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How to work remotely through time-zone changes

Even though you should still be aware of the time zones of others, setting one official time zone for your company can help reduce misunderstandings. You should immediately let people know what time zone you live in. When introducing yourself, let your colleagues know your schedule and preferred communication channels. Give an example of a situation when you’re able to be contacted — even though you’re off-the-clock.

Weighing in on urgency and priority shows respect for everyone’s time and schedule and helps you and your colleagues choose a better communication method. The most important thing to do when working remotely is to grow comfortable communicating asynchronously whenever possible. Even though your whole team may be in different major cities or different countries, with geographic and time zone differences separating you—with effective async communication, none of that matters.

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These ground rules should include guidelines for when and how communication should take place. For example, it may be necessary to https://remotemode.net/ establish a time limit for email messages. By following these tips, team members can successfully collaborate across time zones.

When working on a report, for example, globally distributed teammates won’t necessarily have the opportunity to ping a coworker and get the missing info right away. This is why it’s paramount to keep detailed written records of all the processes and projects. Make sure to always assess each document, guide, or message for clarity. Also, ensure every person involved has the right admin access to avoid late-night calls, hold-ups, and rescheduling. Just to summarize very quickly, tip number one, make it fair. Number six, record your meetings for the people that can be there.

Tips for turning collaboration across time zones into a successful relay race

It’s important to set clear working hours to create a sustainable working schedule for yourself and your team. Working with a distributed team can be a hugely rewarding experience. Not only do you have more distributed access between teams, but you also benefit from the diversity of different voices.

tips working across time zones

If you are receiving information, always assume the person has good intent. But the biggest benefit might be how much it cuts off onboarding new employees who can simply read the archives and get up to speed on key decisions, culture, and work styles. Fewer interruptions leads to more deep work, which can dramatically increase productivity. Deep work, a term coined working remotely in a different time zone by Cal Newport, is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. This distraction-free concentration pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit and creates new value, improves skills, and is hard to replicate in our world of instant satisfaction. Check out some of our all-time favorite resources for hybrid collaboration.

Develop a values-based culture

After all, having employees working in different time zones is the equivalent of offering your organization a 24-hour workplace — with the top talent on the planet. Without the need for overtime or late-night shifts, teams can collaborate to fulfill deadlines. Employees in the one-time zone can hand over half-finished projects to peers in another time zone to finish. Do you need to use documents in collaboration with your client?

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When you’re working remotely or in a different location from other team members, you can’t easily turn to them, ask a question, or make conversation. This can make it hard to communicate and develop a relationship with your colleagues. “The hardest thing to do is to make sure you don’t end up working 12-hour days routinely,” Kelly notes. In today’s workplace, diversity breeds new and unique ideas, allows us to look at our campaigns from different points of view, and benefits companies financially.

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