With the rise of remote work, more employers are benefiting from hiring workers across the world.
Despite all of the benefits of building a great remote global team, you will still need to figure out how to manage employees working across different time zones.
When you manage time zones for your team correctly, you are able to regularly communicate and respect boundaries, as well as ensure that projects are being completed properly.
Here are 7 tips that we recommend to help you navigate time zones for your global team.
When you’re first hiring remote global employees, you should specifically ask what time zone your new employee plans to work in and what their hours of work are going to look like.
Employees may feel pressure to always say yes to a meeting or extra work, even if it falls out of their regular working hours. This can create a culture of overwork and burnout. That’s why it’s important to set expectations early on.
Set meetings and deadlines in multiple time zones, when necessary, especially when setting up calls with colleagues, vendors, and prospective employees. You wouldn’t want a talented employee to miss out on a job opportunity because of a time-zone mishap.
Even if you’re working with someone in the same country, you need to make sure that the deadline for an assignment is clear. Someone working on the east coast of the United States may finish a project during their regular business hours, but may be working with another employee in Colorado who would assume the project is being completed according to MST.
To help keep track of your employees progress and to keep teams connected, you should make use of virtual tools like instant messaging, task management, and other progress trackers. This allows your employees to stay up-to-date with what other people are doing each day.
Most importantly, using task management and progress trackers make it simple for employees in different time zones to login and see what an employee in another country has already completed during their workday.
Respecting your employees boundaries is key. This means you wouldn’t want to send an important email after they’ve logged off for the day and expect them to respond right away.
Try to send out urgent emails early on in your work day, especially if you’re based in the United States or Latin America and are working with people based in Europe.
If you need to send an email outside of an employee's normal working hours, some platforms like Gmail and Slack give you the option to schedule an email or direct message to send at a specific day or time. If you’re sending a Slack message to someone outside of their working hours, for example, the platform will let you know that it’s probably too early or too late for them to be working.
If you plan to schedule team-wide meetings, be mindful of everyone's schedule. This may pose a difficult task if your company stretches from Singapore to San Francisco to Paris. However, it’s important for company culture and for everyone to not miss out on important information from the executive team.
Working remotely can already be taxing on maintaining communication and building relationships between coworkers, but adding differences in time zones can add further strain.
Business leaders should set aside time in their schedules to jump on last minute calls in case any confusion arises for their overseas team members.
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