At Culture Amp, we have offices in San Francisco, New York, and London with our headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, and remote employees across the world. On Fridays in the US, the Melbourne team is already gone for the weekend, and on Mondays in Australia, our US folks are still wrapping up their Sunday dinners. Here are a few tools we use to stay connected and some tips on what we’ve learned about operating and having meetings as a distributed organization. It’s important to create a sense of community and culture beyond borders. Thanks to conference calling and video chat, this can be fostered through social meetings. Consider weekly virtual water-cooler conversations, celebrations of team birthdays, and milestones successfully met. Whether your meeting is in work time or after hours, it’s important to be mindful about scheduling these events.
Be clear which meetings are mandatory and work-related and which are more social or cultural appointments. This allows colleagues across time zones to manage their schedules, knowing that they won’t be wasting time on a casual chat that could have been spent working productively or catching up on sleep. When working with teams in different time zones, it’s also worth considering how you can automate processes to maximize employees’ productivity. Consider which time-consuming background tasks could be suitable for AI to make the most of your working across time zones international team’s time. 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. In this article, we’ll tackle the biggest struggles for those who have freelance jobs online, or any professional who has been freelancing remotely for years. In working with distributed teams in different time zones, you have to be prepared to be flexible, accommodating and always on top of changing clocks, global holidays and miscalculations.
Best Practices for Working with Teams in Different Time Zones
On that note, as a warning, guesswork can be a huge time-suck with remote work. Sometimes the messages my team sent on Slack were vague or confusing and I’d find myself approaching it like trying to decipher code. Be upfront with what confused you and state how you interpreted the message in your response back. At first, it was an opportunity that was important for me to experience personally. In the end, it was a great remote learning experience for me professionally.
When your clients are located in a different time zone, like a really different time zone, you quickly learn how to make adjustments to your life, in order to make the relationship work. Because if you don’t, it’s too easy to get stuck in time zone hell. 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. More teams are working together across the globe, companies are building increasingly remote workforces, and recruiters can search for talent regardless of location. Employees no longer need to be in the same location to collaborate on projects.
Best practices for working across time zones
For asynchronous collaboration to work, teams need clear processes and guidelines on hand at all times to get a clear direction and understanding of priorities, boundaries, and goals. With the limited opportunities for verbal communication and even virtual meetings across time zones, distributed teams need to rely on written and video records to obtain all the information. Additionally, team members can create a shared document with their work schedules highlighting no-contact hours to ensure clear boundaries are being set and respected. Despite the very obvious benefits of having diverse remote teams and colleagues, most companies are still trying to figure out how to work successfully across different timezones. Here are some tips for remote employees and remote companies on how to make meeting across time zones work a little bit more effectively.
10 Best Practices For Working Across Time Zones via @voodleme https://t.co/KqsTepJaej
— Remote Working- Hints, Tips, News & Free Resources (@smartremotework) August 10, 2021
So before you ask people to rearrange their schedule, make sure what you plan to discuss really warrants everyone being present. Synchronous communication, or communication that happens between teams in real-time, is still essential for team building, bonding, brainstorming, celebrating project milestones, and more. Teams send each other messages without expecting an immediate reply. This allows employees to work autonomously, uninterrupted, and more productively. When employees have a break to check their messages, they can give each response the time and attention it deserves. Use a shared Google calendar to see when employees in other countries are observing national or religious holidays. Allow everyone to add their vacation and time off days here, so it’s easier to plan collaboration sessions while respecting local customs.