Working Across Timezones

“Many of us tend to work crazy hours, which mitigates being in different time zones.” “Any remote worker knows you have to be flexible, so I feel time zone differences don’t impact your remote work life too much,” says Zapier’s Smith. “I’d quite happily sacrifice staying a little later or getting up a little earlier to avoid the stresses of a morning commute in rush hour traffic.” 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. That’s why the most crucial part of building a remote team is hiring self-directed workers—”managers of one,” as the Basecamp team calls them in their book Rework.

working across multiple time zones

If remote employees don’t have overlap in work hours, there can be a lag between a question being asked and answered. This is easy for teams that work with people across two or three time zones that are all next to each other. However, it becomes more complicated when working with a global workforce .

Strike The Right Balance Between Asynchronous And Synchronous Communications

So, to avoid this, minimize the messages you send after hours and be patient if you don’t immediately get a response back. Odds are, a great teammate will get back to you when they begin working the next day. Whether you’re working in-office, remotely, or in a global office outside of your main headquarters, make sure you are open to discussing your own work hours and boundaries with your dispersed team.

  • A sound organization is necessary to a dispersed team working like a well-oiled machine.
  • Workers are happier and more productive WFH, no matter the time zone.
  • Even though I double-check and I’m constantly aware of it and I’m supposedly a pro, even I get time zones wrong every once in a while.
  • Workplaceless is committed to helping multi-time zone teams through learning and facilitation.

Traditionally companies have relegated themselves to hiring people who live within commuting distance of their offices or at most, the same time zone. There’s no need to wait for a conference call or meeting to start talking when you work together from the same office. But when working with a distributed team, communicating takes more effort. Within Google Calendar, one of my absolute favorite ways to stay productive while working at home or freelancing, you can have your time zone, and a second one. Be mindful of national and local holidays around the world, in addition to world time zones.

Global Software Development Services: Working Around The Clock For You

Now every time you suspect the other side of the world is busy celebrating, you can open your calendar and check if that’s the case, or if there’s some people you need to nag. This is a free and simple tool for macOS (other platforms “coming soon”) where you can see a list of people, their locations and current time where they are. You can import your team’s contact list directly from Slack to There, or you can add people and locations individually. If you have an iPhone, tap on World Clock, and then the plus button; if you have an Android phone, tap on the globe icon and search for the city you’re interested in. You can add as many as you want, and the app will show you a list of your chosen cities, the time it is there, and how many hours ahead or behind they are relative to your location.

  • It can get overwhelming trying to set up a time that works for the entire team.
  • Test out split shifts or workdays that cater to different timezones.
  • With this global team, you create morediversity of thought, which can result inmore innovation and revenue.
  • Be a master of knowing which countries change clocks, and which don’t.

When I Work offers time zone settings that determine how schedules and time entries are viewed and created. This article covers best practices for Admins configuring the time zones for your workplace and users through example scenarios. At one point, we had an impressive (or just over-the-top) 500+ channels in Slack. From private chats to team channels, to food photos, cat photos, and more – we have a channel for it. Because Slack is always on and available, discussions can happen asynchronously. Fortunately, Slack also allows you to see the time zone of the person you’re messaging, which is helpful since a lot of our team travels in addition to working in different locations.

Top Time Management Tools For Increased Productivity

But, did you plan on how to manage teams and different employees located in various parts of the world? Having a team spread across different countries can give you access to new markets and high business reach, but only if you can successfully manage different employees of your team; located all over the world. Sometimes you need to know working across time zones how time zones fit in with each other—that’s where World Time Zone comes in. The site displays a compact but comprehensive map showing every time zone and how they’re linked by longitude. You can zoom in to get specific lists of city times across countries and continents, as well as search for particular locations around the globe.

working across multiple time zones

Time zones can really keep us apart and it can keep us from connecting with each other as much as we need to or want to. So every once in a while, whenever possible, get the team together face-to-face and rebuild that human connection that we can easily lose when we go remote. So when you do have meetings or things that the team needs to know about, that everybody inputs that time into a shared calendar, then the time zone conversions are automatically done.

Communicate Clearly About Timezone Boundaries With Your Team

And don’t be afraid to remind your client of your boundaries if they get too demanding. If they propose a deadline that will require you to sacrifice sleep or your social life, always ask yourself, “is it worth it? ” If it isn’t – don’t be afraid to say no or negotiate an alternative that you CAN work with. You may want to impress a new client by promising them the world. Setting 3am alarms might sound noble, but it’s going to suck for you in the long run and it isn’t an expectation you want to set. For example, if you’ve been struggling to write effectively for your website, check out a writing guide like ours here. Learning from others can help you avoid the same mistakes and save yourself a ton of time.

  • If you’re looking for a virtual water-cooler, Slack can be used to chat about non-work-related topics like favorite TV shows and sharing pictures of your pets.
  • A time shift, though, forces you to show what you’ve actually accomplished, since few others were there to see if you were logged in all day.
  • In working with distributed teams in different time zones, you have to be prepared to be flexible, accommodating and always on top of changing clocks, global holidays and miscalculations.
  • This is especially hard if you tend to move around from city to city or country to country, or if you just moved, and crossed time zones, like from Florida to Texas, for example.
  • There are many tools for this, including

Aside from the few weeks every year when we’re all together at our company retreats, there’s always someone at Zapier awake and working. Time zone coverage is just something that’s automatically possible with distributed teams. It’s possible to hire people around the globe and still have your whole team working 9-to-5 at your office’s time zone—after all, plenty of people work night shifts—but it’s not optimal. After years of working remotely—for companies in India, Canada, Australia, and the U.S.—I’ve learned a lot. Here’s a sneak peek, but keep reading for tips on how to make the most of the pros and overcome the cons that crop up when the world is your office.

