How to Work Across Time Zones as a Remote Team

When remote teams are working on the same project, time zones can be a huge barrier. The goal of a remote software development team is to maximize productivity with remote teams. To do this, team members need to find an optimal work schedule that maximizes their efficiency and minimizes stress.

There are many different ways remote teams can work together effectively with good communication, but one of the most important aspects is scheduling meetings around each person’s needs for sleep and rest. If people don’t get enough sleep, they will make more mistakes, leading to lower quality code and higher rates of burnout among developers.

Here are some tips on how you can create a successful environment for your remote team that will make it easier to work remotely!

1.   Adjust Schedules to Work Across Time Zones

One way to combat the time zone difference is to always work across time zones and adjust your schedule accordingly. Instead of working from 9-5, use a flex-time schedule where everyone can work at whatever hours they are most productive. [For example, if an American company has five Americans and one European who works from 1-9 pm, they should work from 10 am-7 pm instead.] This means that sometimes people will have to get up extremely early or stay up extremely late, but it will all even out in the end because everyone gets a similar amount of rest.

2.   Use Webcams

Another way you can make working across time zones easier is by using webcams. Many offices use Skype or Google Hangouts to coordinate meetings with employees in different time zones, but they can also be used for casual communication with team members you see most often.

For example, if someone is working late at night and needs clarification on something you said earlier in the day, they can send a message via Skype and make sure everyone else has all the information they need before leaving for home.

3. Remember That 12 Hours Makes an Entire Day

If you’re in Europe, remember that when people say, “I’ll be out of the office until 4 PM,” they still mean it will take them about 12 hours to get back into the office. This means that if you want to reach someone who is out of the office from 9-5 but is in Europe, you have to wait until 5 PM his time before reaching him.

4.   Stay Organized

When working with a remote team, it’s important to stay on top of your tasks and be as organized as possible. If an employee forgets something while out of the office or doesn’t understand something that was done earlier in the day, he will have a hard time getting back into the rhythm of work when he comes back at night. By staying organized throughout the day and having everything filed away where everyone can find it easily, you’ll reduce confusion among your remote workers.

5.   Use Written Communication for Urgent Matters

It’s easy to miss small details when you’re not working with someone face-to-face, so it’s important to use written communication as often as possible. This is especially true for urgent matters. In many offices, people document everything that happens throughout the day in a notebook or on a sticky note and leave it by their computer so they can refer to earlier conversations when they need to. This will be especially important when you have people working in different time zones.

6.   Set Deadlines

Another way to make sure your remote team stays on track is by setting deadlines for specific tasks or projects. You should still try to work with a flexible schedule, but having at least some deadlines will keep everyone on track and make sure you don’t lose sight of long-term goals.

7.   Keep an Open Line of Communication

Overall, the most important thing is to stay open and honest with your remote team members. If something needs to be addressed immediately or if someone isn’t getting his work done as quickly as possible, speak up about it right away so that he can get back on track as soon as possible. Even if people aren’t working in the same time zone, they should still communicate as much as possible to ensure that everyone is aware of what’s going on throughout the day.

8.   Be Supportive

When working remotely, it can sometimes be hard to get into the rhythm of things. If someone is having trouble adjusting to a new time zone or understanding how the workday works, be supportive and patient. Being able to communicate regularly will help him gain confidence in his ability to do his job, but if he still feels lost, try offering him additional training or more specific instructions on what he should be doing at any given time.


There are many benefits to working with a remote team, but it’s not easy to coordinate schedules and maintain constant communication when you’re not all in the same office. The above article has provided some tips on how you can create a successful environment for your remote team that will make it easier to work remotely. If you give these 8 tips a try, they should help ease any difficulties which face different remote companies. The most important thing is staying open and honest with everyone so that no one feels lost or out of place while working remotely!

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