How to facilitate communication & meetings across time zones

Tools like Loom and PingPong let you record video messages of yourself, your screen, or both. Use this guide to make you convey your message clearly with remote communication. As the saying goes in the United States, “Spring forward. Fall back.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sending someone a quick email will save them time, when it may actually end up wasting more of their day. If you need something done urgently or want your co-worker to make a decision ASAP, pick up the phone and talk it out. In lieu of a meeting, send a Loom video where you talk through information and request feedback.

What is the best time zone for remote work?

If you want to interact and work with the whole world, there is pretty much no better time zone than those of Central European Time and Central African Time. They're at the center of the world, literally! Neighbors to Asia on one side, and the Americas on the other, these time zones are in a prime position.

Make sure to always assess each document, guide, or message for clarity. Also, ensure every person involved has the right admin access to avoid late-night calls, hold-ups, and rescheduling. If you want to improve your time management skills, the first step is to assess how you are currently managing your time across time zones.

Use an online calendar.

The ability to perform operations around the clock is a significant benefit of a team working across various time zones. If you cover all time zones, someone somewhere in the world will always be working and serving consumers, eliminating the need for late-night shifts. Cultural values have a significant impact on hiring approach, attracting individuals who share similar beliefs and rejecting those who do not.

These savings are primarily due to reduced costs for gas, parking, car maintenance, and food. One of my favorite stories about time zones comes from a flight I booked in 2012. To make the story short, I booked a flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles, and, after two years of living abroad in Asia, assumed that my flight was quoted on international 24-hour time. During this time, I was working with a team based in the US, with team members based across the country from Seattle to NYC.

Slack Emojis ✌️ Our Team’s Secret to Effective Remote Collaboration

Are there any other arrangements that this person needs to attend during their day? The urge to zero out your ever-increasing number of unreads might working remotely in a different time zone keep you awake til midnight more than just occasionally. The hesitance to say no to an out-of-timezone meeting could eventually lead you to say yes.

Employees will be able to focus and contribute their all, work cohesively on tasks with their team, and reach shared goals. Project managers like Trello, Basecamp, and Asana keep track of what everyone’s working on as it moves through the pipeline. And using one is a must-have for any team hoping to improve remote collaboration. Use a shared Google calendar to see when employees in other countries are observing national or religious holidays. Allow everyone to add their vacation and time off days here, so it’s easier to plan collaboration sessions while respecting local customs. It’s impossible to keep track of everyone’s local time zone all the time.

Allow for synchronous and asynchronous communications

When international collaboration is done poorly, you might run into frustration from colleagues, all sorts of misalignment, and a sense of personal and professional disconnection across teams. These negatives aren’t helpful for retaining employees or building a positive company culture. 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. If employees don’t create clear work boundaries, they risk burning out, which negatively affects the entire team’s productivity, creativity, and collaboration. After all, having employees working in multiple time zones is like giving your company a 24-hour workday — with the best talent in the world.

best practices for working across time zones

Let’s outline all the key steps companies can take to better manage working across time zones within the asynchronous collaboration framework. The actual time difference poses one of the biggest barriers to effective communication across distributed teams. Customer service – Virtual tech support teams often employ global staff for the simple convenience of covering diverse customer demographics across time zones. Sales – Simultaneously, sales teams that heavily rely on social media for lead generation, are more likely to employ international teams that operate across time zones. Take time to grab virtual coffees with your teammates one-on-one or in small groups, and schedule online game nights for the entire team. Consider providing a dial-in option for events like a holiday party or quarterly social if your team is partially remote.

Use Time Zone Converters

Simply line up the cursor to find a time when everyone will be awake, or a time that aligns with other parameters set in place. Orium converted to remote-first during the pandemic and Growrk was the perfect answer to the new logistics challenges that presented. Cultural diversity has the potential to unlock new ways of thinking and solving problems if you approach it with an open mind and empower people to bring their cultures to the table. Whether you’re working different shifts or clocking out early, sharing changes with your schedule is your responsibility.

Which type of communication is best suited for communication across multiple time zones?

Asynchronous communication should be standard for remote teams, especially those with employees in different time zones. As we discussed in our guide on asynchronous communication in remote working environments, asynchronous communication happens “out of sync,” or not at the same time.