5 tips for scheduling meetings across different time zones

Even now, as I work remotely from home in Santa Barbara, CA, my seating situation is crucial for how my neck and back feel at the end of the day, and my mental focus. Before I left, as a team, we reviewed the best ways to work together on collaborative projects and Slack communication best practices. For instance, 👀 meant they saw your Slack message and will respond to you in a bit. Megan Wheeler, leadership trainer at LifeLabs, shares best practices for remote work – including a checklist you can use to optimize the WFH experience. The Culture First Community is a group of people leaders, HR practitioners, and change agents committed to building a better world of work. Explore how companies are creating world‑class employee experiences across demographics, industries and more. Performance management → Build high‑performing teams with performance reviews, feedback, goal‑tracking & 1‑on‑1s delivered in the flow of work.

With the time on my calendar, strategy demanded that I don’t ignore and deprioritize it for more “quick-wins.” It validates the legitimacy of doing work that doesn’t always have an output. I prioritized those projects over any strategic research and development. Before leaving for my travels, I outlined a lot of deadlines to keep myself accountable.

Organize virtual socializing for your team

Thanks to conference calling and video chat, this can be fostered through social meetings. Consider weekly virtual water-cooler conversations, celebrations of team birthdays, and milestones successfully met. Whether your meeting is in work time or after hours, it’s important to be mindful about scheduling these events. With24% of remote workersreporting feelings of loneliness, being mindful of inclusion can go a long way to keeping your colleagues invested and happy at work. With all the apps and tools available, the time zone difference can create plenty of confusion among employees working across time zones. Finally, a successful asynchronous collaboration calls for a set of functional tools to seamlessly tie all autonomous teams and operations together.

tips working across time zones

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. Async communication allows people to process the information on their own time and respond at their own convenience, reducing the number of interruptions people receive. However, it’s becoming increasingly hard to argue against the benefits of remote work. Yes, there are challenges but the benefits ultimately outweigh the hassle. Nightfall™ uses machine learning to identify business-critical data, like customer PII, across your SaaS, APIs, and data infrastructure, so you can manage & protect it.

Use polls to choose meeting times

So when you do have meetings or things that the team needs to know about, that everybody inputs that time into a shared calendar, then the time zone conversions are automatically done. And that just helps minimize some of the mistakes that we can make when we’re scheduling time.

  • As you’re setting these expectations, anticipate needs or questions and try to answer them upfront so that the recipient doesn’t wind up waiting for your next availability to clarify.
  • Time is precious, especially when the lines from work and home are blurred.
  • If you’re working with a remote team, it might be even easier to give the time of the meeting in Coordinated Universal Time or UTC.
  • I think for all of our health, we need to cool this expectation.
  • There is also custom team and project management software like ClientSpot which can help you make managing remote teams easy.
  • Team leaders can assign tasks here, add resources (like spreadsheets, mockups, slides, etc.), and set deadlines.
  • Once you and your team establish timezones boundaries and preferred work hours, respect them.

Now every time you suspect the other side of the world is busy celebrating, you can open your calendar and check if that’s the case, or if there’s some people you need to nag. Open up a free account at Timezone.io and you’ll be able to see your entire team on a grid showing who’s in which time zone and what time it is there. You can also easily adjust the time slider at the top of the screen to go back or forward in time, which is helpful when planning meetings and projects. 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. As a result, you may find yourself pulled in many different directions.

Be mindful of national and local holidays around the world, in addition to world time zones.

For starters, flexible work hours have been scientifically proven to reduce burnout, stress levels, and psychological distress while increasing job satisfaction. Though not as intuitive as Every Time Zone, World Clock Meeting Planner from TimeAndDate.com lets you pick the locations and date for your meeting. Then, the tool color codes the times that are best , not too bad , and the worst .

And if you want to learn more about how you can work from anywhere, visit collaborationsuperpowers.com, a website full of tips and best practices for the practical remote worker. DOUBLE CHECK TIMES.We all make mistakes, so find a way to get your time zones right. There are many tools for this, including timezoneconverter.com. Be mindful of international employees when scheduling meetings. Alternatively, Kelly says working across time zones you could also consider picking a few days per week where you’ll work on another international team’s schedule entirely. Aside from specifically discussing timezone-related needs and boundaries as needed, you can also mark your standard work hours on a team calendar — while encouraging colleagues to do the same. If so, then you know the challenges in staying on the same page that come with working remotely.

Delay sending your messages

To do this on Gmail, create the email as you would draft any other message. Then, when you’re ready to schedule the email, click the arrow on the send icon for the “Schedule message” option. “When you work in different timezones, it’s important to be aware of when you’re sending a message or email,” says Rebecca White, a junior writer for the HubSpot Blog. “If you’re working two timezones that don’t overlap much, why not split your shift into two instead of doing the same number of hours consecutively?” asks Kelly.

Créa Stone