10 Tips For Working With The Remote Team In Different Time Zones
Published on 2021-04-29 by Ching Chieh Li.
The time difference is more than complicated mathematics calculation. When you finish the day, another colleague just starts the day. If you want to ask a question, you cannot just walk toward their desk because they are somewhere across the globe. Revolut launches a new remote work policy that allows the employee to work overseas for up to 60 days. Time difference benefits both the employer and the customer. Here are 10 tips for working with the remote international team in different time zones.
Advantages of working in the different time zone
With a well-distributed team, the remote worker can run the whole operation even across multiple time zones, for example, non-stop customer support. In fact, the time difference solved my problem once. Just 24 hours before my first family overseas trip, I noticed a huge mistake on the airplane ticket. Usually, this mistake could be correct once I logged into the system. But the system closed automatically before departure. The local office finished work, and no one answered the phone call. Luckily, the New York office just started working. They fixed the mistake and saved my family trip.
Set the specific deadline
Since most of your colleagues are in different locations. Setting a specific deadline is crucial. Clearly state the deadline, especially for the important project. For example, add on the local time when announcing the project. You can use the time difference calculator to check the local time. Some tools like Google calendar and slack even automatically adjust the time according to the location.
Have a regular meeting time
Do you feel lonely when everyone working remotely? That’s totally normal as you probably do not talk to anyone for the whole day long. Set a catch-up hour when the time overlap. Or even have a regular video call with your colleagues, such as a remote coffee break, or even have a team bonding game online. There are many remote team bonding games like solving riddle, puzzle, and finding the mystery.
Choose the right communication tool
Using the right communication tool is essential as everyone works remotely. Nowadays, everyone has several ways to connect with others. Some software may load slowly when the channel has too many messages. The vital message can be hidden somewhere. You can set 1 vital channel, such as Slack, and everyone must checks it promptly.
Allow accesses to the necessary database and tools
We usually lock the database with a password and grant access to certain people. This is a safe way to protect the online business. When a new employee onboard, always check if they can access an important resource. Having a password may not be enough to access the database. To protect the account, the system asks for extra codes or confirmation from another account. If they do not have access to essential resources, they have to wait until other works in different time zones start working.
Have a clear workflow
Work remote means that the company trusts the independence of each employee. Establish a clear workflow so they understand the following task when they finish each task. You can arrange the workflow with the virtual team by using the project management tools. A project management tool is a tool to visualization the workflow. In Useme, we use Jira and Trello. When someone completes the task, they will move it to the review. So the colleague knows the work process without sending an extra message. If you are choosing the project management tool, here is a comparison for you.
Send the critical email at the working hour
Each mail service has a function to send an email at a particular time. Consider the time difference, and you can set the delivery time during the working hour. No one enjoys being bombarded when they start working. If the email is essential and needs to take care of it right away, add an extra word on the subject line so the colleague knows the importance of each email.
Check the daylight saving time and the form of date
Check the day of the daylight saving time and try not to schedule meetings on that day. Our body gets tired easily because of the new schedule. Also, the forms of data are different in each country, for example, some countries usually start from Month/Date/Year, and some countries use Date/Month/Year. To avoid any misunderstanding, you can always check the date with your colleague.
Have a flexible schedule
A flexible working schedule is essential as everyone works in different time zone. Some colleagues may stay up late or start work early for a meeting. When everyone locates in a different location, it takes time to reach the perfect balance for everyone. Believe in your team member, and they have the power to finish the work within the deadline.
Ask the urgent question early
Sometimes, we may forget the time difference, especially for urgent questions. We hope the time flies faster and even stay up late for the reply. It is inevitable to receive some message at an unexpected time. Be patient when you send a message. If you need an answer promptly, you can set the delivery time. So they receive the message right when they start working.
Use automation tools to work more effectively
Automation tools help the remote team to work more effectively. The teammate can stay focus on the important task and receive the finished work promptly. If you are awaiting an invoice from a contractor, you can click here. If you would like to set a meeting with a colleague in a different time zone, calendly is a useful tool. If you need a central platform to access other online tools, Zapier can be helpful for you.
The company reaches the goal even though each time operates in multiple time zone. Both employer and customer can benefit from working across time zones. Set a specific deadline and combine it with a project management tool, so remote worker knows the operational flow. With video calls, online team bonding activity, you stay connected with your colleague even in different parts of the world.