5 tips for scheduling meetings across different time zones

This can make it challenging to schedule meetings and collaborate on projects. Not only do they follow uncoordinated work schedules, but some forget to compute time zone differences. Meeting hosts can’t just provide the same schedule in 24 time zones.

Likewise, employees should inform their manager and teammates about the best way to reach them outside of working hours if an emergency arises. When it comes to the challenges of working in different time zones, team task management promotes collaboration between teams without expecting either of them to work solely antisocial hours. It also allows for teams who work primarily with international colleagues and clients to stay connected with their own office.

How to Work Across Time Zones as a Remote Team: Best Practices

If your team works in different time zones, then you will need to communicate asynchronously most of the time. If so, then you know the challenges in staying on the same page that come with working remotely. We also encourage team members to meet via our Camper Coffee Lottery. The slack bot, Donut, connects Campers across offices for casual chats every few weeks. As we continue to grow, it continues to be a great way for us to stay connected. We each get so much done in whatever places makes us happiest to work.

  • Moreover, it removes the sense of isolation that remote work can lead to.
  • And one suggestion that I’ll make is in that overlap time, try to spend time on video together.
  • The next one is worldtimebuddy.com, and that is for scheduling meetings with people in different time zones.
  • Particularly if you don’t introduce new processes to manage a truly global team.
  • With more & more companies adopting a remote work model, the tips & tools will help you achieve success while working remotely with teams in different time zones.

This can make it hard to communicate and develop a relationship with your colleagues. Messaging apps, such as Slack, allow team members to chat and have discussions easily. Take the post-meeting discussion to Slack afterward, so employees who are unable to attend (or need to immediately go to bed) can look back later and catch up. Our suggestion is to rotate the meeting time so everyone has an equal opportunity for the most and least convenient times to meet. Using Dublin, Sydney, and New York City as an example again, let’s take a look at the times that could potentially work for a team meeting. Remote and global employees know they need to be flexible, but still, managers struggle to get team members on the same schedule.

Remote Work Loneliness: How to Protect Your Mental Health When Working Remotely

Options could include one or more days per week on which employees work a half-day in the office, then remotely at night or early in the morning. This means their time is equally distributed between their own office’s time zone and another team’s time zone. With all the https://remotemode.net/blog/10-tips-on-working-in-different-time-zones/ apps and tools available, the time zone difference can create plenty of confusion among employees working across time zones. Speaking of connection among teammates, working across time zones makes it almost impossible to keep the team spirit and social engagement up.

Having a social relationship with colleagues does more than just combat isolation. Furthermore, it reduces barriers to asking questions, getting help, and taking risks. Suppose you work in one country but half your team is located in another.

Try Out Different Work Schedules

But actually, recording your meetings for the people that can be there can be very useful in a number of ways. One is they actually get to see and hear the conversation themselves. And for the person that’s listening, you feel like you’re part of the team, even though you weren’t at the meeting. It has a weird effect when you were seeing your colleagues and you’re listening to them as you’re watching the meeting. And a lot of people will try to have teams that really overlap a lot, even though they are in other time zones. Have them working on separate things with just a small amount of overlap when the times are convenient.

Maybe your sales team is in Chicago and your dev team is in Dublin. Maybe you’re headquartered in Sydney but work with contractors around the globe. Or maybe you’re fully distributed, with teammates on every continent around the world. If you are https://remotemode.net/ a regular reader of our blog, you will have realised a common thread which is establishing clear boundaries. Establishing boundaries around work-life balance, around meeting cadence, and in general around your asynchronous communication methods.

When scheduling meetings across time zones, find and use schedule overlaps to your advantage. If you are unable to find overlapping working hours, you will need to discuss or rotate who will work outside their general working hours in order to meet with your team members, vendors, or clients. All meetings, from project kickoff to lessons learned, have to take scheduling across time zones into consideration to be successful. These 15 tips can help guide organizers to create strong schedules that support team collaboration.

How should you schedule a meeting with someone in another time zone?

Google Calendar is a great tool for scheduling meetings in different time zones. You can simply create an event and then select the time zone that you want it to be in. Google Calendar will then automatically adjust the time of the event to match the time zone of the person who is viewing it.

It’s harder to get to know team members when everyone doesn’t work in the same office, not to mention in the same time zone. For starters, flexible work hours have been scientifically proven to reduce burnout, stress levels, and psychological distress while increasing job satisfaction. They’re proudly a remote-first company and took full advantage of remote collaboration long before coronavirus. Getting used to higher autonomy and async communication can be challenging, but there are more and more companies doing it–and doing it well. Check out our post on 100+ fully remote companies for more examples. 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.

Calling people back to the office? Consider your workplace strategy first

An automated program will work 24 hours, allowing workers in all time zones to benefit from its data processing power while focusing on tasks that require a human touch. The actual time difference between co-workers is a significant barrier to effective real-time communication. If remote employees don’t have overlap in work hours, there can be a lag between a question being asked and answered. Of course, if you can’t afford to fly your entire team to a location very often, you can turn to virtual team-building events to keep up the team spirit in the meantime. 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. There, you can suggest interesting team activities and play fun team-building games designed for virtual team settings.

best practices for working across time zones

No one way is better than the next as long as everyone is feeling seen, heard, and respected, no matter their location or work preferences. Even if your company hosts yearly conferences, that’s still a lot of missed opportunities and time apart on a daily basis. This way team members can digest all the information they need at a time that suits them, without having to worry about falling behind or missing out on crucial work details.

Running a small business means you have a lot on your plate – especially when you’re trying to figure out the best way to hire a dispersed workforce and work across time zones. Handing the headache over to a professional employer organization (PEO), like ExtensisHR, can help. To start, companies should clearly and frequently communicate their purpose – employees want to know that they’re a part of an important and fulfilling mission.

  • If you have a widely distributed 15-person team and everyone can attend except three people because the meeting is at 2 a.m.
  • On-the-fly collaboration tends to occur less frequently when working across time zones, but the right tools can change that.
  • 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.