Working Across Different Time Zones: Best Practices & Tools

It can come in a few ways, like a flexible schedule or the option to work from any location. Python frameworks are collections of pre-written codes that developers use when building web applications. It mainly consists of your best built projects, a summary of your skill set, and your achievements. Here is a list of potential obstacles that one could experience when working as a remote software engineer, as well as suggestions for how to overcome them.

But people who can’t say no to their bosses are at a higher risk of burnout, so it’s important to let your people set boundaries. When scheduling meetings, be vocal that if a time doesn’t work for an employee, they’re welcome to suggest alternatives. While some flexibility will be expected from the lone Australian employee if everyone else is based in the U.S., they shouldn’t be expected to meet every morning at 7 am — unless that was explicitly agreed upon.

Microsoft Teams and the Office Suite

Teams can help enable distributed employees by providing a discretionary budget for tech like noise-canceling headphones, microphones, high-quality laptops with cameras, and high-speed Internet access. Having the right kind of gear empowers remote employees to actively participate in the conversation—to literally be seen and heard. The future of work is remote, which means negotiating different time zones is an inescapable reality. Read on for 10+ strategies on making your communication inclusive and seamless. When you are looking for employees or business partners, it can be tough to find the right person in an industry where ‘who you know’ is just as important as what you know. By hiring remote workers, you’ll never have to worry about geographical limitations again.

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. Fried and Heinemeier Hansson offer another upside to remote work in their book on the topic. “The big transition with a distributed workforce is going from synchronous to asynchronous collaboration,” they write. “Not only do we not have to be in the same spot to work together, we also don’t have to work at the same time to work together.” We also have a lot of tools for asynchronous, everyone-at-their-own-pace communication, including Threads, Trello and Paper.

Encourage virtual watercooler chats

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. Or in overlapping time zones, and copy and paste it onto a truly distributed team. The Head of Remote position sits on the organization’s leadership team and is responsible for building and maintaining remote company culture and employee experience. It was first suggested by Andreas Klinger, CTO at On Deck, and pioneered by GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and Darren Murph. This is foundational to working in a distributed team spread across time zones where quick check-ins aren’t feasible.

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. To successfully utilize key principles of asynchronous communication to their advantage, distributed teams need to prioritize efficient, written communication. When working on a report, for example, globally distributed teammates won’t necessarily have the opportunity to ping a coworker and get the missing info right away. This is why it’s paramount to keep detailed written records of all the processes and projects.

The Benefits of Integrating AI with Your Phone System

If you really do need to have everyone there, try to pick a time that works for most people and then ask the remaining few if they can attend. Then the next time you organize a meeting, share the burden and make it easy for them and harder for everyone else. Remote collaboration is difficult and productivity can halt if digital tools fail. Read our guide on remote collaboration to learn how to overcome these challenges.

Just make sure that the timing for these activities works for the schedules of everyone involved. As the world is moving toward a fully distributed work model, there’s still plenty of value in in-person team meetups. While the digital workspace can perfectly support all the work processes, the social component takes the biggest hit in organizations promoting a remote-first work culture. To help your distributed workforce connect, consider facilitating live meetups when possible.

AWS Developer Job Description (Template + Tips)

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. Studies have shown that companies that have shifted to remote work culture have increased productivity. Adopting asynchronous communication enables each individual to stay well informed about the projects they are working on and changes that need to be made when building products. Having teams across time zones is the greatest investment any company could venture into.

Companies employing smaller internationally distributed teams are more likely to have staff members experience feelings of isolation and being left out from the company culture and general social interactions. For one, it threatens to disrupt the trust between team members, as working remotely in a different time zone there’s not sufficient information and knowledge sharing going around. Of course, differences in locations and backgrounds can also add another layer to the misunderstanding and distrust. If left unattended, this malpractice can take root and degenerate further into team silos.

Set a regular agenda where people have the opportunities to share wins and shoutouts. It’s also an important place to bring up any obstacles to see if teammates have effective problem-solving ideas or solutions. You can use the time to update everyone on projects and timelines so everyone hears the same consistent messaging and is able to ask questions. Many companies are open to employees being within the same state or within a certain distance of the building. When considering candidates from different regions than where the company is based, SMB leaders must review how their taxes, payroll, compliance, recruiting, and benefits may be affected. Even if they reside in a different area, employees want to feel connected to their employer.