5 Tips for Successful Freelancing Across Time Zones

Read the Handbook on working remotely – successfully; make your online meetings more productive and fun with virtual meeting cards. And that gives a visual overview of all the time zones in the world at the same time. Calendar searches the open time slots in your connected calendars when you need to schedule a meeting.

Undoubtedly, one of the trickiest parts of working across time zones is scheduling meetings. If all meeting participants aren’t on the same page in terms of when the meeting will occur, some people could miss or be late to the meeting, wasting everyone’s time (and the company’s money). When it comes to delegating assignments, managers should always clearly communicate deadlines and explicitly state both their and the employee’s time zone to eliminate any confusion. For example, a manager may ask their team member to complete a task by Friday at 9 AM EST / 8 AM CT. This level of clarity should also be used when scheduling meetings. For teams that work remotely, it’s a great idea to schedule one or two annual meetings where everyone relocates and meets in person.

Pro: You can work with the most talented people

The digital age brought with it the ability to receive immediate responses. I think for all of our health, we need to cool this expectation. I spent a week in Florida in February collecting seashells, eating the best doughnuts in existence, and reading at least a book a day. I also put in a few hours each afternoon writing and scheduling client appointments (for after my vacation).

Sometimes, you may need to adjust your schedule to accommodate a meeting or deadline for a colleague in a different time zone. Be open to these adjustments, as they can help working remotely in a different time zone create a more harmonious and productive work environment. When scheduling meetings, tools like SimplyBook.me or Calendly can help you find a time that works for everyone.

Set one official time zone.

Trello, Basecamp, and Asana are project management tools that keep track of what everyone is working on as it progresses through the pipeline. Any team looking to boost remote cooperation while working should invest in one. When working with teams in different time zones, the most important thing to remember is to be mindful, empathic, and courteous. Check out the Collaboration Superpowers podcast for the latest stories of remote teams doing great things. My fourth tip comes from the creating a team agreement process that I take people through.

Company goals should be referenced in a shared mission statement, an accessible company or team handbook, and a yearly roadmap. These agreed-upon goals remind team members they are contributing with others for an outcome and group purpose that benefits everyone together, even when separated. Developing a shared vision allows for a stronger foundation and creates a more positive work atmosphere, both of which are essential for success.

Schedule any meetings during the times everyone can attend

In addition to removing the time constraint of the traditional synchronous approach, the asynchronous method, ideally, ensures communication records remain at hand. Cloud-based technology allowed a number of industries to adopt some form of remote work model. Naturally, organizations jumped at the opportunity to select from a global pool of talent which is, essentially, the key factor that led to the formation of teams that span across different time zones.

  • Learn how to write an effective Ruby on Rails developer job description, including key qualifications and responsibilities, and sample job description template.
  • A shared team calendar might be helpful as everyone can see each other’s availability.
  • When you have a colleague in Portugal and another in India, it’s harder to keep track of time.
  • Maintaining open lines of communication and a positive attitude can go a long way in building strong relationships with your colleagues.
  • A complete remote organisation cannot rely on many of these shared experiences and physical venues to help create our culture as a totally distributed organisation.

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