7 Strategies For Working With Clients In Different Time Zones


It’s absolutely possible to do great work with a dispersed team, but you must plan work accordingly. Break things up into chunks that can be worked on individually, find time to sync back up on what’s been done, and make sure each person on the team can self-direct their work.

  • That’s what The Year Without Pants author, Berkun, encountered when he worked at Automattic.
  • In fact, by 2022, Gartner predicts that 75% of businesses with diverse frontline decision-makers will exceed their financial targets.
  • Expecting your teammates to be “always-on” doesn’t create the best culture and might make them feel disrespected.
  • Therefore, I didn’t want to miss them for anything, driven by the fear that my team might be wondering what I was up to if not delivering on my communicated plans.

I moved to a different country every month, which meant exposure to a variety of remote work hubs. Before starting at a new spot, I liked to walk there from my apartment and assess the route and lunch options.

How To Facilitate Communication & Meetings Across Time Zones

10 Minutes — Lesley shares customer feedback from the week, both good and bad. This is enormously helpful in putting our customers front and center for every member of the team, and making sure that we’re all thinking about why our customers do business with us, and what we can do better. Anybody that has good news (Groove-related or otherwise) shares it now, giving the team the chance to celebrate victories each day. Bonus of working by phone, you get very familiar with time zone issues if you try. I feel confident that as time goes on, remote work will improve as we each individually develop better remote work skills.

  • This loss of productivity — and increase in frustration — can add up quickly.
  • I find a few hours of uninterrupted focus, outside my teammates’ working hours, to be really valuable, if used correctly.
  • If your trip is taking you east, try to get up earlier and go to bed earlier than normal.
  • You can start by doing async standups in Slack or have weekly progress updates from team leads through recorded video messages.

Chic Fil A had revenue of more than $6 billion in 2015 yet they are closed on Sundays. You’re rarely going to see your clients outside of your geographic area, most likely. In the age of technology, it’s easy to be effective without being physically on site, but at our core, we’re still more comfortable talking to humans rather than computers and smart phones. When the time changes in the United States, that time zone app will become important again as you figure out who changed and who didn’t. SimplyHired may be compensated by these employers, helping keep SimplyHired free for jobseekers. SimplyHired ranks Job Ads based on a combination of employer bids and relevance, such as your search terms and other activity on SimplyHired.

Cons Of A Distributed Team

Plus, even though we joke about wearing your PJs to meetings, there’s a lot more weight in professionalism in meetings as a remote team member. If you have to be “on” at all, then it should be during those calls with your team.

working in different time zones

Just search for the current time zone in the city/ country you’re trying to coordinate with. Open-ended discussion in groups larger than 3 felt difficult as conversation dynamics are different when online. There’s a slight time delay when people speak, and when two or more people speak at the same time, they tend to mute each out out.

Working Remotely Across Time Zones Is Hard, But It Doesnt Have To Suck

Of those polled, 86 percent of global teams meet at least once a week, and they’re 12 percent less likely to report issues with teammates. However, international teams also note that one of the biggest struggles they face is managing meetings around time zones.

  • Marketing – Social media marketing teams, in particular, are prone to working across time zones.
  • You can share quick messages, explain new processes, or outline complicated concepts with your team sans real-time meetings.
  • The above team might be just one new employee away from losing any areas of standard business hours overlap.
  • Likewise, you should also encourage colleagues to communicate when they’re running into timezone blockers.
  • One thing to keep in mind about how to overcome time zone differences is to be transparent about where you’re located , but moreover, your working hours.

Each team member shares what they accomplished the previous week, what they’re planning to work on in the coming week, and what blockers stand in their way. This takes practice to be able to do well, but now that we’ve all gotten good at it, it’s an incredibly powerful way to distill the most important things that the team needs to know https://remotemode.net/ about. We’ve worked hard to improve our asynchronous collaboration⁠—more on that below⁠—and it’s paid off big time for us. Last Tuesday, I was getting ready to wind down for the night, and I opened up Slack one final time to check for anything that needed my attention. I lived right on the border between eastern and center time zones.

Be Clear About Time Zones

Open up a free account at Timezone.io and you’ll be able to see your entire team on a grid showing who’s in which time zone and what time it is there. You can also easily adjust the time slider at the top of the screen to go back or forward in time, which is helpful when planning meetings and projects. Sometimes you need to know how time zones fit in with each other—that’s where World Time Zone comes in.

  • Teams send each other messages without expecting an immediate reply.
  • Be as considerate with your own schedule as you are with your teammates’.
  • It’s up to everyone on the team to establish working hours and set their own personal work boundaries.
  • This may not always be possible, but being mindful of international schedules ensures that all employees feel included and that their time is respected.

With these new changes come new challenges to face when you have a global team. However, failing to manage your team working remotely from different corners can negatively impact the growth of your business by disengaging the workforce and reducing employee productivity. Satellite offices and remote work systems can create a huge communication gap in your system, making it difficult to create a strong professional relationship.


Early on in your trip, find the cafe near your hotel/apartment/co-living space with stellar coffee, espresso or tea. We’d suggest finding a lively coworking space where you can be surrounded by fellow energetic remote workers and digital nomads. After waking up the following day, go and get yourself some sun. Light is the principal control of our day-night cycle, influencing everything from body temperature to metabolism to sleep. That said, it’s the most important factor in resetting your body clock. If possible, get minutes of direct sunlight after you roll out of bed. Go for a stroll, grab an acai bowl and eat it outside, or simply sit in the sun and flip through an interesting book or zine.

working in different time zones

Asynchronous communication should be standard for remote teams, especially those with employees in different time zones. Another element of globally distributed teams is working across different countries and cultures.

Mark these hours out in your public calendar or agenda, so that colleagues know when it’s appropriate to get hold of you for a quick video call or to clarify working in different time zones a point. Try moving this hourly block around over the course of the week so that on some days, it’s in the morning and other days just before you clock off.

working in different time zones

Just make sure that the timing for these activities works for the schedules of everyone involved. For one, organizations should consider setting and respecting their team’s time zone boundaries. For example, teams can create shared calendars showing their availability across different hours in a day to ensure no time zone boundaries are crossed. The logistics of working out the perfect meeting schedule that aligns with your team’s work hours can often be outright impossible. A common drawback to managing a team that operates across time zones is the lack of space for sharing insight about work progress. 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.

Plan Meetings In A Smarter Way With World Time Buddy

Acknowledging the challenges faced with managing remote team members across time zones is the first step to overcoming them. Here are some tips that you can adopt with your distributed teams that can help you understand how to work across different time zones in the best, most efficient way possible. It also helps increase work efficiency as you can track employee progress at your time and discuss it over a scheduled meeting. These tools also help you work on the same projects by easily coordinating with your teammates. Also, remember to schedule your meetings at a time that will be convenient not only for you but also for your employees. On Slack, for example, if you set your time zone, other users will be able to see your local time when they interact with you.

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