The first step to successfully working through various time zones is planning ahead. When you’re working with a global team or a client, it’s important to familiarize yourself with their local time and time zone differences. Use online tools like World Time Buddy or Every Time Zone to help you visualize and plan your day accordingly. It is up to the company to decide how many hours a remote team needs to overlap to remain in sync and feel closer to each other.
Companies have the luxury of leaning into shared experiences and physical venues when developing a culture in an office-based workplace. Furthermore, some of the best practices for holding productive virtual team meetings include having a shared goal and describing what you expect to accomplish. Also, show empathy and understanding towards your team members or remote employees, as they may be making similar sacrifices to accommodate your needs.
Working Remotely When Everyone Else is in a Different Timezone
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. You’re reading an excerpt of The Holloway Guide to Remote Work, a book by Katie Wilde, Juan Pablo Buriticá, and over 50 other contributors. It is the most comprehensive resource on building, managing, and adapting to working with distributed teams.
There are several challenges that managers and employees face when they work in remote work settings. Some major challenges of working in different time zones include lack of real-time communication, collaboration at unexpected hours, and lack of team bonding due to no in-person meetings or interactions. A remote team that manages to achieve asynchronous communication can be remarkably beneficial when it comes to working on projects with people in varying time zones.
Plan Face-to-Face Activities Annually if Possible
But even still, if you want to make a distributed team work, you need to accept a time shift. “I’ll take phone calls late in the evening from folks that don’t realize I’m on the east coast and consider that part of the job for someone working remotely in a different time zone,” Furbish says. The major challenge in working across different time zone is managing the streamlining of work processes. Since the employees work in their respective time zones, they tend to respond asynchronously, and it often becomes an issue for projects where you need synchronous collaboration. Similarly, many other tools and applications make it easier for managers to manage employees’ working hours in different time zones.
- GitLab might be the world’s largest fully distributed company with 1,400+ remote workers in 65+ countries.
- When it comes to a traditional physical office environment, it is much easier for a newly joined employee to adapt to the working culture.
- “The big transition with a distributed workforce is going from synchronous to asynchronous collaboration,” they write.
- They’re proudly a remote-first company and took full advantage of remote collaboration long before coronavirus.
- When you’re working remotely in a different time zone, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and home life.
Work together, even if there is a time gap, and you’ll find that the old adage “two are better than one” is still true. Sometimes you need someone to hold you accountable or just to work alongside you. Jeff Atwood found that when he working remotely in a different time zone started Stack Overflow programming on his own turned into a lonely job. Here are some popular ways to use Slack with app automation tool Zapier to automatically share activity in your channels so everyone knows what’s going on.