Tech tips for working with people in different time zones Popular Science

Tech tips for working with people in different time zones Popular Science

This is especially true the smaller your team is as it may be more uncommon for members to be in the same time zone. There are widely accepted benefits to distributed work, and anyone who manages remote team members is well aware of them. Expanding the talent pool, running operations 24/7, and valuing deliverables over seat-warming are just a few. I know personally, I sometimes like to get stuck in at various points in my day for focused work without too many distractions.

  • To build a successful team that operates autonomously, companies should consider setting clear employee expectations regarding personality traits and soft skills best suited for this work model.
  • In a public Slack channel, praising people who oppose efforts encourages one of our culture pillars of being challenged.
  • When you’re working remotely or in a different location from other team members, you can’t easily turn to them, ask a question, or make conversation.
  • As remote work and satellite offices become more common, marketers are discovering that global teams can be incredibly beneficial to a company’s culture and ability to hire diverse talent.
  • Guidelines for your communication policies and collaboration tools should be clearly outlined and shared during onboarding.
  • Once you’ve set it, and checked the Display secondary time zone box, it’ll show up in the day, week, and month views alongside your current time zone.

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. There is something no collaboration technology working across time zones can replace and that is physical togetherness. As a project manager where possible you should work out a strategy of having all members in one room for retreats or conferences once in a while.

Best practices for working remotely in a different time zone

They should have everything they require to begin a task when working remotely or request as soon as possible. Teams exchange messages with one other without expecting a response right away. Employees can give each response the time and attention it deserves when they take a break to check their messages.

How long does it take to fully adjust to a new time zone?

In general, it can take one day per time zone changed for circadian rhythms and sleep to get in sync.

If Slack seems awfully quiet, it might be because your colleagues in another country are celebrating a holiday. One of the ways you can keep tabs on these is by subscribing to the relevant calendars in Google Calendar. From the web interface, click the plus button next to Other calendars, then Browse calendars of interest, followed by Regional holidays. 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. If your co-workers overseas are a little relentless, there are multiple ways to make sure a ping from your phone doesn’t interrupt your full eight hours of sleep. You can start by setting how notifications work inside individual apps, or even turn on the Do Not Disturb mode on your phone altogether. On iOS, choose Do Not Disturb from Settings, and if you haven an Android device, pick Sound and vibration, then Do Not Disturb from Settings.

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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. Either way, agree on how employees mark their daily hours on a public calendar.

Asynchronous communication (“async”) is when information is sent at separate times with a delay in between. For example, writing an email, sending a Loom video, or leaving a voice message for someone so they can respond to it whenever works best with their schedule . There is a false perception that remote https://remotemode.net/ workers are lazy, taking every opportunity to slack off because nobody is watching. In fact, remote workers are generally more productive than their in-office counterparts. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you organize your team and schedule your projects around the time zones of everyone on it.

Make sure no one gets left out when planning a meeting across different time zones

Someone who has been in London for 2 years will always complain about the weather especially if they come from the sunny Miami. To motivate the members it is advisable to keep rotating the members in different areas as it also gives them more exposure to different environments and working situations. It is prudent to rotate the time when you have meetings to be fair to everyone. Use your instant messaging platform for internal communication as much as possible. Having conversations in public forums builds visibility, which ensures that no one is out of the loop even if they’re not awake when a decision is being made. Google Calendar settings will also ask if you want to “Ask to update my primary time zone to current location,” and you can choose to check this box, or not. 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.

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It’s tough to keep the collaboration and team spirit high with one team leaving the virtual office just as another is starting their workday. Sometimes, scheduling a meeting at a time that works for all timezones is easier said than done. For example, if you’re based in the U.S. and have teams in Asia and California, finding a time that fits into everyone’s schedules and usual work hours can be tricky. Expecting your teammates to be “always-on” doesn’t create the best culture and might make them feel disrespected. 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. To learn more about tools and software that can help global and remote teams, check out this helpful list.


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