Best Practice for Effectively Working Across Time Zones

Most options have a free trial that will allow your team to try it out and see what they think. By utilizing Dropbox, you can access the files from any computer or phone as long as you log in. It’s also a great tool to back up your computer or phone in case anything crashes. Google Drive is another file sharing and storage option if you like the Google platform. It’s completely free to use this service for all users and it’s incredibly easy to navigate. In this article we’ll compare and contrast commercial time tracking software with its open source counterpart.

best practices for working across time zones

The already limited communication opportunities leave no room for staff to share what they’re working on, talk about ideas, or future plans. This can leave employees feeling their work is being overlooked, and potentially affect their career advancement as it doesn’t allow enough insight into their effort and contribution. Cloud-based technology allowed a number of industries to adopt some form of remote work model. Naturally, organizations jumped at the opportunity to select from a global pool of talent which is, essentially, the key factor that led to the formation of teams that span across different time zones.

Mastering Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication

It’s tough to keep the collaboration and team spirit high with one team leaving the virtual office just as another is starting their workday. They’re proudly a remote-first company and took full advantage of remote collaboration long before coronavirus. Teams that work across multiple time zones can’t rely on real-time communication. There’s no room to ask clarifying questions and you don’t have the luxury of reading a person’s facial expressions or tone of voice. Working in a global team spread across time zones means embracing a remote-first, not a remote-friendly, culture. You can’t just be aware of time zones, you need to construct a company where time zones are at the core of every internal operation.

best practices for working across time zones

Moreover, one McKinsey study found that the more ethnically and racially diverse companies outperform their less diverse peers by 36% when it comes to financial targets. Building an asynchronous culture can seem intimidating but you’ll need to if you plan to work across time zones. When you can’t rely on synchronous communication, you need to be able to continue working when help could be a day or two away. While it may seem overkill to hire a person solely dedicated to this, it’s a mistake to think that you can simply take what was working in the office.

More diverse and inclusive workplace

Teams operating across time zones require a unique set of functionalities specifically customized to meet the needs of the asynchronous workforce. 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. Another key feature of such team chat apps is the pin option as it helps keep the important documents top of mind and easily accessible. While the complexity of working across time zones can’t be denied, the undeniable benefits of remote work, such as access to global talent and extended operational hours, make it a compelling choice.

  • People communicate differently when in a group setting like a video conference and it can improve the overall team dynamics.
  • An employee handbook is a written document that outlines the company’s mission, culture, core values, policies, procedures, teams, best practices, and any other information employees need to do their work.
  • That enables colleagues across different time zones to deal with their schedules, knowing they won’t be wasting time on a casual talk that could have been used working productively or catching up some sleep.
  • It covers all the essential elements including responsibilities, skills, qualifications, and employee benefits.

Asynchronous communication means working without being in direct contact with people, such as through email, online chat, or by sending video messages such as Loom videos. How many of us often find ourselves hitting loose ends and empty, awkward pauses when talking to a colleague who is 10 hours ahead of our time zone? You have to navigate not just the time difference but the difference in language, accent, and even energy levels. The person on the other end of the Teams or Zoom call is having their last call of the day and you are just getting started with the highest possible energy level or vice versa.

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