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8 Tips for Working With Individuals in Different Time Zones

According to one study, about 96% of companies are confident that they could run their business and work internationally.

Would you put yourself in that category? It might be harder to have an international business when you realize you have to coordinate your times with other employees in different time zones.

But it isn’t impossible! Keep reading to find out how to make it work.

  1. Don’t Work Around the Clock

Your employees might feel tempted to work around the clock to accommodate the international business times.

If you really need to have some employees available at all times try and rotate the shifts so that no employee is running on only a few hours of sleep. Even if only a few employees are worn down, it’ll affect the whole team.

For example, you could try rotating shifts so that one country has to work late, but next month it’ll be on the employees in a different country.

Make sure you set clear boundaries for each international employee so that they don’t feel like they have to overwork themselves all of the time to make it work.

  1. Be Specific About the Times of Meetings

When you schedule meeting across time zones, it’s important that you put what time zone you’re in during the time for each meeting.

This applies to deadlines as well! There’s nothing worse than setting a time and realizing that people thought it was 9:00 a.m. in their time zone rather than yours.

Even if the employees are still in the same country as you, they might still be in a different time zone.

When employees are confused and not sure when the actual meeting is, it will slow your process down and cause confusion amongst your employees. This might seem like an obvious and easy thing to do, but a lot of people forget to do it because they’re only focused on the time zone they’re in.

  1. Use Good Tools

To help you remember to put the time zone on the meeting, make sure that you use the right tools to help keep everything on track.

There are also tools that will help you convert to different time zones. Once you realize the other times, you can more easily synchronize it and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

There are plenty of calendar, scheduler, and meeting apps that you can use to get everyone on the same page. To make things more organized, you should color code every time zone.

  1. Plan When You Send Your Emails

If you want to make sure that your international coworkers see your emails, you should plan out when you’re going to send them.

For example, if you send them an email while they’re asleep, it may be buried at the bottom of their inbox when they come in and they’ll never see it.

So if the email is urgent and you need a response, send it at a time of the day during their normal work hours. But what if their normal work hours are when you’re sleeping?

You can actually draft an email and then schedule it to send at a time when they’ll be online. You can do this through email apps like Outlook or Gmail.

  1. Make a Community Calendar

If you want more transparency on when everyone will be available or online, create a calendar that everyone on the team will be able to see.

This way you can see if they are busy in a meeting or if they’re going to be out of the office. Since you won’t be sharing a physical office with them, this can be an easy and organized way to keep track of everyone’s individual work schedule.

  1. Invest in Airline Flights

In order to create unity amongst your global teams, you should buy airline flights for your employees every now and then. It can be for an important meeting, workshop, or convention, but it will give everyone a chance to meet their coworkers in person.

When they create bonds in person, they’ll be stronger online as well which can help your business’s productivity.

  1. Record Meetings and Presentations

If you need to hold an important meeting while the international employees are away, you should always record the meetings and presentations.

That way you can send them the recorded video to watch on their own time. This will make sure that people don’t miss important details, and they’ll feel valued at the company.

  1. Be Flexible

Lastly, the most important thing to remember when it comes to international business times is that you need to be flexible.

Since you can’t easily just walk over to your coworker’s desk and make conversation with them, it can be difficult to build relationships with them. However, if you want to chat online, you may have to be a little flexible with your work schedule.

For example, if an international coworker asks if you have time for a video call, you should realize that you need to make time for them even if you didn’t have it scheduled.

Learn More About How to Work With People in Different Time Zones

These are only a few of the best tips to run a business with people in different time zones, but there are many more tips out there!

We know that running any kind of business can be stressful, but we’re here for you to help you do your best!

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