Working across time zones can be a major challenge for distributed teams. Questions over how to ensure equal input, how to streamline meetings, and how to collaborate effectively are all valid concerns.
Working with a distributed team can be a hugely rewarding experience. Not only do you have more distributed access between teams, but you also benefit from the diversity of different voices.
But working across time zones can also present various technological challenges. That’s why we put together this handy guide. Read on for advice on how to take advantage of time zone differences, establish crystal clear communication, and keep everyone working from the same page, wherever they are.
USE VIDEO CALLS FOR MEETINGS, EVEN FROM THE SAME LOCATION
If only part of your team works from a different time zone, it can still be useful to have every individual attend meetings via video calls. This way, you can sidestep any divisions between the different teams.
If part of your meeting is taking place between people in the same room, those who cannot physically attend can find it more difficult to chime in. With everyone attending the meeting separately on video calls, regardless of their location, everyone is on a level playing field. It makes it easier to track who is speaking and avoids prioritising communication between select groups.
Consider establishing a rule that unless everyone in your team can be together in the same room, every meeting should be held through video calls to ensure fairness and clarity.
ROTATE MEETING TIMES
If you hold regular meetings across time zones, try to rotate meetings times to avoid prioritising certain locations.
For example, if some of your meetings have meant that your team members in France have had to attend at 1 am local time, try to arrange your next meeting so that they can attend during their usual work hours.
By making sure the same people aren’t always being inconvenienced, you can avoid the perception of a ‘core team’ in one location whose needs are always put first. Switching up the times of your meetings will help to ensure everyone in your team feels equally valued.