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How to work productively with a remote team across multiple time zones

Having a global team can be beneficial, but what good would it do you to tap into a rich and diverse talent pool if you don’t have an effective plan to leverage that talent?

How do you work in sync with a remote colleague getting ready for bed in the Philippines and another starting their day in the UK? Let’s take a look at some ways to get the most out of your remote team.

The pros and cons of having a global remote team

Having a global team will give you the opportunity to gain a wealth of cultural knowledge and experience. By working with people around the world, you can gain a broader perspective and insight that drives innovation in your workplace. That’s not all; the ability to transcend borders also means you have people working around the clock without the need for night shifts.

However, some challenges come from having a team working remotely across multiple time zones, and it’s essential that you are aware of this. This allows you to build an effective remote work strategy and find the right tools that will make the most of your team’s strengths. Some of these challenges include:

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While global teams face a few hurdles, we believe the pros far outweigh the cons. If you’re okay with it, you might want to put processes in place and leverage the right tools to help overcome the challenges of working with multi-time zone colleagues.

How to work with a remote team in different time zones

1. Review your onboarding process


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There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for onboarding new employees, but you shouldn’t just focus on talent when you have a global team. Invest time in improving your onboarding process to hire people who are already familiar with the remote work culture or those you can trust to work with minimal supervision.

Also, consider spending time explaining how your remote team works and what you expect of them. This includes detailing communication processes and the tools they will need to do their job. Remember to be specific about working hours so everyone is on the same page from the start.

Work autonomy, proactivity, flexibility, initiative and excellent communication are essential skills to look for.

2. Use time zone converters

You don’t need to waste your cognitive resources remembering different time zones or googling what time it is at your co-worker’s house every time you want to schedule a meeting, because there is a good selection of tools out there. line available to help you do this.

These digital solutions help you convert time zones before scheduling conference calls, video chats or other vital communications. This way, everyone will be aware of time differences and avoid potential conflicts.

For example, your team can use Timezone.io to see what time it is at each other. This tool displays everyone’s profile picture, name, and current time on a single page, allowing you to quickly identify what time zone they’re in.

3. Encourage asynchronous communication


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Asynchronous communication has revolutionized the way remote teams work. This approach allows team members to take advantage of the flexibility of the remote work model to work during their most productive hours of the day without the pressure of being available all the time or immediately responding to messages.

This approach eliminates the challenges of coordinating schedules across multiple time zones. It also dramatically reduces distractions from messaging notifications both during and outside of work hours, allowing team members to focus on their tasks, be more productive, and achieve a better work-life balance. .

You can use asynchronous communication tools like Voodle, Yac or Twist to keep in touch with your colleagues without interrupting their workflows. These tools allow you to brainstorm, give feedback, explain complicated concepts, collaborate on projects, and provide updates without constantly pinging people or scheduling long meetings.

You can also use an email app like Spike to schedule less urgent emails to colleagues in other time zones outside of their working hours. Additionally, you can create an internal wiki to store all relevant company information, including meeting notes, tutorials, company policies, and more. This gives everyone on your team, regardless of location and time, access to the information they need to perform at their best.

4. Take advantage of project management tools

Project management tools like Asana and Trello help teams stay organized, on track, and accountable when working on projects with remote colleagues in different time zones. These tools are well-suited for asynchronous work because they allow you to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress, and store all project-related information in one place.

They also come with features like comments to make collaboration easier and ensure everyone is on the same page. This way, team members in different countries and time zones can easily see what others are working on, provide feedback, and resolve issues once they log into their accounts without constantly communicating via email or other messaging platforms.

5. Embrace shared calendars and scheduling apps


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Shared calendars and scheduling apps help remote teams coordinate their schedules, plan upcoming events, and avoid back-and-forth emails when trying to find a time that works for everyone.

For example, Calendly allows remote colleagues to share their availability and schedule meetings with each other without having to manually coordinate schedules. This way, everyone can easily see when others are on national holidays, busy, or free to chat. You can also use this information to find overlapping times to schedule group calls or meetings with everyone on your team when you need them.

Additionally, Calendly allows integration with other popular tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Webex, etc., making it even easier to use for remote teams.

Overcome time zone challenges to maximize your team’s productivity

A few hurdles shouldn’t deter you from seeking the many benefits of working with a remote team in different time zones.

With the right approach and tools above, you can overcome the challenges of working with a remote team scattered across the globe and reap the rewards of increased productivity, creativity, and innovation.


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