5 tips for scheduling meetings across different time zones
5 tips for scheduling meetings across different time zones
We often assume when we’re talking to someone new that they’re in the same time zone as us. When scheduling a meeting or call with remote team members, make sure to ask them what time zone they are in so that you can account for any time difference with their local time when you schedule. Splitting your hourly schedule around your team’s timezones allows you to be more available for meetings or quick communication with your international colleagues without ignoring the colleagues in your office. It will also ensure that you’re available to your international department without needing to stay up all hours of the day. Once you and your team establish timezones boundaries and preferred work hours, respect them. This means that if you need something from a global teammate, you determine how urgent the task is before sending it.
The social disconnect can breed various productivity and personal obstacles that could wreak havoc on your organization over time. Managers and decision-makers are the ones facing the harshest challenges when working with teams who operate across time zones. Along with aligning operations, other risks could seriously disrupt major processes, if left unchecked. Let’s get a better insight into the challenges of globally distributed teams to get a clearer idea of what to look out for and how to prevent any larger issues. Ask employees to send four hours they work the same each day.
Get specific when discussing dates and times with peers.
When working remotely you might feel pressured to attend meetings at all times of the day. Earlier in my career, I have made that mistake, and tried to attend every possible meeting. My teams were spread over 12 timezones, which means I was awake around the clock, which made me tired all the time, inevitably inefficient and then I just burnt out. Even though I was “attending” the meetings, I wasn’t there for my team.
It’s crucial that you adopt a remote-first mindset, document decisions clearly and concisely for people who are unable to attend, and record the meeting. Ideally, you’ll write a memo before each meeting to help attendees know what to expect and how to prepare. You’ll be surprised how many meetings aren’t needed if you do this. Working in an office (or with the same work hours) is filled with impromptu moments that break up your day, many of which are unwanted distractions. Other moments, like grabbing lunch with colleagues, are a great way to break up the day.
Always ask: is this meeting necessary?
Some of us do our best work late at night, while others prefer to get up early and spend the late afternoons away from the desk. And while some metropolitan areas offer certain lifestyle perks, other big-city issues—like high costs-of-living—will drive potential employees away. With the remote first work culture spreading across the globe, many companies have employees scattered all over the world. These moments will strengthen your team’s bond, making working remotely more productive.
Give examples of times you faced communication challenges in the office and explain how you dealt with them. Showcasing a track record of success and remote work skills boosts employment prospects for work-from-home employment opportunities. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t be a productive and successful remote employee. You just have to know what skills companies want for remote jobs and how to point them out to potential employers.
Easy to read – The European Union
Many countries started using hourly time zones by the late 1920s. Many nations today use standard time zones, but some places use 30 or 45 minute deviations from standard time. Some countries such as China use a single time zone even though their territory extends beyond the 15 degrees of longitude.
It takes extra effort for remote teams to stay on task without face-to-face communication. Time zones are geographical locations where people experience similar daylight hours at any given time throughout the year. People have lived in different time zones for a long time, but it hasn’t always been as organized as it is today. Just over a century ago, towns and cities set their own time. One person would make sure the official town clock read noon when the sun was highest in the sky each day. Then, they would go around town and adjust other people’s clocks to make sure they matched.
Write what you’ve done that day, share where you’re hung up on a project, and ping others with ideas. 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. To work effectively with a time shift, you’ll also need to work in public. In working remotely in a different time zone other words, communicate, and make sure everyone knows what you’re working on. The ability to hand off work is a productivity benefit, but it’s also motivator since you know you must accomplish tasks so you can hand them off to co-workers at day’s end. “It puts a little pressure on you to get your work done,” says TechCrunch’s Russell.
If you’re at a loss for ideas, here are 57 virtual team-building activities, games, and ideas to boost remote employee morale in online teams. However, when you’re managing remote team members, not all communication happens in real-time. There are widely accepted benefits to distributed work, and anyone who manages remote team members is well aware of them.
Asynchronous communication has emerged as a preferred method for organizations operating across time zones. In addition to removing the time constraint of the traditional synchronous approach, the asynchronous method, ideally, ensures communication records remain at hand. Zapier are on a mission to make automation easy and accessible to everyone at work. With over 400 remote employees spread across 30 countries, Zapier is one of the largest fully remote companies.
- Nurture and grow your business with customer relationship management software.
- I ended up naturally allotting more of my time than expected to calls, meetings, documentation, reading everything on Slack to keep up with all that I was missing while I was offline.
- Remote collaboration is difficult and productivity can halt if digital tools fail.
- This will ensure all your colleagues can attend and participate in discussions without having to be up early or stay up late.