Working in different time zones is one of the challenges that remote working presents to teams.
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Whether you are working for a remote company that has employees working in different parts of the world or you are the only one in your team that works on a different time zone, meeting deadlines and collaborating is still possible if you adopt practices to help you achieve more without compromising on quality or affecting your work life balance.
Establish everyone's work hours
Establishing what the teams preferred work hours helps to set boundaries. No one should feel the need to always be online to respond to requests from co-workers at unsociable work hours and helps your co-workers to be more mindful.
You may also have people that only work part-time hours or those that split their time during the day. Whatever they choose, it’s important to respect everyone’s preferred work hours and setting your to your Microsoft Teams status to display when you will be online or on an automated email response lets co-workers know when they should expect to receive a response.
Communicating deadlines clearly is important especially if you are dependent on others for producing a piece of work in the run up to a project for example. Giving realistic deadlines that account for the time it takes to produce the material and allow for any other urgent matters to get in the way helps to manage your time effectively whilst communicating with others and stating the time zone that applies to the deadline will avoid confusion.
Being online whilst others are offline means that you will probably use email as the way of getting your responses across, delegating tasks or providing advice. Email communication has become an art form, something that has to capture details that anticipate potential questions or issues and that clearly get across your thoughts. If you rush out a message this can be confusing for the reader and then they may need to clarify your email which can delay deadlines and hamper productivity.
Ensuring that we remain productive and happy in our work we have to adopt practices that best suit our work patterns and the type of work that we do. In this era of digitalization and workforces are more spread out than before and not physically present honing these skills has become central to the way that businesses operate.