My fourth tip comes from the creating a team agreement process that I take people through. If you want to learn more about team agreements, then go back to episode number 42. One of the items in the team agreement is to always talk in one time zone. So pick one time zone and then just have the entire team talk in that time zone.

Work Across Multiple Time Zones

It’s laid out so that each time zone appears relative to one another, and if you register for a free account you’ll be able to customize the cities that show up and the order they’re in. Scheduling a meeting or planning a project is definitely easier when you actually know if your colleagues are out for lunch or just had their morning coffee. Microsoft Office is one of the most popular software programs utilized by offices and companies around the world. You’ve probably used Word and Excel sometime in your life and Outlook is often the email service of choice with companies.

working across multiple time zones

Passing along information, completing tasks, and monitoring performance are part of the smooth running of any team. Some tools can take over those tasks for remote teams and make them just as simple as in a physical office, minus the distractions. Especially if you’re working on projects based in multiple time zones. It can easily become a juggling act that devours your waking hours and leads to poor work-life balance. Team building might be easily overlooked or pushed to the side when working across time zones. Building relationships is vital for any thriving business, even for teams in multiple time zones.

Tips For Working With Multiple Time Zones

Daylight specializes in end-to-end projects that require research and strategy up-front and buildable solutions towards the end. Before COVID, members would fly over to the location considered home base. We formed project teams flexibly across locations, and the flexibility afforded us designers the opportunity to get immersed in projects and get to know the culture of the other locations. This app also automatically syncs your current status on slack with the calendar. So if you are in a meeting, then your slack status will automatically reflect that. Clockwise is essentially a calendar extension from Google for Chrome.

  • For those used to working from the same time zone or physical space, considering the other person’s needs might not be a habitual way of working.
  • Employee development → Grow and retain your people with the only personalized solution for effective, continuous development.
  • Maybe your sales team is in Chicago and your dev team is in Dublin.
  • This means it’s even more important to limit meetings so you’re not asking your teammates to stay up late or get up early, mixing up someone else’s schedule for a chat that might not even be all that productive.
  • It can mean that my client can send a brief before they sleep, and wake up to the job done, because I can work uninterrupted during my day.
  • It’s truly amazing to be part of a remote, distributed team.

🎓 To learn more about the pros and cons of asynchronous communication for remote teams, be sure to check out our in-depth guide on the blog. A common drawback to managing a team that operates across time zones is the lack of space for sharing insight about work progress. The already limited communication opportunities leave no room for staff to share what they’re working on, talk about ideas, or future plans. This can leave employees feeling their work is being overlooked, and potentially affect their career advancement as it doesn’t allow enough insight into their effort and contribution. If teams don’t experience any overlap in work hours, there’s bound to be some time wasted as one team is waiting for the instructions or the input from another one, working at a later time. And, as team communication is directly correlated to productive collaboration, it can lead to unnecessary delays, missed messages, and an overall drop in productivity. Diversity and inclusion drive innovation and positively impact overall business targets within remote companies that span across time zones.

Benefits Of Working Across Time Zones

Now this leads me into my next tip, which is really start thinking in multiple time zones. If you’re working with a global team, it’s good to heighten your awareness of what time it is for people in different parts of the world that you’re working with. For instance, I work with Gretchen every single day and I start the work with her at 6 p.m. These are the kinds of things that it’s just good to keep in mind with your teammates.

So, work up a consistent routine to help your teammates to predict when you’ll be around, and carefully plan your collaborative efforts. Our ‘core hours’ while the team are in their home locations, are 9am-6pm, UK time. We say to all team members that they’re responsible for ensuring at least 2 hours of overlap with these times each day, regardless of where they’re based. The clockwise is one of the best tools for managing the calendars and meetings for remote developers in your organization.

And for the person that’s listening, you feel like you’re part of the team, even though you weren’t at the meeting. It has a weird effect when you were seeing your colleagues and you’re listening to them as you’re watching the meeting. And a lot of people will try to have teams that really overlap a lot, even though they are in other time zones. Have them working on separate things with just a small amount of overlap when the times are convenient. There are a lot of different scenarios that we could play out here, but the thing to keep in mind is try organizing your team so that it’s less painful. Once you and your team establish timezones boundaries and preferred work hours, respect them.

There, you can suggest interesting team activities and play fun team-building games designed for virtual team settings. Just make sure that the timing for these activities works for the schedules of everyone involved. Teams working remotely and across time zones lack the spontaneous chats in-office coworkers are accustomed to. The social disconnect can breed various productivity and personal obstacles that could wreak havoc on your organization over time.

Best Practices For Making Remote Work, Work

We’ll work together throughout the week and enjoy some bonding time with fun group activities, too. Asynchronous communication is important to be inclusive across time zones and schedules, to make sure we hear from introverts, too, and to make sure everyone gets time to focus. Using these tools to keep time zones top of mind makes sure that all team members have an equal opportunity to work smarter, not harder, and that they can engage or disengage when they want. Another handy one, especially if you’re planning a meeting across time zones, is Every Time Zone, which allows you to toggle around to see what the time of your choosing is across every time zone. When managing remote team members, the most important thing to keep in mind is to provide an inclusive experience for all.

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