working remotely in a different time zone

16 Tips on Working Remotely in A Different Time Zone Effectively

(Last Updated On: October 12, 2021)

Working remotely in a different time zone is quite smart work. “They use their free time during my working hours,” says the narrator “My lunch is their dinner.”. Those of us who work closely with colleagues in different time zones must be aware of their locations in order to successfully cooperate with them.

Managing teams across time zones do not have to be tough, despite the fact that it may appear to be a complex and frightening process. Virtual teams have grown in popularity in recent years due to their ability to provide specialization, variety, and greater production.

Working remotely in a different time zone

To be effective when working across time zones, you must be adaptable, organized, and respectful. We’ve put up a list of our best pointers to help you get through your intercontinental workday for working remotely in a different time zone:

1. When discussing dates and times with peers, be explicit

You should find it helpful to explicitly state the deadline you are working to in both timezones and their timezone when working with team members from different timezones regarding deadlines so there is no confusion on either end when the deliverable is expected to be complete.

Even if you’re working with a colleague in the same nation, failing to be as clear as possible about dates and times might lead to confusion and slow down your workflow.

2. Recognize cultural differences.

Communication styles differ from country to country. During a discussion, some cultures eschew direct eye contact, while others insist on using formal language.

When forming a virtual team that spans borders, teach each team member about cultural communication difficulties. Misinterpretation and conflict can be avoided in the future with a thorough grasp of cultural norms.

3. Make use of asynchronous work

Asynchronous work must take precedence while working with a dispersed team. Set up asynchronous processes and tools ahead of time.

Starting with async standups via Slack or weekly progress reports from team leads through recorded video messages, you can get started. The goal is to use your valuable overlap time for the most high-value tasks and leave the rest for email or Slack.

5. Recognize when it’s OK to be flexible.

When you’re working remotely or in a different area than your coworkers, it’s difficult to approach them, ask a question, or strike up a discussion. It may be difficult to interact and form relationships with your coworkers as a result of this.

Prepare to hop on a phone/video call without needing to set up a time to do so. Make sure your team knows you’re accessible through Slack (or whatever platform you’re using) and schedule in ‘air-time’ for check-ins or brief talks.

6. Know when the holidays are.

You don’t want to submit a project to Bangladesh around Eid Vacation when the offices are closed. In addition to personal and work schedules, Google Calendar allows you to add country-specific calendars for holidays.

Consider getting a subscription to a foreign calendar. These provide you with a clear view of your remote team members’ work schedules over time. Make a list of the nations with whom you collaborate, as well as all of the holidays during which your team members will be unavailable.

7. Set aside days for correspondence.

Consider collaborating with a team in India. The first step is to determine which day of the week is ideal for the team’s point person to interact with you in order to set expectations and keep the team on track.

This will provide your team and the Indian team plenty of time to concentrate on project specifics that will be discussed during the weekly correspondence meeting.

8. Make sure your staff is aware of timezone limits.

You may feel pressured to attend every meeting you’re invited to as a dedicated employee who lives far away from your company’s headquarters.

Furthermore, you may find it difficult to decline meetings planned outside of your usual working hours — or to offer other dates for meetings scheduled outside of your typical working hours.

Make sure you’re open to addressing your own work hours and limits with your distributed team, whether you’re working in-office, remotely, or in a global office outside of your main headquarters.

Similarly, encourage your coworkers to talk about their own work hours and limits so that you’re all aware of the various time zones in which you’re all working.

Even if you’ve already had an initial chat, you should speak up if you’re having trouble attending several meetings in different time zones.

Similarly, you should encourage coworkers to communicate when they encounter timezone conflicts. These talks will aid your team in learning how to brainstorm and find polite or compassionate solutions to timezone-related issues.

9. Send less important communications at a time when your overseas coworkers are available.

Some communication systems, such as Gmail, allow you to plan emails in advance if you need to send a message before or after your own work hours. If you’re working late and don’t want to bother your colleagues with a message, this is very useful while working remotely in a different time zone.

It can, however, be useful when sending a non-urgent communication to worldwide coworkers without waking them up too early in the morning or disrupting their nightly routine.

