How to work across time zones as a remote team

Sanchi
• October 26, 2020
remote teams
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter

T

he amazing benefits of remote and globally distributed teams are the reason they are gaining traction. Virtual teams allow employers to hire diverse talent from across the globe, without boundaries. Remote work has been proven to boost employee productivity, reduce costs and lower attrition rate. 

However, despite its benefits, managing a virtual team across time zones can be tricky. Virtual teams, if not managed strategically, can feel disconnected and isolated. Being a part of a silent team that does not communicate over chat, emails, video-conferences or other tools, can dampen the ability to collaborate and work together. And with a remote team that works across multiple time zones, the challenge multiplies many folds. 

Successfully resolve time zone challenges as a distributed virtual team with these tips and best practices and keep your team collaborating productively.

1. Invest time in establishing a communication strategy

Communication is the underlying pillar for the success of global teams. Ensuring free communication between team members fosters a collaborative culture where employees feel engaged and motivated. It is always a good idea to draft a clear communication strategy that removes ambiguity about the communication process, tools and guidelines. 

(Read: The ultimate guide to remote meetings in 2020)

Here a few points that you can keep in mind to build an effective communication strategy:

  • Limit the number of meetings: Meetings are a great way to interact and work together. Sure. But we know how much work gets done during meetings. So before you schedule another virtual meeting, rethink if the meeting is essential or urgent. Be mindful of the other employees’ time zone, work hours and work engagements before you go ahead with sending the meeting invite.

    (Read: How to create an agenda for remote meetings)

  • Make teams autonomous: As a manager, strive to make your team members less dependent on each other. Too much interdependency and need for coordination can lead to productivity loss and eventually missed deadlines. Provide clear, well-drafted and detailed communication on job requirements so that the team members can execute the task autonomously.
  • Embrace asynchronous communication: In a globally distributed workspace, everyone works at a different time. So not all communication will happen in real-time as everyone is not available all the time. And if at all communication does happen in real-time, it will not be inclusive and will make some team members feel left out.

    To meet this challenge, default to asynchronous communication. Send a chat message, mail, or a document to interact. An added advantage of asynchronous communication is that everyone thinks before speaking and thus avoids conflicts.
  • Reasonable deadlines: If you are sending out a scheduled message to the team, allow others a day or two to respond. Always clearly mention what you are expecting and the date by which you are expecting a reply.
  • Understand and respect cultural differences: Culture plays a huge role in employees’ behaviour and process. To be respectful of each other’s culture and for unhindered communication, everyone on the team needs to understand the differences. Weekend work, time to start the day, break hours and language can be different in different regions. So watch out for these to keep the collaboration and productivity going!

    (Read: Virtual meetings guide for managers)
  • Coordinate calendar:To solve the time zone puzzle, you need to choose a crossover time to schedule meetings. Keep in mind the convenience of other members’ and schedule it during their regular work hours, even if it means that you need to adjust your work hours a little. These little considerations go a long way in creating a well-knit team.

2. Create “virtual coffee breaks” for your team

Chance meetings in the hallway, coffee breaks and watercooler moments are some of the perks of working in an in-person office. They break the monotony, increase team bonding and improve productivity.

The good news is that you can organise such moments for your virtual team by structuring time for such breaks, creating similar interest clubs and organising regular “happy hours”. Getting everyone together once a week can be an excellent way to touch-base and catch up on a personal level.

(Read: Remote team? Here are 15 team building activities to get them excited)

“Provide clear, well-drafted communication on job requirements so that the team member can execute the task autonomously.”

“Provide clear, well-drafted communication on job requirements so that the team member can execute the task autonomously.”

3. Leverage the right tech and process

At the heart of a successful virtual team is superior technology which includes project management tools, collaboration tools, video conferencing tools and more. Find the best fit for your team and create a process to collaborate effectively. 

For instance, for video conferencing and virtual event tools like Airmeet can help humanise the interaction with ease and quality.

4. Foster the culture of collaboration and team-building

Trust, shared vision, team-spirit and engagement are the essential ingredients for effective collaboration and conflict-free teamwork. To establish this culture, the first thing that you need to do is align the remote workers with a bigger business goal and shared team goal. It will help them see the bigger picture and also help determine progress tracking.

Plan regular meetups to keep the team engaged, cohesive and reduce the risk of burnout. Celebrate achievements and special occasions together. Schedule monthly meetings that are casual to develop a deeper understanding among team members.

To be able to achieve the goals and benefits of a global team that works virtually, you need to devise a strategy and implement it efficiently. Continually strive to keep the communication channels open, build cohesiveness and respect each other’s time. These are the three critical components to managing a remote, diverse team successfully.

Virtual Events & Community Building Insights
Subscribe to Get Updates (we promise no spam)
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Karthika
Karthika
1 year ago

Well said! Nice post, thanks for sharing.
Powerapps Training

devops online training
devops online training
10 months ago
You might also like
Sumithra
May 5, 2022
April was an action-packed month here at Airmeet. Say hello to Event-led growth and our exciting set of updates that will help you unlock the potential of events. We hosted an AMA with Mark Kilens, our new CMO, to discuss event-led growth in detail. In case you missed the session live, you can watch the event replay here.
Marlys Arnold
May 2, 2022
“Jeez, the virtual conference was so boring!” We have all been into such virtual events or conferences that had us wishing they got over ASAP. To ensure you don’t end up hosting a virtual conference like that, here’s a list of virtual conference mistakes that you should avoid in 2022.
Interested in Giving Your Community an Interactive Experience?
Try Airmeet's All-In-One Virtual Events Platform.

Host live or on-demand webinars with
a strong engagement focus

Revenue Generation

Connect and convert leads faster

Community engagement

Engage your community around the year

Workshops and Trainings

Host interactive sessions and inspire your audience

Employee engagement

Engage everyone at work to get closer

Create virtual and hybrid event experiences
that everyone loves to attend.

Job Fairs

Connect Talent with Global Employers

Product Launch

Leave a long-lasting impression in the market

Trade Fairs

Host highly immersive and interactive fairs

Demo days

Prioritize growth with networking-led pitch conferences

Award Ceremonies

Host a grand reception for your rockstars

Hackathons

Organize codefests that inspires innovation

Hybrid Events

Bring together the best of virtual and in-person events

Real-time Analytics

Track event performance and engagement

Airmeet Mobile App

Access events on the go

Event Plannings

Plan your perfect event hasslefree

Rich Integrations

Connect Airmeet with your favorite apps

Interactive stage

Deliver sessions high on engagement

Meetings & Networking

Craft meaningful conversations

Immersive Booths

Boost event ROI with interactive booths

Event Sponsorships

Generate more value for your sponsors

Event Gamification

Keep your events fun and engaging

Airmeet Security

Host safe and secure events

Testimonials

Hear what customers have to say about Airmeet

Case Studies

Read how Airmeet helps businesses

eBooks

Deep dive into Airmeet’s favorite topics

Interviews

Event industry leaders spill the beans

Our events

Events curated by Airmeet keeping YOU in mind

Blogs

Guides, FAQs, updates & more from Airmeet