“People say the early bird catches the worm. And it’s true! That’s why I work online in the middle of the night—to catch all the worms halfway across the world.” ― Jarod Kintz

Working in different time zones in this day and age has become the norm. Many companies right from Buffer, piktochart and others have remote teams all around the world.With  advancements in technology the world has indeed become “a smaller place…”

So we thought we will let you in on a couple of advantages and strategies in working with people in different time zones, after all we do have close to 10 years of experience in working with Remote/Distributed teams, particularly in the context of small and medium sized businesses.

Knowing everyone’s Time Zones:

This might sound simple but wrapping your head around where the team is located is a bit of a tedious task. Yet, it is important to know because you might be asking you team mate to jump into a new project right when he\she is about to leave for the day. A handy tool to use for this is Every Time Zone  which allows you to toggle around to see what the time of your choosing is across every time zone.

World Time Buddy works similarly. In this one, you can type in specific places and time zones to get exact times for those who may not be in the major cities. Using these tools to keep time zones top of mind makes sure that all team members have an equal opportunity to work smarter, not harder, and that they can engage or disengage in a coordinated way.

Prioritizing asynchronous communication:

There are a number of tools which are used for asynchronous communication, that means  everyone-at-their-own-pace can communicate right from email to Trello and Slack.  In these tools, we can log what we’ve done, what we’re doing or raise questions and comments. Other team members can read and comment later on at their own schedule. One more thing we are beginning to realize with this approach to asynchronous communication is that our levels of procrastination goes down and we will be able to concentrate on completing the task\job.

Meeting in smaller groups:

Although we promote asynchronous communication, it’s still awesome when we can talk face-to-face with teammates. We have a few standing methods of making sure these types of communication happen often, including a weekly meeting with our remote teams to discuss on what is happening in the Cloud Accounting Universe. We call it Cloud Gossip ™

Sharing travel plans and schedule changes:

When you’re not in the same place with your teammates and you don’t have common set work hours,clear communication is vital. Not only does this help the rest of the team to be aware of any changes they might need to know, it also has the added benefit of helping us all feel more connected to one another as we share plans and details of our lives. Lastly this might be a stretch but maybe meeting up with your remote team once in a while, yes, a get-together so that we can put a face and warm fleshy handshake  to everything you are working on the other side of the world.