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. For one, organizations should consider setting and respecting their team’s time zone boundaries. For example, teams can create shared calendars showing their availability across different hours in a day to ensure no time zone boundaries are crossed. So, what is the difference between global teams that succeed, and those that don’t? How does one make sure to reap all the benefits and suffer no drawbacks of working across time zones?
Async communication allows people to process the information on their own time and respond at their own convenience, reducing the number of interruptions people receive. Messages are clear and easy to grasp at a glance with just one simple emoji. These are also useful when your teammates don’t all speak the same language. Tasks can be assigned, materials (such as spreadsheets, mockups, and slides) can be added, and deadlines can be defined.
World Clock Meeting Planner
It will also ensure that you’re available to your international department without needing to stay up all hours of the day. Once you and your team establish timezones boundaries and preferred work hours, respect them. This means that if you need something from a global teammate, you determine how urgent the task is before sending it. Or, this could mean that you develop a virtual team meeting schedule that fits within everyone’s active work hours — rather than making some teammates call in late at night or in the early morning. When it comes to delegating assignments, managers should always clearly communicate deadlines and explicitly state both their and the employee’s time zone to eliminate any confusion.
It saves time, money, and resources are allocated effectively and put into efficient use. While remote work has its benefits, time zone differences can make the employee management difficult without the right tools and processes in place. Therefore, team members working across borders and time zones may become the norm soon. Ensure you are open to dealing with your work hours and controls with your distributed team, whether you are working remotely, in-office, or in a global office outside your main company headquarters. Likewise, support your colleagues to discuss their work limits and work hours so you are aware of the different time zones in which you are all working.
Con: Time zones are merciless
When it comes to working remotely with teams across different time zones, the most important thing is to be mindful, empathetic, and respectful. working remotely in a different time zone is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices. Companies have the luxury of leaning into shared experiences and physical venues when developing a culture in an office-based workplace. Furthermore, some of the best practices for holding productive virtual team meetings include having a shared goal and describing what you expect to accomplish.
When she is not researching the most productive collaboration techniques, she can usually be found trying out the latest team chat and collaboration tools and apps. Although it can get challenging at times to manage a geographically dispersed team, there are still many more benefits to the approach. And this is particularly why we’re seeing a consistent increase in the number of companies employing globally. Let’s break down all the benefits of working across time zones to get a better understanding of the trend. A broad team that spans multiple time zones also spans a variety of regions that often have distinctive cultures, points out Erhard. “That can be a benefit, broadening the perspectives that influence your decision-making, but it can also lead to misunderstandings and communication difficulties,” he said.
Establish Everyone’s Time Zone and Preferred Work Hours
We’re breaking down the seven tested and tried steps geographically dispersed teams can implement to strengthen formal and informal communication and build more trust and better collaboration across all teams. Of course, there’s the argument that the vast majority of meetings may not be necessary, and flexibility is pretty much a part of the remote job description. Still, some form of meetings is vital for organizations looking to keep the connection and interaction across distributed teams. Diversity and inclusion drive innovation and positively impact overall business targets within remote companies that span across time zones. Organizations employing culturally diverse staff, especially in the higher management positions, tend to escape the echo-chamber effect and conformity since they are exposed to multiple perspectives and viewpoints. Understandably, this approach largely supports innovation and ultimately leads to more profit in the long run.
- Aside from allowing people to work on the same projects in different timezones, these tools allow global employees to stay on the same page about what aspects of a project have been completed.
- If only part of your team works from a different time zone, it can still be useful to have every individual attend meetings via video calls.
- Alternatively, if you only have 1 or 2 employees in a different timezone, they might have to provide some flexibility a few days a week to join team meetings.
It can also be helpful to allow your team members to set certain times as ‘off-limits’ for meetings. For example, you could set a rule that no-one will be forced to attend meetings between 11 pm and 7 am. If meeting during these hours really is unavoidable, rotate meeting times to avoid prioritising one time zone over another.