14 Tips For How To Work With Clients In Different Time Zones

When the team physically works together in the same space and time zone, they are also able to coordinate work hours around sleep and meal times. With internet connectivity and other supporting technology, dealing with a remote team spread across multiple time zones is now possible. However, you have to appreciate the downside; this is not your usual 9-5 gig that you are used to. Honey of CivicActions organizes staff to maximize shared time. “As much as possible, we group our teams so that there’s a healthy overlap in their working hours. Of course, if you can’t afford to fly your entire team to a location very often, you can turn to virtual team-building events to keep up the team spirit in the meantime. You can invite your team members to join a private group or a public channel in the team chat app you use — for example, you can name the channel #group-activities, #team_fun_times, or simply, #team-building.

  • Whatever the case, there is no denying that myriad challenges arise especially as regards the issue of varying time zones.
  • Posting updates about what you’re working on allows for better alignment with the rest of your team and company.
  • We’re referencing a more unorthodox approach and working an “upside-down” schedule if it makes sense in your life, or if it’s the only way to work with certain clients.

This will provide your team and the Indian team plenty of time to concentrate on project specifics that will be discussed during the weekly correspondence meeting. The first step is to determine which day of the week is ideal for the team’s point person to interact with you in order to set expectations and keep the team on track. When forming a virtual team that spans borders, teach each team member about cultural communication difficulties. Misinterpretation and conflict can be avoided in the future with a thorough grasp of cultural norms. Post your remote job ad on We Work Remotely, the largest remote work community in the world. You’ll find candidates who thrive on autonomous work and don’t require hand-holding to help your team get to the next level. A designated point of contact in one time zone will be responsible for sharing updates, information, feedback, meeting notes, etc., with a designated point of contact in a different time zone.

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That’s a very simple time zone check that you can do with yourself in just one other time. The next one is worldtimebuddy.com, and that is for scheduling meetings with people in different time zones.

Tips on Working in Different Time Zones

You want to ensure that each team member, no matter where they are working from, has the bigger business objectives in mind and is working towards the same goal. In order to have a team that can collaborate effectively and is conflict-free , you need to establish team spirit, engagement, trust, and shared vision. Flexibility might entail taking a meeting or two or replying to an urgent email outside of your working hours once in a while.

Advantage #2: You Have Access To A Team That Is Available 24

Even reporters from The New York Times have found that Slack helps them stay connected to their newsroom while away on assignments. Scheduling a meeting at a time that works for all time zones might be more difficult than it appears. Finding a time that works with everyone’s schedules and normal work hours might be difficult if you’re located in the United States and have teams in Asia and California, for example. If you don’t have team members working in overlapping time zones, it’s almost impossible to get everyone to meet at the same time without inconveniencing someone. One employee will always have to wake up too early or stay online too late.

It shows the current time in your own city, along with others in popular time zones around the world. Then, if you want another easy way to know what time it is everywhere your team’s located, you can turn on the World clock in the Calendar Labs settings. It’s a simple, text-based world clock provides an at-a-glance update. Fried and Heinemeier Hansson offer another upside to remote work in their book on the topic. “The big transition with a distributed workforce is going from synchronous to asynchronous collaboration,” they write. “Not only do we not have to be in the same spot to work together, we also don’t have to work at the same time to work together.”

Realize that sometimes it’s the “in-between” tasks that snowball in time. These are tasks that are about communicating information, such as summarizing takeaways from a client presentation and sharing next steps with the remote part of the team. For example you could define distinct areas of ownership so that every member has a clear idea of what they can pursue independently without coordinating heavily with other members. For example, one member or sub-team could https://remotemode.net/ work on user flows and wireframes while another defines and builds a design system and visual design language. It may be better for one location to own client communication and be empowered to make decisions about how to respond to requests. Zapier has nearly 300 employees scattered around the world, so it’s not efficient—or even possible—to have quick, ad hoc meetings. We regularly need to act without the luxury of a real-time discussion, so we’ve adapted.

How Do You Work Across Different Time Zones And Continents?

It can, however, be useful when sending a non-urgent communication to worldwide coworkers without waking them up too early in the morning or disrupting their nightly routine. Record or take notes during the meeting to share with those who couldn’t make it. This keeps everyone in the loop without forcing anyone to cross their Tips on Working in Different Time Zones work-life boundaries. Send out a meeting agenda to all team members in advance. This gives everyone an idea of what’s on the itinerary and keeps meetings on track. Can you convey information better with a video recording? Tools like Loom and PingPong let you record video messages of yourself, your screen, or both.

Tips on Working in Different Time Zones

The most popular company channels in team chat apps usually include those public, #random channels, or some more specific channels that gather people who share the same interests (e.g. #books, #gaming, #memes). Ideally, these virtual spaces would inspire teams to add to the informal chat thread, regardless of the time they logged in. When working to establish functional global teams, organizations need to primarily focus on optimizing their communication. Teams working in multiple time zones can’t rely on synchronized communication, facial expressions, or non-verbal cues to decipher the message.

