6 Tips for Overcoming Time Zone Challenges for Remote Teams

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working remotely in a different time zone

Hence, you should try to separate the place where you work from a relatively quiet place in your home. Everyone will have everything they need to get up and running as soon as they sign in for the day, regardless of what time it is.

Con: Time zones are merciless

“Since there are people working from nearly every time zone in the world, there was always someone online to help with a problem or joke around with when you’re working,” he wrote in his book. It might work out great for you, if you like to work nontraditional hours anyway. Software engineer Kevin Furbish found this to be true about his remote team at Intuit.

working remotely in a different time zone

The reality is that, often, somebody will have to stay up late for a meeting. Using this type of tool makes handling projects in various time zones simpler because each team member has access to the system from anywhere around the globe. There are several of them to choose from, and they all come with some fascinating features. It visualizes which cities your remote employees are in at the moment and see the local times in those cities in chronological order.

Embrace asynchronous meetings

Scheduling and assigning a list of tasks during the beginning of each week gives your remote employees a chance to analyze the target work beforehand. If they encounter any issues, a suitable time can be decided on for a meeting to discuss them. Hence, setting weekly goals can help keep the workflow seamless, irrespective of varying time zones. A remote team that manages to achieve asynchronous communication can be remarkably beneficial when it comes to working on projects with people in varying time zones. This type of communication method can make everyone take some time to step back before messaging a colleague. It also places extra consideration into their written communication to account for the gap between replies.

  • A good meeting agenda should include the topics being addressed as well as action items, talking points, and other activities.
  • Therefore, it’s reasonable to switch meeting schedules every month or quarter.
  • You can find more info on how to work for a US company from Mexico here.
  • This is easy for teams that work with people across two or three time zones that are all next to each other.

A complete remote organisation cannot rely on many of these shared experiences and physical venues to help create our culture as a totally distributed organisation. It is necessary to create a culture that prioritises your values and requires every team member to understand and uphold them. A remote team’s culture is conveyed in what you working remotely in a different time zone think (your values) and demonstrated in how you behave every day (your actions). This is something Deirdre Mc Gettrick, founder of ufurnish, a UK-based online furniture platform, has seen first-hand. Since the pandemic, her team of 16 employees has been working fully remotely, and now travel twice a year for company-wide meetings.

Flexible Schedules: The Pros, Cons, & Surprising Outcomes

When your global teammates feel like their schedule is respected, they might feel happier at their job, less stressed, or have an easier time tuning out of work communication outside of their main work hours. Ultimately, these things will help boost job retention, productivity, and your team’s overall performance. Despite all of the benefits of building a great remote global team, you will still need to figure out how to manage employees working across different time zones. To not waste any more time attempting to figure out how time zones work and converting time, you should consider setting up some time zone management tools. Time zone management tools are an excellent way to know which employee has already headed off to bed and which one is available for communication. Asynchronous communication is an excellent way for managers and remote employees to be mindful of different time zones.

  • Building an asynchronous culture can seem intimidating but you’ll need to if you plan to work across time zones.
  • Many teams are struggling to coordinate when there is even a small time difference, like a couple of hours.
  • Do you want to improve your message writing skills when your team is working remotely?
  • With regular earbuds from behind, how will people know you’re in the zone?

This is a true gem for digital nomads wanting to be more productive and avoid endless (and sometimes useless) meetings. As a remote worker, you surely realize by now how clear communication is quintessential. Be transparent about your work hours, availability, and response times. Let your clients or colleagues know how soon they can expect to hear back from you and if there will be any delays due to time zone differences. Scheduling conflicts can also arise when working in a different time zone.

You can make great progress in working on the business, as opposed to being involved in it. If you need to sync with them 100%, the ideal working hours would have your shift end in the evenings. The cost of living is another thing to keep in mind because where you can afford to live might take priority over any time zone preference you might have. You can compare prices with Numbeo to determine your monthly expenses while staying in a foregin country.

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