Create the email as you would any other message in Gmail to do this. Then, when you’re ready, click the arrow next to the send symbol to get the “Schedule message” option.

10. When arranging meetings, keep overseas personnel in mind.

Whether you’re planning a normal meeting, a virtual water cooler for team building, or a birthday party for a coworker, you should strive to organize these activities at a time that is convenient for all business employees.

While this may not always be practical, keeping international timetables in mind ensures that all employees feel involved and that their time is valued.

Scheduling a meeting at a time that works for all time zones might be more difficult than it appears. Finding a time that works with everyone’s schedules and normal work hours might be difficult if you’re located in the United States and have teams in Asia and California, for example.

11. Minutes of Meetings

It’s not always possible to plan meetings that fit everyone’s time zones, no matter how hard you try. Record meetings in these instances so that people who are unable to attend can view them afterward. This also aids in the creation of a log of current talks that may be referred to later.

working remotely in a different time zone

12. Make the planning time longer.

Allow for delays so you aren’t caught off guard. By include this buffer, your team will have enough time to address any issues that arise as a result of communication or shipment delays. You will finish a job early if there are no hiccups in the process. Being the first to arrive isn’t a bad thing!

You may also designate your normal work hours on a team calendar — and encourage colleagues to do the same — in addition to addressing timezone-related requirements and limits as needed.

When you have a good game plan in place, you’ll be able to video chat with coworkers on a regular basis, hear their ideas, and get a sense of what it’s like to work on the other side of the world.

These advantages allow your team to work together more effectively, and they can help your overseas coworkers feel more involved in the day-to-day work of your team.

The techniques outlined above will help you and your team choose whether to organize meetings and when to send emails, queries, or job assignments to global colleagues in a polite manner.

13. Experiment with split shifts or workdays that accommodate several time zones.

If you work in a nation where half of your team is located, ask your manager if you may work a half-day in the office and then work remotely one or more days each week. A split shift is when you work one shift that caters to your timezone and then another shift that caters to the timezone of another team.

Splitting your hourly schedule around the time zones of your team helps you to be more available for meetings or fast communication with your foreign colleagues while not neglecting your office colleagues.

It will also guarantee that you are available to your foreign department at all times of the day without having to remain up all night.

14. Discuss the difficulties.

It is not always possible to organize conference calls at convenient times. It’s critical to discuss the drawbacks. If your coworker or team worked past their country’s regular workday the last time you spoke, assign this duty to someone else for the next conference call while working remotely in a different time zone.

Respect for the sacrifices made by others creates a healthy and effective work environment.

Small mistakes make you seem awful in front of your colleagues while working locally, but the same faults might cause a two-day delay when working overseas.

Team members must be adaptable, have good organizational abilities, and show respect for one another’s space and time. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is no longer the norm.

Even tiny firms use cross-border partners and suppliers. Make a deliberate effort to treat your overseas partners nicely if you want your firm to succeed. For productivity, communication and planning are essential.

15. Make virtual procedures and project management tools a part of your daily routine.

Many teams are no longer needed to operate in the same area or at the same time because of the technologies available to us.

Utilize technologies like instant messaging applications, task management software, and progress trackers to keep your team on task and working effectively around the world. These tools will allow anybody in your team to strategize and update teams on their progress at different times of the day.

16. Follow the Norms of Culture

working remotely in a different time zone across countries and cultures is another aspect of internationally distributed teams. This may be a very important asset in terms of views and ideas, but it can also be a difficulty if it isn’t acknowledged.

Make it a priority to allow your employees to spend vacations in their home nation rather than in the country where the company is headquartered.

Take away

Working with a team across time zones poses distinct obstacles to some of the standard practices we’ve all been accustomed to. To get it done correctly, you’ll need a carefully balanced mix of compassion, flexibility, and asynchronous work.

When done right, however, it opens up a whole new universe of talent and allows individuals to live in the places where they do their greatest work. Your team can operate effectively and collaboratively no matter where they are in the world if they follow the best practices outlined above for working remotely in a different time zone.

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