Building relationships within your team creates trust among your team members making them feel more motivated. “Remind me” nudges make it easy for you to keep an eye on messages that are incoming during your off-hours so you make sure to reply working across time zones to messages that come in the next time you’re online. The future of work is remote, which means negotiating different time zones is an inescapable reality. Read on for 10+ strategies on making your communication inclusive and seamless.

Having distributed teams working across time zones essentially implies round-the-clock workflow. Companies employing diverse teams spanning multiple time zones enjoy complete time zone coverage. Having all shifts and time zones covered is especially convenient for support and customer service as people don’t need to work past the conventional work hours in their countries, in the case of an emergency. However, other departments and industries can benefit from the approach as well. Now this leads me into my next tip, which is really start thinking in multiple time zones.

Common Mistakes When Working With a Dispersed Team

Location-dependent work is officially in the minority, and experts expect remote work to continue growing in popularity over the next few years. Tools like collaborative documents, auto-transcripts of meetings, and recording software, can play a big part in enabling asynchronous work to function more seamlessly. Set your current time zone, and save the time zones you work with most to easily switch between them. You can also turn on the World Clock in Settings, which places a text-based clock at a glance. Being respectful of your remote team members’ office hours may equate to less synchronous communication. That’s why the last important strategy that works for us as a remote team is to get together in person often.

Meeting planning is made easier with tools like World Time Buddy and Time and Date. Simply enter your team’s current locations, and these calculators will calculate the best times to meet .

The challenges of working remotely, and across different time zones

Along with aligning operations, other risks could seriously disrupt major processes, if left unchecked. Let’s get a better insight into the challenges of globally distributed teams to get a clearer idea of what to look out for and how to prevent any larger issues. When scheduling meetings in different time zones, sometimes people just won’t be able to make it — and that’s OK!

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When working to establish functional global teams, organizations need to primarily focus on optimizing their communication. Teams working in multiple time zones can’t rely on synchronized communication, facial expressions, or non-verbal cues to decipher the message. As mentioned earlier, this can cause misunderstandings that can seriously affect operational processes and cause unnecessary delays. If teams don’t experience any overlap in work hours, there’s bound to be some time wasted as one team is waiting for the instructions or the input from another one, working at a later time. And, as team communication is directly correlated to productive collaboration, it can lead to unnecessary delays, missed messages, and an overall drop in productivity. Managers and decision-makers are the ones facing the harshest challenges when working with teams who operate across time zones.