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As remote work and satellite offices become more common, marketers are discovering that global teams can be incredibly beneficial to a company’s culture and ability to hire diverse talent.
In today’s workplace, diversity breeds new and unique ideas, allows us to look at our campaigns from different points of view, and benefits companies financially. In fact, by 2022, Gartner predicts that 75% of businesses with diverse frontline decision-makers will exceed their financial targets.
But, despite all the benefits of having a diverse global staff, companies are still trying to figure out how to work successfully across different timezones. Here are some ways to improve the efficiency of people working across time zones
Set Fair Meeting Time
Working across time zones requires fair meeting time. If you are not during normal working hours, you do not want colleagues or employees to have meetings at 5 in the morning or stay up late for meetings at 8 in the evening. When setting the meeting time, please consider everyone’s time zone and try to rotate the time as needed. If it is impossible for everyone to meet fairly, then the best option is to rotate the start time so that it does not cause trouble to the same person every time.
Set An Official Time Zone
Although you still want to know the time zone of other people, setting an official time zone for your company can help alleviate the confusion. If each manager held a meeting based on his personal time zone, everyone else would scramble to translate it into their own time zone. Adopting an official time zone means that everyone can set and communicate meeting or deadline dates in the same time zone, no matter where they are. This can make it easier for employees to quickly know the time difference in their location.
Embrace Virtual Processes And Project Management Tools
With all the technology we have, there is no longer a need for many teams to work in the same place or at the same time.
To enable your team to keep tasks running efficiently on a global scale, use tools such as instant messaging applications, task management software, and progress trackers so that anyone on your team can Develop strategies and update team progress at different times.
In addition to allowing people to work on the same project in different time zones, these tools also enable employees around the world to complete the same discussions on which aspects of the project.
For example, if an Australian employee is working and a U.S. employee is offline, the U.S. team can view the work done by the Australian team after logging in and determine which tasks need to be completed next.
Schedule Less Urgent Emails To Be Sent When International Teammates Are Active
“When you work in a different time zone, it is important to know when to send a message or email,” said Rebecca White, junior author of the HubSpot blog.
If you must send emails before or after your working hours, some communication platforms (such as Gmail) will allow you to schedule emails in advance. This is especially useful if you work late and don’t want to disturb your team. However, this can be helpful when you want to send non-urgent messages to teammates around the world without waking them up in the early morning or interrupting their nightly routines incredibly.
To do this on Gmail, create an email just like drafting other messages. Then, when you are ready to schedule the email, click the arrow in the “Schedule Mail” option on the send icon.
Prepare Your Questions
There may be no stupid problems, but there are clumsy, heavy, and useless problems.
If you are working asynchronously, you will be familiar with this situation: you ask someone a question about Slack, wait a few hours, get some follow-up questions, answer those questions, and then wait a few more hours. Although the meeting allows immediate follow-up of questions, you only need to ask some good questions first to achieve the same result and even be more efficient.
When asking a question, don’t assume that others know what you are talking about. Provide them with some clarifying context. Reread your question, try to determine where you are making assumptions, and prioritize any questions that someone might ask. In addition, include links to the content you are quoting, so no one will look for this information alone, so you can be sure that they are looking for the same things as you.
Ultimately, the most important things to embrace and keep in mind with team members in different time zones are respect, compassion and tolerance.
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