6 Tips for Overcoming Time Zone Challenges for Remote Teams

To work more efficiently with distributed teams, you need to treat your team like they are all working together in one office building. While this may not be possible, it is the mindset you need to adopt to organize your time and responsibilities. To work effectively with a remote team, you’ll need to put in the effort and build strong relationships across time zones. We have a few standing methods of making sure these types of communication happen often, including the daily pair call and weekly or biweekly mastermind chats. These chats are normally only 2-3 people maximum, so more often than not it’s possible to find a time that works for everyone across multiple time zones.

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Managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating. The Buffer marketing team is one of the most distributed teams in the company. Right now we’re spread across Australia, Singapore, the UK and North America. 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.

Collaborating Across Different Time Zones? Easy Peasy.

Team members can manage their tasks and catch up on work on their own time with this type of communication. In general, asynchronous communication is desirable if reaction time is not crucial. For teams operating across working remotely in a different time zone borders and time zones, asynchronous communication has been recognised as the preferable option. Teams working remotely and across time zones lack the spontaneous chats in-office coworkers are accustomed to.

challenges of working in different time zone

Ideally, you should compare the features and functionalities of the different time management tools and then select one that you think can be compatible with the business requirements of your company. We are a company that is headquartered in Poland, and we have made a name for ourselves when it comes to working successfully with foreign clients. Outlined below are the various steps we take to ensure that our clients are happy and that projects are executed within the shortest possible time, overcoming time zone differences. This means we can submit project specs or changes to them at the end of our day (Pacific Time), and they will most likely have it finished by the time we come back to work the next day.

Working Across Time Zones: Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

Let’s get a closer look at what working across time zones entails and how you can adopt better strategies to accommodate the demands of a globally distributed team. April Hoffbauer, Vice President of People at Maze, a global and fully distributed tech startup, also flags missed messages or crossed wires as a potential problem with working across time zones. To address this challenge, she recommends that when communicating this way, organizations should designate an expected time frame for responses and what medium of communication is for urgent versus nonurgent questions. “There may also be questions that are sent in a private channel that could receive a faster response in a public thread,” Hoffbauer said. A broad team that spans multiple time zones also spans a variety of regions that often have distinctive cultures, points out Erhard. “That can be a benefit, broadening the perspectives that influence your decision-making, but it can also lead to misunderstandings and communication difficulties,” he said.

  • In the case of support, we have the supporter team leader hold two meetings, one for European and Asian time zones, and another for American time zones.
  • Find a comprehensive job description template and best practices in this post.

To efficiently communicate information across organisations, companies must build new means of communication. The smart way of using communication technologies is required to create effective and focused communication. Understanding the different types of remote work communication tools and how to balance their uses are also essential.

The Best Way to Work with a Global Team

Plus, you can add the correct time to your calendar in just a click, if you’d like. And that’s nice—we all need human interaction, and it’s great that you can still get that without being in the same room. «They worked the night shift while my team in Redmond worked days,» Berkun says. «If I planned well, we’d find magic in going to bed frustrated by a missing puzzle piece, and waking to find it in our inbox. It was like having a friend in the future.»

  • Trello, Basecamp, and Asana are project management tools that keep track of what everyone is working on as it progresses through the pipeline.
  • You can invite your team members to join a private group or a public channel in the team chat app you use — for example, you can name the channel #group-activities, #team_fun_times, or simply, #team-building.
  • It’s possible to hire people around the globe and still have your whole team working 9-to-5 at your office’s time zone—after all, plenty of people work night shifts—but it’s not optimal.
  • That is, locating a country that is never far from you in terms of time difference.
  • It’s tempting to believe that sending someone a fast email will save them time, while in reality, it may end up wasting more of their day.
  • This is why study after study after study has shown remote workers to be more productive than their in-office colleagues.
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