How to work effectively across time zones

By embracing different time zones, you can build a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Research from McKinsey found that ethnically and racially diverse companies outperform their less diverse peers by 36% when it comes to financial metrics. Working across time zones is tricky, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you have the right culture, processes, and follow best practices. These moments will strengthen your team’s bond, making working across time zones more productive. During onboarding, make sure your communication policies and collaboration tools are properly defined and communicated.

No one needs to be the night owl in the group all the time, and the teams can take turns digesting the schedule challenge. How many of us often find ourselves hitting loose ends and empty, awkward pauses when talking to a colleague who is 10 hours ahead of our time zone? You have to navigate not just the time difference but the difference in language, accent, and even energy levels. The person on the other end of the Teams or Zoom call is having their last call of the day and you are just getting started with the highest possible energy level or vice versa.

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In conclusion, the comprehension of time zones and working hours in remote work stands as a cornerstone for achieving success in the realm of remote work. Embracing the vast diversity and unique perspectives that a globally distributed team can offer enriches collaboration and drives innovation. However, to navigate the intricacies of remote work effectively, businesses must adopt strategic approaches to overcome challenges and foster work-life balance for their remote employees. By prioritizing effective communication and encouraging flexibility, remote teams can rise above geographical boundaries and achieve remarkable outcomes. For asynchronous collaboration to work, teams need clear processes and guidelines on hand at all times to get a clear direction and understanding of priorities, boundaries, and goals. With the limited opportunities for verbal communication and even virtual meetings across time zones, distributed teams need to rely on written and video records to obtain all the information.

  • This strategic embrace of flexibility acknowledges the unique work-life balance needs of remote team members across different time zones, ultimately nurturing a happier, more engaged, and highly productive workforce.
  • If you’re looking for a virtual water-cooler, Slack can be used to chat about non-work-related topics like favorite TV shows and sharing pictures of your pets.
  • When working with teams in different time zones, the most important thing to remember is to be mindful, empathic, and courteous.
  • We find a consultative process is most effective for companies with 50 or more employees and a rapid process is more impactful for companies with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Effective collaboration lies at the heart of successful remote teams, and setting specific core working hours that coincide across different time zones emerges as a pivotal strategy in achieving this synergy.

Also, you may find it challenging to decline meetings scheduled outside your normal working hours—or to provide other dates for meetings planned outside your working hours. Make a deliberate effort to treat your international partners nicely, especially if you like your company to flourish. Such split shifts might look like a less practical answer, as they might interrupt employees’ work-life balance. working remotely in a different time zone Nonetheless, with thorough planning, anything can be accomplished and made to benefit every team member in the best manner. Consider establishing a rule that unless everyone in your team can be together in the same room, every meeting should be held through video calls to ensure fairness and clarity. Under a 2022 bill, which stalled in the House, daylight saving time would have been made permanent.

Benefits of Remote Work for Employees and Employers

Businesses likely have even more schedules to juggle, with some workers awake and logging in for the day while others are just signing off. With these systems in place, teams can effectively communicate both asynchronously and synchronously, allowing for efficient collaboration and productivity across multiple time zones. Additionally, having a shared understanding of these processes can help build trust and transparency within the team, creating a stronger remote working culture.

working across time zones

As 2024’s daylight saving time starts, most of the U.S. will change the time on clocks — but there are two states and several territories that do not observe daylight saving time. The map automatically highlights the time zone you hover over with your mouse cursor. If the wrong time zone appears to be highlighted when you hover over a land mass, this is usually not an error.

Here are five etiquette rules for working across time zones:

Furthermore, it will help if you make meeting rules that say what format should be used. Bringing your team together for a weekly, monthly, or even annual meet-up can be a productive and enlightening experience. Given the dislike of time changes, several states across the U.S. have tried to end daylight saving or adopt it permanently.

  • “It usually isn’t necessary, but definitely helps to build morale and keep spirits high when we can put faces to names and not feel so lonely in our remote settings,” Rike said.
  • At Buffer, we meet somewhere in the world once a year for a weeklong company retreat.
  • For example, New York City is in the Eastern Time Zone (UTC-5), and Paris is in the Central European Time Zone (UTC+1).
  • When working on a report, for example, globally distributed teammates won’t necessarily have the opportunity to ping a coworker and get the missing info right away.
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