You’ll need to know which times of the day your colleague in London will be awake, and the times you’re most likely to get support tickets from your Australian customers. If you’re always waiting for someone to tell you what to do next, and that someone’s asleep while you’re working, you’ll never get anything done. That’s why the most crucial part of building a remote team is hiring self-directed workers—”managers of one,” as the Basecamp team calls them in their book Rework. “You want someone who’s capable of building something from scratch and seeing it through. Finding these people frees the rest of your team to work more and manage less,” the book explains. 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.

What time zone is best for work?

If you want to interact and work with the whole world, there is pretty much no better time zone than those of Central European Time and Central African Time. They're at the center of the world, literally! Neighbors to Asia on one side, and the Americas on the other, these time zones are in a prime position.

If a team member is waiting to review content being created on another coast, managers should consider shifting deadlines that ensure everyone’s time is used effectively. So I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned about remote project management across time zones. When the team and management work together to discover the best way to successfully navigate global schedules, everyone benefits, and the company thrives.

Team micromanagement

However, from a business standpoint, it is hard to argue against operating across multiple time zones. In spite of the challenges, the upsides far outweigh the drawbacks. One advantage is that you can draw on a broader and more diverse pool of talent and skills. Managing a global team is more complicated than managing one that works from the same office. You’ll need to account for different time zones, work styles, and cultural norms in your management style.

In today’s workplace, diversity is more often than not the normal modus operandi. Modern leaders understand that diversity breeds creativity, provides different perspectives to a global customer landscape, and allows us to ultimately build better product for a global audience. A remote worker must be a self-starter who can continue working without someone watching them. They must manage their time and energy wisely, which can be challenging when working from home. The best way to work remotely is by trying to replicate most of the things you’d do in an office job.

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

Discounts on all services available to subscription members, become one now. Clearly define goals, roles, responsibilities, and deadlines so that everyone on the team knows what needs to be done and by when. We created this blog to share some of the knowledge and experience that we have around travel, remote work, photography and beyond! Within Google Calendar, one of my absolute favorite ways to stay productive while working at home or freelancing, you can have your time zone, and a second one. Getting familiar with the map can help you visualize time zones before you even get to World Time Buddy in your browser (but, we still recommend using World Time Buddy to perfect your calculations). One time, when we were working remotely and traveling as freelancers in Hanoi, Vietnam, Dan had a cross-time-zone meeting with clients in the US, Australia and somewhere else as well.

  • Also, ensure every person involved has the right admin access to avoid late-night calls, hold-ups, and rescheduling.
  • Time zone coverage is just something that’s automatically possible with distributed teams.
  • Companies employing diverse teams spanning multiple time zones enjoy complete time zone coverage.
  • Research shows that organizations spend around 15% of their time on meetings.

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. Okay, my next tip is to get in the habit of double-checking your times. If you’re going to work with global teams, it just happens even to the best of us.

Automate Appointment Booking With Scheduling Tools

Often called split shifts, this involves working part of the day during your time zone, then working part of the day during the time zone of another team. It is equally important for managers to schedule meetings within their teams’ working hours. Be sure that your entire team is able to find times that work for all of them. Make sure you don’t let your dispersed team members hop on a call at 7 am just because it’s convenient for you. The most important thing to do when working remotely is to grow comfortable communicating asynchronously whenever possible. Even though your whole team may be in different major cities or different countries, with geographic and time zone differences separating you—with effective async communication, none of that matters.

working in different time zones

Remember to also take advantage of video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet for face-to-face communication, which can help build rapport and trust among team members. Remember that when your clients or colleagues end for the day, you’ll essentially be communicating asynchronously. To do this effectively across time zones, you must be in tune with their current time and their schedules. One thing to keep in mind about how to overcome time zone differences is to be transparent about where you’re located (mentioned above), but moreover, your working hours.

Leave Room for Synchronous Communication

Showing understanding of these cultural differences can go a long way in creating a cohesive team. While you still want to be cognizant of others’ time zones, setting one official time zone for your company can help alleviate confusion. If each manager is setting meetings according to their own personal time zone, that leaves everyone else scrambling to translate it to their own.

The ideal way to tackle this problem is to hire workers in similar or overlapping time zones. Even if you think you’re on the right track, you may not have enough time to put up ads on job boards or go through lengthy vetting processes to find the right talent. Argentina’s time zone is 2 hours ahead of EST, giving you a time zone overlap of about six hours.

Embrace Cultural Diversity

This is only possible on a regular basis when everyone is working in overlapping (if not identical) time zones. Pay particular attention to whether any options are unavailable in certain countries — you want all of your employees to be using a cohesive suite of products, regardless of where they’re based. Give particular consideration to your progress tracker software, which will enable you to build strategies in real time and monitor the progress of colleagues across the globe. This will allow global workers to keep on the same page with each project, leaving one another notes for seamless handover.

How do you communicate across time zones?

Be clear when talking about times

To avoid unnecessary confusion, it's crucial to get your head around time zones and be precise and consistent in the way you talk about times when you're setting up meetings. So, always include a time standard when referring to times, whether spoken, in emails or in calendar invites.