For example, if someone works in Australia while another is located in the United States, it may be difficult to attend a meeting at the same time unless the Aussie gets up pretty early in the morning. As the world is moving toward a fully distributed work model, there’s still plenty of value in in-person team meetups. While the digital workspace can perfectly https://remotemode.net/ support all the work processes, the social component takes the biggest hit in organizations promoting a remote-first work culture. To help your distributed workforce connect, consider facilitating live meetups when possible. The logistics of working out the perfect meeting schedule that aligns with your team’s work hours can often be outright impossible.
Of course, differences in locations and backgrounds can also add another layer to the misunderstanding and distrust. If left unattended, this malpractice can take root and degenerate further into team silos. 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. Companies employing diverse teams spanning multiple time zones enjoy complete time zone coverage.
Leverage tools to help with time zone management
More than 30 million users and 100,000 organizations from startups to global enterprise organizations use GitLab to deliver great software at new speeds. While it may seem strange to let people work at all times of the day, you’re already going to be doing that indirectly by working across time zones. Meetings, and other forms of synchronous communication, have their place. This leads to a better run company, less stress, and higher quality work. Not to mention that if all time zones are covered, then the company can serve its customers 24/7 without the need for late-night shifts. Working across time zones is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices.
This is mostly a feature that works with internal accounts, so if you are emailing customers or other external partners, you might not have the option. You can ask everyone to share a fun fact about the city or town they are in. Take it a step further and have everyone share a local food or drink that you might not find in other places. It’s always fun to learn something new and it’s a great way to bring people a little closer together even when they are physically far apart.
Advantages of working across time zones
- At 2,200+ pages, it’s thorough, transparent, even allowing people who don’t work at GitLab to contribute.
- The best way to keep things going well is to be occupied and busy only 80-90% of your working hours so that you have enough time to plan, think, organize and breathe.
- If the issue is complex or there are dependencies involved, you might find yourself drafting a paragraph (or two) and editing your message for clarity and tone that can get lost in translation.
- Knowing the difference between Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time alone isn’t enough anymore.
- Managing teams across multiple time zones seems to be one of the most common frustrations for many of the remote and hybrid employees that I’ve worked with.
Setting expectations for communication is one of the biggest and most impactful things you can do to reduce frustration for asynchronous communication at every stage of the process. It’s tempting to believe that sending someone a fast email will save them time, while in reality, it may end up wasting more of their day. Pick up the phone and talk it out if you need something done quickly or want your coworker to make a choice right away. In a public Slack channel, praising people who oppose efforts encourages one of our culture pillars of being challenged. Setting up the necessary structures and tools to constantly reinforce culturally acceptable norms is a major step in the right direction that many businesses ignore.
How to Work Across Multiple Time Zones Efficiently as a Remote Team
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. While it can be challenging to manage a distributed team, fully remote companies have many benefits. This is why we’re seeing a consistent increase in the number of distributed teams hiring globally. One of the first and easiest things you can do to make asynchronous communication smooth is to set your working hours, and to make those hours easily discoverable to your teammates. Some apps like Google Calendars even serve a warning if you inadvertently try to book something outside of working hours.
- 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.
- They will help you craft your perfect blend of flexibility, asynchronous work, and inclusive mindset to push your distributed team towards perpetual success.
- This can be especially challenging when working with a distributed team in different time zones.
- With over 400 remote employees spread across 30 countries, Zapier is one of the largest fully remote companies.
Finding the right communication and collaboration tools is essential for all distributed teams, but is especially important for those working remotely in a different time zone. Your company is probably already using synchronous communication tools, like Slack. With a workforce spread across time zones, you’ll also have to start thinking about investing in asynchronous technology. Freelance Brand and Marketing Strategist Janine Maral, who is currently based in Eastern Standard Time, has experience working remotely across different U.S. time zones as well as with global clients. She too has found that working this way can allow more flexibility to structure your day.