Tips For Managing A Distributed Team

Great to hope that folks will check timezones before scheduling but with teams spread across the globe in multiple time zones, it’s great to have things that help them out. Working remotely in a different time zone across countries and cultures is another aspect of internationally distributed teams. This may be a very important asset in terms of views and ideas, but it can also be a difficulty if it isn’t acknowledged.

Try pinning important messages make it easy for team members to sort through a mountain of messages to see what content is most important for them to catch up on. As you’re setting these expectations, anticipate needs or questions and try to answer them upfront so that the recipient doesn’t wind up waiting for your next availability to clarify. The action plan must also include a meeting structure, what is needed, purpose and format to be used be it teleconferencing, chat or video conferencing. Another issue according to Paul Endress arises where power asymmetries cause the weaker members in the team to synchronize their time-related activities to the stronger ones. If you can mimic the in-office set-up, you’ll feel more settled.

Make The Planning Time Longer

The moment I want to wrap up communication and get back to work, I just slowly start to lift my headphones, smile, nod, and turn my head back to my screen. “Comfort is the journey to enlightenment and outcomes.” – Said me after 2-weeks of sitting on the worst chairs for extended lengths of time. I moved to a different country every month, which meant exposure to a variety of remote work hubs. Before starting at a new spot, I liked to walk there from my apartment and assess the route and lunch options. Time is precious, especially when the lines from work and home are blurred. If the meeting owner doesn’t set the meeting up to be as effective as possible, then maybe the meeting can be better executed over email.

  • It is important to mark your standard work hours on the team calendar along with your and your employees’ time zone to avoid any confusion about work hour availability.
  • For instance, 👀 meant they saw your Slack message and will respond to you in a bit.
  • TimeandDate.com’s World Clock Meeting Planner won’t win any design awards, but it makes time shift scheduling straightforward.
  • Maybe you’re headquartered in Sydney but work with contractors around the globe.
  • Daily standups are the panacea for a lot of things that could otherwise get broken during a product journey.

“It puts a little pressure on you to get your work done,” says TechCrunch’s Russell. “They worked the night shift while my team in Redmond worked days,” Berkun says. “If I planned well, we’d find magic in going to bed frustrated by a missing puzzle piece, and waking to find it in our inbox. It was like having a friend in the future.” Make it a priority to allow your employees to spend vacations in their home nation rather than in the country where the company is headquartered. Many teams are no longer needed to operate in the same area or at the same time because of the technologies available to us. These advantages allow your team to work together more effectively, and they can help your overseas coworkers feel more involved in the day-to-day work of your team.

Our Best Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Global Teams Schedule

Is the meeting a working session, design review, or a status update? Distinguishing between these types helps invite just the people who need to be there. It also becomes possible to define rules of the conversation more clearly. For example, when we adopted a status update meeting, we made it a rule to never open up design files on the spot since doing so would often derail the conversation into an impromptu working session.

Tips on Working in Different Time Zones

Using Google Calendar is an easy and efficient way to track availability. Having an international team allowed reporters to publish pieces 24/7 and be the first ones to cover breaking news.

Therefore, the true testament to you being at work is how much you were able to produce. Having a diverse group of individuals placed across the globe allows for you to offer customer support 24/7 to clients no matter where they are situated.

Sometimes these issues would be in hand of developers while other times they could just be due to 3rd parties. As a product owner, unless things seem really to go out of hand, your best bet is to work patiently with the developer and make it work out. Just as with internal employees, give your outsourced team a chance to figure out an alternative solution.

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Compare hours and time zones to see if you can find one hour in common each week. Working remotely across time zones and cultures has changed our team dynamic. We lost some ability to organically align in real-time, but gained the understanding needed to adapt. As a result, now we’re able to plan projects and teams specifically for a local, remote, or hybrid project team setup.

When there is a language barrier, it just takes a little extra time to make sure both parties understand what is expected. I’ve been working with clients in East Asia a lot this year. I recommend filling up the world clock function with locations you typically reference, whether it’s Miami, Dallas and San Francisco, or Moscow, Mumbai and Melbourne. “That feeling of inclusion can make such a difference to employee retention, happiness, and performance — so the little things actually matter quite a lot,” McGinty said.

Get Everyones Availability Before Planning A Meeting

Our body operates on a biological schedule known as the circadian clock. Seeing daylight at specific times of day helps set this clock — but it’s slow to adjust when we rapidly fly across time zones. It also helps increase work efficiency as you can track employee progress at your time and discuss it over a scheduled meeting.

Plus, that enables my team members to see what I’m referring to directly and takes the guesswork out. It surprised me when I felt shameful for asking questions in meetings. Or it was my fault for not being there when they discussed the answer to the question.

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