Working Across Time Zones Can Be Tough Here’s How To Do It Right.

Always maintain a discussion regarding work-life balance and communication windows. Employees should feel at ease and safe expressing what is aiding or hindering productivity. Tools like Loom and PingPong let you record video messages of yourself, your screen, or both. Team leaders can assign tasks here, add resources (like spreadsheets, mockups, slides, etc.), and set deadlines.

entire team

Most of the developers on our team were based in North America—12 hours behind Singapore. As a project manager you don’t have to stay up all night to manage your virtual team; you just need a good plan that will keep everyone happy and productive and that includes you. Well, you have to implement systems which help to systemize every aspect of the virtual office. More importantly, track work output throughout the team by first communicating key performance indicators . Once everyone on the team is clear on what is expected from them ensure that you monitor and track everything to ensure every team member does their part. Today this is less arduous considering the different software available.

Encourage virtual watercooler chats

Yes, there are challenges but the benefits ultimately outweigh the hassle. However, you can successfully address these challenges with the right approaches and tools. And then another one that I got from the buffer blog, actually, was an app called

  • An enormous amount of effort is needed to overcome this particular downside of global remote work.
  • Setting expectations for communication is one of the biggest and most impactful things you can do to reduce frustration for asynchronous communication at every stage of the process.
  • “That feeling of inclusion can make such a difference to employee retention, happiness, and performance — so the little things actually matter quite a lot,” McGinty said.
  • Fewer interruptions leads to more deep work, which can dramatically increase productivity.
  • This change can either shrink or grow the overlap we have between offices.
  • When assessing team chat and collaboration apps for your distributed team, look for features that allow flexibility, autonomy, seamless collaboration, and transparent availability status options.
  • Every time a team member has to ping another team member on Slack to ask a question , that distraction can easily take the second team member out of “the zone” for 20 minutes or more.

The Couchsurfing team has a similar schedule to make sure everyone’s connected. “We have a bi-monthly full company meeting to make sure we all know we still exist,” writes designer Ben Hanna. Planning meetings across time zones might sound so painful that you’d rather just never have meetings—but don’t do that either.

Why do time zones exist?

The most popular company channels in team chat apps usually include those public, #random channels, or some more specific channels that gather people who share the same interests (e.g. #books, #gaming, #memes). Ideally, these virtual spaces would inspire teams to add to the informal chat thread, regardless of the time they logged in. If a meeting is necessary, make attendance optional so you’re not asking teammates to stay up late to get up early. If it’s recurring and unavoidable , try to schedule meeting times so that the burden is shared across the team rather than by the same people each week.

  • Still, some form of meetings is vital for organizations looking to keep the connection and interaction across distributed teams.
  • Try Every Time Zoneto super quickly see what time it is where all your coworkers are located.
  • Once everyone on the team is clear on what is expected from them ensure that you monitor and track everything to ensure every team member does their part.
  • There are team members that have to get up early or stay up late to make this daily meeting, but it’s a small price to pay for all of the benefits of remote work.
  • Proliferation of virtual teams has also brought the problem of collaboration which is a unique challenge that traditional management cannot resolve.

working across time zones collaboration is difficult and productivity can halt if digital tools fail. Read our guide on remote collaboration to learn how to overcome these challenges. This leads to a better run company, less stress, and higher quality work. Not to mention that if all time zones are covered, then the company can serve its customers 24/7 without the need for late-night shifts. Once you’ve arranged these meetings and messages, ensure managers and professionals receive training on appropriate meeting etiquette. Timing; dress codes; humor; and approaches to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) vary around the world, so make sure your teams are suitably sensitive to their colleagues’ expectations.

Work as a team while working from anywhere

If so, then you know the challenges in staying on the same page that come with working remotely. Managing different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can be frustrating. “Remind me” nudges make it easy for you to keep an eye on messages that are incoming during your off-hours so you make sure to reply to messages that come in the next time you’re online.