Working around the world
One of the greatest challenges of working remotely is dealing with different time zones.
When you have a colleague in Portugal and another in India, keeping track of time is harder. Additionally, team members can find it harder to collaborate in an asynchronous environment, and it can take a while for them to adjust. Moreover, scheduling meetings can be difficult, inconveniencing those who must attend, especially early in the morning or late in the evening.
You can, however, overcome these challenges with the right tools and approaches.
1. Immediately notify third parties of your location.
You should immediately let people know what time zone you live in. Let your colleagues know your schedule and preferred communication channels when introducing yourself. You can also use this opportunity to set boundaries. Give an example of a situation when you can be contacted — even though you’re off the clock.
2. Clearly communicate time zone boundaries.
You need to help your people clearly communicate their preferred work hours and set boundaries with the teams they work with, whether outside your main office or working on a hybrid team. A shared team calendar might be helpful as everyone can see each other’s availability.
3. Decide on a fair time for meetings.
Make sure you take everyone’s time zone into account when setting meeting times. What if there isn’t a way to make meeting times fair for everyone? To avoid inconveniencing the same people repeatedly, you may want to rotate the start time.
4. Use an online calendar.
It is common to waste a lot of time waiting for confirmation when booking appointments or meetings with remote team members.A time zone difference makes it even more difficult to get a real-time response. You will likely not hear from the other parties until the next business day if they live on the other side of the world. An email exchange might even take a week to nail down an appointment.
5. Be aware of cultural norms.
It’s important to understand the cultural norms and traditions of the countries in which your company has remote workers. Due to these cultural differences, they may work different hours, celebrate different holidays, or communicate differently.
To create a cohesive team, it is important to demonstrate an understanding of cultural differences.
6. Be patient if you need to send an unscheduled message.
Emails and messages shouldn’t be sent right when colleagues wake up or go to bed in different time zones. As a result, many global employees will snooze their instant message notifications when they have finished working or turn off their work devices when they are done working.
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As you will see, having a team in different parts of the world is possible. Would you like to know more about how to do it? Contact us
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