How to Manage Time Zone Differences?

International and global organizations are increasingly involved in the development of global work processes, as well as in implementing joint accounting systems, paying greater attention to the time zone difference. Many companies around the world are increasingly opting for offshore development or outsourcing services for software products. And in both cases, one of the most important requirements for successful project collaboration across the sea includes an established form of communication with their team during the development and a 24/7 contact centre after the deployment. Companies normally choose from one of those options depending upon their business requirements. Still choosing between outsourcing and offshore development is a topic of debate among the industry experts as each side has its own pros and cons. 

But in both cases, you have to juggle your work in different time zones. So it is necessary to analyze how to schedule calls for each time zone. In this case, there may be some confusion about the number of hours that correspond to the time zone.

When you’re working with people in different cities or countries, it can be hard to keep track of their schedules and make sure everyone’s on the same page. Time zone differences can be a real pain for teams and businesses. But there’s no reason to lose sleep over them. Whether you’re sending an email to your colleagues in Japan or getting ready to meet with clients from Australia, here are some tips on how to manage time zone differences.

Top six tips on how to manage time zone differences

Utilize online tools

Time zone management is the art of making sure your employees are always on the same page, no matter where they are. Use online tools like Trello, Asana, or Slack to keep everyone up to date and in sync with each other. You can even use them to manage meetings and projects so that everyone has a clear idea of what needs to be done and when.

Online tools can help you track time zone differences and adjust your schedule accordingly. For example, Google Calendar lets you select the time zone for each event in your schedule. So if you’re meeting with people in other countries, this will allow you to set up your calendar according to their time zone instead of yours.

Scheduling software such as Trello allows you to assign tasks and deadlines by time zones as well so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to due dates and meetings.

Limit yourself to one time zone

It’s tempting to try to stay on top of everything that happens in every time zone at once, but that’s a recipe for burnout. Instead, set aside a one-time zone as your “home base” and focus on keeping that one area under control. Then use tools like Slack’s channels or email threads to communicate with people who work in other areas when necessary. This will help keep things manageable while still letting you coordinate with everyone else on your team.

Make sure everyone knows which one you’re using, and be consistent about using it when setting up meetings and other events. This will help everyone keep track of where they are in terms of time and make scheduling easier. However, it requires a lot of discipline and self-control, as well as understanding the importance of local culture and habits.

Communication is key

The first thing you have to do is communicate with your team and let them know what time zone you will be working in. If you are going to be working from another country, make sure that everyone knows what time it is there so that they can work with you when it’s convenient for them. Make sure that everyone on your team knows when they should expect responses from others so that no one feels ignored or left out of the loop.

Use tools like Slack or Basecamp as much as possible. These tools allow you to chat with your coworkers at any time of day, even if they’re working on other projects at the moment. With these tools, you can easily keep track of where everyone is and what they’re doing without having to schedule meetings or phone calls at specific times of the day.

Don’t expect instant responses from people who live in other countries — at least not right away! When working with people across time zones, try not to get frustrated if they don’t respond right away; give them some extra time before sending another message or making a call yourself.

Know your limits and set expectations

Imagine this – you’re on the clock. The project is due, the client is waiting, and you’re ready to go. But then your coworker pops into your office and asks you a question. Or your boss calls you into his or her office for a quick chat.

This happens all the time at work, we get interrupted by colleagues, clients, or managers who need our attention. And while it can be frustrating when we have to stop what we’re doing to answer someone else’s question or take care of something that isn’t vital to our projects, we mustn’t let these interruptions derail us from getting things done and staying focused on our priorities.

The key is being able to tell people what you need from them and how they can help you best. If they aren’t sure how best to help, give them some examples of when they’ve done similar things in the past (if possible). This will help them feel more confident about helping out without leaving them feeling like they’re intruding on your time or responsibilities (which can cause resentment).

Also, it’s important to know what you can do and what other people can do when it comes to managing time zones. For example, if you’re collaborating with someone who works in another part of the world, don’t expect them to stay up late just because it’s convenient for you. Once both parties have established their limitations, then work together to develop a mutually beneficial solution that accommodates those limitations and still meets everyone’s needs.

Allocate enough time for sleep

Workers who get enough sleep perform better than those who don’t. If you are working with employees in other time zones, make sure they are getting enough sleep so that they can focus on their work and complete tasks promptly.

For example, if your staff works in different time zones and you have an important meeting coming up, you should make sure that your employees have enough rest before the meeting starts. This will ensure that they can stay alert during the meeting and contribute their best ideas.

Use the time difference to your advantage

If you’re working with colleagues in a different time zone, make sure that you schedule calls and meetings at times when they’re most productive. For example, if one of your colleagues is based in Europe, it makes sense to schedule calls for early morning or late evening when they’re awake and refreshed.

Takeaway

Today we discussed six ways to manage time zone differences. The best way to manage time zone differences is by good communication. In the end, your team or business is likely to be more understanding of any problems that arise if you keep them in the loop about everything that’s going on. Another thing you can do is make sure your choice of date and time displays the correct time for each of your colleagues and clients.

And while always knowing the time of day in another part of the world can be an inconvenience, it’s not an impossible task to take on. Take these tips into consideration the next time you find yourself working with people in multiple time zones.

Snehasish Konger
Snehasish Konger

Hey, I'm Snehasish Konger, the guy behind this website.
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