Working Across Multiple Time Zones: Tools and Strategies

“When it comes to online publishing, being in different places isn’t so strange,” says Russell. Aside from the few weeks every year when we’re all together at our company retreats, there’s always someone at Zapier awake and working. Time zone coverage is just something that’s automatically possible with distributed teams. Fried and Heinemeier Hansson offer another upside to remote work in their book on the topic. “The big transition with a distributed workforce is going from synchronous to asynchronous collaboration,” they write. “Not only do we not have to be in the same spot to work together, we also don’t have to work at the same time to work together.”

working in different time zones

Developers, perhaps, have it the easiest with code comments and pull requests, but everyone should share what’s happening in their own “manager of one” domain. The ability to see what others are saying not only gives you insight to how others are working—something you might glean by working together—but it also enables the more fun aspects of working in a team. “What’s more, I have a feeling of intimacy with co-workers on the other side of the country that is almost fun,” Manjoo says. “One danger of my job, as a columnist who works in California, is a feeling of disconnection from the mother ship in New York,” writes technology columnist Farhad Manjoo.

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Suppose you work in one country but half your team is located in another. Consider working a half-day at the office and then working remotely one or more days a week at night or early in the morning. Often called split shifts, this involves working part of the day during your time zone, then working part of the day during the time zone of another team. A shared team calendar might be helpful as everyone can see each other’s availability. In addition to confounding my brain, time zones also provide some fun and interesting challenges when it comes to how we all work together at Buffer as a fully remote, distributed team.

  • Examples would be sending an email or leaving a voice message for them to respond to whenever it’s convenient for them.
  • Instead of giving one project deadline to suit the majority’s time zone, try to stagger deadlines to take international teams into account.
  • When compared against the benefits, the downsides of working across several time zones are minor inconveniences.

It may also cause everyone to plan a meeting across time zones when they’re the ones working unusual hours. Your employees need to understand https://remotemode.net/blog/10-tips-on-working-in-different-time-zones/ what you expect of them on a day-to-day basis. But it’s also critical that you make time to understand what they can manage.

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Teammates can log on and see what you’ve worked on while they were away. With the right information, they can jump in and solve problems once you’ve clocked out. This way, your team operates in a relay, which can accelerate your output and ability to solve problems. Collaborating in a remote team spanning across different time zones can be a huge challenge. Most teams experience delays in communication hindering the progress or deployment of a product.

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. Once everyone’s set and communicated their working hours, make sure you’re respecting them! This respect is so key to maintaining work-life balance across time zones, and making sure that everyone is communicating in a productive way.

Support Asynchronous Collaborations

“If you’re clear about why you can’t work every hour of the day across all timezones, teammates will understand that. Just make sure you propose alternatives,” says Nataly Kelly, HubSpot’s VP of Localization. Find a comprehensive job description template and best practices in this post. You’ll learn about the key responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required for an AWS developer role, including hard skills and soft skills. Learn how to create an effective MongoDB Developer job description that will attract the right candidates for your open position. This post provides a template and tips for highlighting specific skills, emphasizing important requirements, and more.

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