Getting used to higher autonomy and asynchronous communication can be a challenge for remote teams because it’s a switch from the standard way of working. But more and more companies are doing this –– and doing this well. Waking up to a silent team chat, phone, or online communication tool, or conversely, in the middle of a hectic workday schedule for employees in other countries, can feel unsettling or overwhelming. We’ll show you what those are, and how to work efficiently with teammates across different time zones in a way that’s productive (and not intrusive!). We’ll also show you some of the key tips to take into account to be more aware of the experiences of remote employees.
Team selling is all about collaboration, which means remote team selling—especially across time zones—can be challenging. However, as we’ve learned, there are numerous strategies and tools to improve remote collaboration. Ask employees to send four hours they work the same each day. This respects their schedule and flexibility and allows you to see when their ideal times for collaboration are. Compare hours and time zones to see if you can find one hour in common each week. Zoom/Google Meet Holding meetings for teams working across time zones is very important as everyone needs to stay informed with the company’s updates and product progress.
This means that if one team member works while another is sleeping, it does not mean they can’t communicate or collaborate with each other effectively . Try pinning https://remotemode.net/ 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.
If it’s not possible to make meeting times fair for everyone, your best bet could be to rotate the start time so that the same people aren’t inconvenienced every time. How late is too late to schedule meetings based on local times?
There’s no room to ask clarifying questions and you don’t have the luxury of reading a person’s facial expressions or tone of voice. Working in a global team spread across time zones means embracing a remote-first, not a remote-friendly, culture. You can’t just be aware of time zones, you need to construct a company where time zones are at the core of every internal operation. In this guest post, Jessica Day of Dialpad offers effective strategies for working with teams in different time zones.
This may not always be possible, but being mindful of international schedules ensures that all employees feel included and that their time is respected. MAKE IT FAIR.When working with teams that are separated by oceans, e.g. Vietnam and San Francisco, don’t stick one person with the late night or early morning shift. Everyone should feel and share the pain of time zones when you’re working on a team.
Just make sure to be thoughtful and rotate the timeslots as much as possible. Even between the east and west coast of the United States, there is a three-hour time difference. Hosting an 8 AM meeting in New York City, which seems completely appropriate to start your day, would mean someone in Los Angeles needing to be up and ready to go by 5 AM. Even with a smaller difference, the morning and late afternoon meetings can best practices for working across time zones be really challenging for some, especially if they are managing a family and multiple schedules. Consider meeting times that fall in the middle of the day so they fall within everyone’s normal work hours. Hours are flexible, work locations are far and wide, and meetings need to be virtual. In fact, a single meeting might consist of employees from three or four countries – all with different time zones and schedules.
You’ll find candidates who thrive on autonomous work and don’t require hand-holding to help your team get to the next level. With one simple emoji, messages are clear and easy to understand at a glance. These also help when your teammates don’t all speak the same language.
10 Minutes — Lesley shares customer feedback from the week, both good and bad. This is enormously helpful in putting our customers front and center for every member of the team, and making sure that we’re all thinking about why our customers do business with us, and what we can do better. Anybody that has good news (Groove-related or otherwise) shares it now, giving the team the chance to celebrate victories each day. We’ve worked hard to improve our asynchronous collaboration—more on that below—and it’s paid off big time for us. Last Tuesday, I was getting ready to wind down for the night, and I opened up Slack one final time to check for anything that needed my attention. Just search for the current time zone in the city/ country you’re trying to coordinate with.
Being able to select the best talent regardless of the location is one of the main factors that impacted the entire movement in the first place. “The hardest thing to do is to make sure you don’t end up working 12-hour days routinely,” Kelly notes. “If you’re working two timezones that don’t overlap much, why not split your shift into two instead of doing the same number of hours consecutively?” asks Kelly. Similarly, if a hiring manager in California gives a Dublin-based job candidate an interview time without noting EST or PST, the job candidate might log on for a video interview at the wrong time. For example, if a Boston-based marketing manager gives a California-based blogger a deadline for “9 a.m. Monday,” it might be hard to determine whether the deadline was for 9 a.m. This could cause content to be published later than expected. 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.
