5 Tips for Mastering the Art of Time Zone Coordination in Remote Teams

multiple clocks time zone
Image by Ilo from Pixabay

While many benefits are associated with remote work teams, like lower overheads and higher productivity, time zones can be one major drawback. If you hire employees or contractors from multiple time zones, you may struggle with being able to connect with them all at the same time. Time zone coordination is key here.

Indeed, time zones can be frustrating, and it can feel like your only option is to hire people in your local area. This can often mean limiting your talent options. Fortunately, time zone coordination woes can be fixed by taking these actions:   

Provide Communication Apps

Whether you contact IT service providers in the Melbourne area or app gurus in New York State, reach out to someone who can provide you with software or application options to suit your team’s unique needs. Having your IT down well can make communication much smoother.

When you’re communicating with your remote team via email, receiving direct responses from your employees, even if they’re actively working, can be much more challenging. By utilizing a team app or software that can connect your remote workers seamlessly, you should find it much easier to receive prompt responses. 

Set Compulsory Working Hours

Time zones can be dramatically different, but most of them usually have some core reasonable hours. If you need contact with all remote employees for at least some part of the day, use a world clock like Time and Date to determine the most suitable time to contact everyone at once. 

For example, if you’re working in Dallas, Texas, you could schedule a meeting at 6 pm to talk to your Manila, Philippines-based employees at 8 am and your Adelaide, Australia employees at 10.30 am.

As long as everyone makes themselves available at a specific time, you’ll have no trouble connecting with your team regularly, no matter how scattered their time zones are. 

Create a Shared Calendar

Figuring out everyone’s availability can be a nightmare for business owners and employees. After all, you live in different parts of the world and rarely meet in person. 

Fortunately, you won’t have trouble keeping track of everyone’s working hours if you maintain a shared calendar. This can be color-coded for each employee with highlighted areas where working hours overlap.

You can also include time off and vacation leave so everyone knows what their colleagues are doing at any given moment.   

Alternate Meeting Times  

No matter how hard you try, there is likely going to be at least one team member having to start early or finish later to be available for a meeting. Otherwise, ensuring everyone attends those important work calls can be challenging. 

Consider alternating the meeting times so the same people don’t have to be burdened with a late or early call. Your employees are sure to be thankful for the courtesy.

Make Learning Materials Accessible

Sometimes, employees can require clarification on something before proceeding with their workload. If they live in a different time zone, it can sometimes be several hours until someone can answer their messages. This can significantly impact productivity. 

You should encounter this situation less often if you make work content and learning materials accessible to everyone at all times. Use cloud servers and upload information into folders to cover specific job roles. Your employees can then answer their own questions without needing someone else to help them. 

Mastering the art of time zone coordination in remote teams is undoubtedly challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Using the best software, knowing everyone’s working hours, and alternating meeting times might be how you create a cohesive team with exceptional communication.

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Max Liddell
I love everything related to Internet marketing, SEO, e-commerce, etc. There's always something new to learn and to share with our great audience!