Going Global: Tips for Working With a Team Across Time Zones

More and more businesses are expanding their operations globally. Whether simply working with clients abroad, remote working, or opening offices in different countries, business is an international affair. Working with people throughout different parts of the world is exciting and provides an abundance of benefits and learning opportunities, however, it also requires adaptation from both sides to seamlessly collaborate across time zones. Make use of these simple tips to help you and your global team thrive despite the challenges.

Establish Work Hour Boundaries

Coordinating convenient meeting times for all of your employees may not be possible. It will at times be necessary for Steve to join a meeting at 5 a.m or for Mary to join at 10 p.m., but that should be an exception, not the rule. Make sure to set boundaries for your team and clients as to when you will be able to join meetings. It isn’t sustainable or healthy to be working around the clock for your teammates’ sake. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to arrange your schedules to find a meeting time that works well for all of you.

Be Specific With Setting Times

Signals can easily get crossed when you are communicating via business email. Add in team members in a variety of time zones on top of that, and things are bound to get messy. 

One of the simplest ways to clear up confusion is to be as specific as possible when composing your business email, especially when it comes to planning meetings and deadlines. 4 p.m. on a Thursday in Dallas would equate to 6 a.m on Friday in Tokyo, so be exact as to which time zone you are referring to when you set a time and date. For example, “The meeting will be Thursday, July 29 at 4 p.m. CDT.”

Plan Ahead When Sending Important Messages

Although there are many perks associated with a worldwide workplace, one downside is that communication and collaboration must be planned. If your coworker lives across the world and it happens to be the middle of the night for them, you can’t expect them to immediately respond to your message.

Always try to plan your important communications for a time when you will be able to get a quick response. Emergencies do pop up, so you can’t expect to never be disturbed outside of regular office hours, even without an international team. Think about creating a way to inform your team members if there is an emergency that needs to be taken care of right away.

Employ Project Management Tools

Staying organized as a team can be tricky when you don’t see each other face to face. It’s imperative that you find tools that your team can use to stay on top of what needs to be done and who needs to do it. A variety of project management tools exist, such as Trello and Asana, which allow you to create shared to-do lists and keep track of project progress.

Email is likely the single most important tool your company will use to asynchronously communicate. Nordic IT offers reMARK (formerly known as MARK5), which is a powerful team management email software to increase your company’s email efficiency and employee time management. reMARK boasts an abundance of tools such as shared inboxes and calendars to help global teams stay in sync.

Having employees and coworkers around the globe allows for more diversity, convenience, and greater opportunities for your business. Even though it also creates obstacles, they can be overcome with a bit of planning and effort. If you would like to find out more about how Nordic IT’s collaborative email software, reMARK, can help your business improve employee time management, email efficiency, and team collaboration throughout various time zones, schedule a free demo today.

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