Best Practices and Tools for Working Across Different Time Zones

While I was abroad, we moved all meetings to overlap with my time difference. That meant meetings were the first thing on my calendar at 5 am and the last thing on my co-workers’ schedules at the end of the day. When I logged on, we were in slightly different headspaces and quickly learned I don’t effectively think on my feet at 5 am. Availability protocols are a part of a team agreement that clarify how people communicate what times they are present and available to respond in communication tools like email, chat, and calendaring apps.

working remotely in a different time zone

It’s impossible to overstate how crucial Slack—a team chat app that makes it easy to search through all of your team’s messages—is to remote teams. It’s the one app that comes up in nearly every discussion of how to make remote teams work. Even reporters from The New York Times have found that Slack helps them stay connected to their newsroom while away on assignments. “That means that the remote person has a lot of autonomy and any problems that arise can be solved by either leaving messages on Slack/email or syncing up for a couple of hours one day.” The best job for you might not be in your hometown, and you might work better when you aren’t shackled to a 9-to-5 workday. And that’s ok on a distributed team, as long as you can manage the time shift.

How do I know what time zone someone’s in?

This may pose a difficult task if your company stretches from Singapore to San Francisco to Paris. However, it’s important for company culture and for everyone to not miss out on important information from the executive team. Here are 7 tips that we recommend to help you navigate time zones for your global team. Aside from specifically discussing timezone-related needs and boundaries as needed, you can also mark your standard work hours on a team calendar — while encouraging colleagues to do the same. Remote working has increasingly become common, with businesses discovering that worldwide teams can be incredibly beneficial for an organization’s culture and ability to hire from a diverse talent pool. Remote working has given companies access to a massive pool of talent that can be hired from anywhere in the world.

  • “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.”
  • These types of jobs are just like traditional office jobs — set hours, steady pay, and benefits — without a daily commute.
  • Learn how to write an effective Ruby on Rails developer job description, including key qualifications and responsibilities, and sample job description template.
  • It takes an exceptional leader with organizational skills to effectively manage a remote team.
  • Time is precious, especially when the lines from work and home are blurred.
  • It surprised me when I felt shameful for asking questions in meetings.

Don’t forget, therefore, to plan ahead, set clear expectations, leverage technology, be flexible, compromise, use asynchronous communication, and prioritize self-care. When working within different time zones, it is very important to be mindful of your teammates’ time zone. You should avoid scheduling meetings during the times that you know everyone will not be awake, but this isn’t always possible if you work with people across multiple continents. If you do need to schedule something during off-hours, check first to make sure it is okay.

Communicate time zone boundaries

It also means that you’re not necessarily communicating at the same time. Time zones are geographical locations where people experience similar daylight hours at any given time throughout the year. The Head of Remote position sits on the organization’s leadership team and is responsible for building and maintaining remote company culture and employee experience. It was first suggested by Andreas Klinger, CTO at On Deck, and pioneered by GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and Darren Murph.

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