“Let your team know you’re available over Slack , and build in ‘air-time’ in your agenda for check-ins or quick chats.” You can share quick messages, explain new processes, or outline complicated concepts with your team sans real-time meetings. Everyone can view these on their own time, take notes, and refer back to your instructions or ask questions later. Synchronous communication, or communication that happens between teams in real-time, is still essential for team building, bonding, brainstorming, celebrating project milestones, and more.
These are small gestures, but they can make a big difference. With74% of professionalsexpecting remote work to become the new standard for business, technology providers are working hard to provide viable solutions. International teams can benefit from the variety of virtual tools available, from messaging apps to cloud storage solutions.
Especially if your headquarters is the place where most employees work, time zones can quickly be incorrectly assumed, and meetings can be derailed as a result. Finally, and arguably the most essential tip on how to work across time zones is ensuring that you and your team are using the right tools and software to ease the process. These are only a few benefits that you stand to gain by having a diverse team located in different areas or even different time zones. In addition to real-time video calls and asynchronous communication, we also do real-time chat in Slack. It’s an issue that presents both pros and cons for a remote team, and we’ve definitely had to work to address it for productivity, collaboration and culture. Being respectful of your remote team members’ office hours may equate to less synchronous communication. Founded in 2011, Help Scout has been a fully remote company from day 1 and is powering 12,000+ teams in 140+ countries.
Meetings, and other forms of synchronous communication, have their place. When everyone lives in different time zones, writing, planning, and documentation tend to become the default behavior for remote employees. This means people who were offline can dive into documentation to catch up, rather than having to wait for answers. When you don’t need to consider time zones, you can attract and hire the best talent regardless of location.
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. Cloud-based technology allowed a number of industries to adopt some form of remote work model. Naturally, organizations jumped at the opportunity to select from a global pool of talent which is, essentially, the key factor that led to the formation of teams that span across different time zones. Still, as much as it might be pretty seamless for a tech company to adjust their operations to working across time zones, for some industries and teams, this practice is simply not viable.
When deciding on a date or time try and include or state both the time and date according to the time zone you are in as well as for those that you are speaking with in order to avoid confusion. 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. The best Zoom tips and tricks that you can use to master conference call communication.
Take advantage of cloud-based solutions that empower teams to collaborate, communicate, and track work effectively, no matter where they are. This documentation is especially important for teams that must collaborate closely, such as sales, IT, or customer service. For instance, if a sales rep closes a sale and hands off the client to customer service, the customer service rep needs to know the details of the sale and the previous communication the client has had. Team leaders should establish clear processes and spell out each person’s roles and responsibilities so everyone is on the same page and no task is unaccounted for. As part of this process, your company might want to put together an org chart that shows both employees’ roles and locations. It’s completely free to use this service for all users and it’s incredibly easy to navigate.
Time zones are geographical locations where people experience similar daylight hours at any given time throughout the year. To work effectively with a remote team, you’ll need to put in the effort and build strong relationships across time zones. Between different time zones, dentist appointments, and vacations, people within your team will need to play catch up using your instant messaging platform every day, making it an important tool to use wisely. Communication in particular is hard when one team is arriving at the office just as another is leaving, or when one teammate is sleeping peacefully just as another is hitting their midday stride. But there are ways to tackle differences between time zones that preserve collaboration and keep communication effective. The logistics of working out the perfect meeting schedule that aligns with your team’s work hours can often be outright impossible.
May not be an issue in some countries but certainly working with a team in Indonesia it really is. As we increasing rely on the benefits of IP comms you become more dependent on good quality connectivity. Ultimately, when managing a team across time zones, be ready to be flexible. Just because something seems to make a lot of sense, in theory, doesn’t mean it will go well in practice, so be prepared to adjust as you go.