents top of mind and easily accessible. Of course, not everything is best when it comes tocollaborating across multiple time zones. With such a big gap between certain time zones, remote teams will inevitably experience delayed responses and difficulty scheduling meetings.

The Pros And Cons Of Working Across Time Zones: What To Expect When You Work In A Distributed Company

The project boards are where we track ongoing efforts like the blogs. We use them to brainstorm ideas and build our version of an editorial calendar. The team Trello boards are where we put weekly and upcoming to‑do’s, as well as quarterly goals . Simply put, it keeps things from slipping through the cracks. A fun way to put an exclamation point at the end of each meeting.

working across time zones

Open up a free account at Timezone.io and you’ll be able to see your entire team on a grid showing who’s in which time zone and what time it is there. You can also easily adjust the time slider at the top of the screen to go back or forward in time, which is helpful when planning meetings and projects. If you’re working with a remote team, it might be even easier to give the time of the meeting in Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. Then, everyone who is attending the meeting will convert to their own time zone. I try to be sensitive to clients who work a traditional 9-5 day, but I don’t always work those hours. Sometimes I’m up early and working, sometimes I’m overseas, and sometimes I work late into the evening.

Poor Communication

We’ve both spent our professional careers diving into freelancing, both together and individually, and we’re excited to share our best freelancing tips, tricks and hacks, with you, here on our blog. Don’t miss our evergreen list of how to pack for a remote work trip, for anywhere in the world. Simply line up the cursor to find a time when everyone will be awake, or a time that aligns with other parameters set in place. We’ve been 100% work-from-home for the last seven years and know how to manage this lifestyle.

working across time zones

Globalization can bring new success to your organization as it is a proven fact that diversity helps innovate unique ideas and adds different perspectives to your project. “Gartner predicts that by 2022, 75 percent of businesses with diverse frontline decision-makers will exceed their financial targets,” says HubSpot in an article. Imagine you’re in an organization with over 2,000 repositories across several different product lines. RELATED The surprising woodworking tools you already have around the house Little ways to make your woodworking life easier.

3 Mastering Synchronous Vs Asynchronous Communication

Be a master of knowing which countries change clocks, and which don’t. The best Zoom tips and tricks that you can use to master conference call communication. Firstly, it ensures that everybody knows who is working on what, and when. This means that projects flow smoothly, things happen on time, and blockers aren’t left unaddressed. Our 10AM check-in keeps us all on the same page, and provides very real culture benefits, too.

During this time, I was working with a team based in the US, with team members based across the country from Seattle to NYC. I was the only team member working from Vietnam, Taiwan, Ireland, Portugal and Estonia, so a few months in, I offered to use my time zone location to the company’s benefit. One time, when we were working remotely and traveling as freelancers in Hanoi, Vietnam, Dan had a cross-time-zone meeting with clients in the US, Australia and somewhere else as well. Use a time zone converter website among your online freelancer tools. Each team member shares what they accomplished the previous week, what they’re planning to work on in the coming week, and what blockers stand in their way. This takes practice to be able to do well, but now that we’ve all gotten good at it, it’s an incredibly powerful way to distill the most important things that the team needs to know about. Remote working isn’t automatically a freer way to work—it can be just as stressful as any 9-to-5 job.

“Since there are people working from nearly every time zone in the world, there was always someone online to help with a problem or joke around with when you’re working,” he wrote in his book. We often assume when we’re talking to someone new that they’re in the same time zone as us. 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. Managing a global team is more complicated than managing one that works from the same office. You’ll need to account for different time zones, work styles, and cultural norms in your management style. When working with a distributed team, you don’t have to limit yourself to hiring locally. 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.

Set Communication And Tech Guidelines For The Entire Team

With technology blooming you have to leverage as many collaboration tools as possible. From Google Drive, Spark, Murally, DropBox, Skype and Google+ among others you need to be constantly on the lookout for more flexible tools which can be customized to meet you unique needs. There is also custom team and project management software like ClientSpot which can help you make managing remote teams easy. Make it easy to figure out everyone’s working across time zones time zones by a quick glance. Using Outlook or Google calendar to schedule meetings will typically automatically adjust the meeting time for each participant. Try Every Time Zoneto super quickly see what time it is where all your coworkers are located. Having tools in place will take the guesswork out of figuring out someone’s time zone, and can help you avoid reaching out to someone when they’re already off the clock or out for lunch.

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