9 Lessons Learned by Working Remote in a Different Time Zone

The six hour time difference between the US and Canada’s Eastern Standard Time (EST) can be overwhelming at first, but once you get used to it, it becomes a great advantage. If you are working with someone in the US, you will have the benefit of getting a head start on your day. By the time your clients wake up, you will have finished most of your work and still have three hours left to sync up with them. Our job listing template includes everything you need to know about the role, including key responsibilities, minimum and preferred qualifications, and benefits of working for our company. Check out our remote jobs, leverage our remote company database, or sign up and create your free company profile.

If remote employees don’t have overlap in work hours, there can be a lag between a question being asked and answered. Remote companies that embrace multiple time zones must rely on asynchronous communication. For background, async communication happens when information is exchanged without the expectation of an immediate response. Asynchronous communication should be the norm for remote teams working across time zones, especially those with personnel in multiple time zones. Teams in traditional office settings sometimes measure productivity by how long each team member spends at their desk.

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To work more efficiently with distributed teams, you need to treat your team like they are all working together in one office building. While this may not be possible, it is the mindset you need to adopt to organize your time and responsibilities. The post outlines how to build an effective time zone agnostic team as a company leader, people manager, colleague, and as a geographically remote person. The Head of Remote position sits on the organization’s leadership team and is responsible for building and maintaining remote company culture and employee experience. It was first suggested by Andreas Klinger, CTO at On Deck, and pioneered by GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and Darren Murph.

  • Planning ahead will make sure everyone is well-informed and prepared for meetings and deadlines.
  • It’s not all 9-5 anymore with remote teams, with some works preferring to wake up in the early morning to get a head start before the day begins, and others starting late but working in the evening.
  • Even the most introverted remote workers need social interaction, humans just aren’t designed for solitude.
  • Nevertheless, workers started leaving high taxed, costly, crime-ridden, cold-weather cities for sunnier climates with lower tax rates, affordable housing and good public school systems.
  • Turn your kindness and understanding knob up about 15% when you’re remote.
  • It might work out great for you, if you like to work nontraditional hours anyway.
  • Be upfront with what confused you and state how you interpreted the message in your response back.
  • An exciting aspect of the distributed workforce model is that people realized they didn’t have to just work from home.

It will help if you consider splitting the workdays as part-time in the office in the morning hours, and the rest of the hours could be remotely done in the evening. “Any remote worker knows you have to be flexible, so I feel time zone differences don’t impact your remote work life too much,” says Zapier’s Smith. “I’d quite happily sacrifice staying a little later or getting up a little earlier to avoid the stresses of a morning commute in rush hour traffic.” The most important thing to do when working remotely is to grow comfortable communicating asynchronously whenever possible. Even though your whole team may be in different major cities or different countries, with geographic and time zone differences separating you—with effective async communication, none of that matters.

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It’s also important to revisit that protocol semi-regularly, to make sure it’s not taking a toll on anyone who enthusiastically agreed to it initially, but is finding it hard to sustain. Learn how to hire and manage remote developers the right way to expand your team. On that note, as a warning, guesswork can be a huge time-suck with remote work.

working remotely in a different time zone

You should avoid scheduling meetings during the times that you know everyone will not be awake, but this isn’t always possible if you work with people across multiple continents. If you do need to schedule something during off-hours, check first to make sure it is okay. To help keep track of your employees progress and to keep teams connected, you should make use of virtual tools like instant messaging, working remotely in a different time zone task management, and other progress trackers. This allows your employees to stay up-to-date with what other people are doing each day. Eliminating a dependence on time zones for synchronous communication requires some significant shifts in how your team works. Customer support teams with queues that people work through can easily adapt to having team members roll into the queue as others roll out.

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