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Best Practices and Tools for Working Across Different Time Zones

You should solicit feedback from your team members regularly and listen to their suggestions and concerns. Additionally, evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your tools, processes, and communication methods. Identify and address any gaps or challenges that arise, then implement changes and improvements as needed. Finally, keep learning and experimenting with new ways to manage your team across different time zones. Time zones, those invisible lines that divide our world into segments of time, have long been a source of complexity, especially for remote teams spanning the globe.

  • And the right tools are the bread and butter for employees across time zones to make any work happen.
  • Focus on being a gardener instead of a gatekeeper, and delegate more direct mentoring and oversight to others in the same location/time zone.
  • With these systems in place, teams can effectively communicate both asynchronously and synchronously, allowing for efficient collaboration and productivity across multiple time zones.
  • Time zone coverage is just something that’s automatically possible with distributed teams.

Break things up into chunks that can be worked on individually, find time to sync back up on what’s been done, and make sure each person on the team can self-direct their work. It might not be possible—or even desirable—for each team member to take ownership of part of your company’s work, but you can break projects up in a way that everyone has their own specific area to focus on. This strategy makes your projects asynchronous, which remote developer Mutahhir Ali Hayat suggests is the best way to make remote development work out.

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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 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. The only way it can work is if you keep team meetings to a minimum, record them for those that can’t attend, and make attendance optional. If you really do need to have everyone there, try to pick a time that works for most people and then ask the remaining few if they can attend.

  • 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.
  • Employees get as close as they can to being collaborative, but they also have to deal with costs.
  • The hesitance to say no to an out-of-timezone meeting could eventually lead you to say yes.
  • It’s absolutely possible to do great work with a dispersed team, but you must plan work accordingly.
  • No matter how independently you can work, and how hard you try to stay connected, you won’t be in the flow of what everyone’s doing unless you have a team chat tool.
  • Working across time zones is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices.

During onboarding, make sure your communication policies and collaboration tools are properly defined and communicated. These rules can be reviewed and referred to by employees, so they know what to do and what is expected of them. When working with teams in different time zones, the most important thing to remember is to be mindful, empathic, and courteous.

Always ask: is this meeting necessary?

One Drive cloud storage is like an expandable file cabinet that holds all the docs your team needs. Voxer is a “Walkie Talkie” app that allows you to leave voice messages for your contacts. It also allows you to share photos, videos, or gifs to brighten each other’s day.

working across time zones

Even better, there is a lot you can do for free with this collection of apps. Here is a list of potential obstacles that one could experience when working as a remote software engineer, as well as suggestions for how to overcome them. I’m an Engineering Lead for Privacy working remotely in a different time zone and Compliance teams in InfraSec and I joined HubSpot in January, 2017. You’re off-duty, but one of your team members in another country just messaged you with a question. Deliver remote and hybrid skills training at scale with our Workplaceless Unlimited program.

The challenges of extreme time-zone differences

Working in an office (or with the same work hours) is filled with impromptu moments that break up your day, many of which are unwanted distractions. Other moments, https://remotemode.net/ like grabbing lunch with colleagues, are a great way to break up the day. However, it’s becoming increasingly hard to argue against the benefits of remote work.