Working Across Multiple Time Zones: Tools and Strategies


If you’ve made it this far, there’s a good chance you’re either looking to find a remote job, already working remotely, or looking to hire remote employees. Zapier are on a mission to make automation easy and accessible to everyone at work. With over 400 remote employees spread across 30 countries, Zapier is one of the largest fully remote companies. They know what they’re doing and write great guides on how to get the most out of remote work.

  • Many Heads of Remote will spend time in both worlds, improving the internal experience while advocating for remote-first beyond the organization.
  • Teams in traditional office settings sometimes measure productivity by how long each team member spends at their desk.
  • It means that for much of the year, the time difference between New York and Phoenix is three hours — but from November to March, Phoenix residents are just two hours behind.
  • Over the years, though, I’ve developed a few tips and tricks that have helped me navigate the complexities of working across different time zones.
  • This tool tracks time for any specific project task or a specific client.

If you need to sync with them 100%, the ideal working hours would have your shift end in the evenings. If you want to interact and work with the whole world, there is pretty much no better time zone than those of Central European Time and Central African Time. Neighbors to Asia on one side, and the Americas on the other, these time zones are in a prime position. Now that we have all these basics covered, we can dive into details about different time zones to help you choose which is best suited for you. We will mostly reference the US, Canada and the UK when talking about time zones around the globe. The cost of living is another thing to keep in mind because where you can afford to live might take priority over any time zone preference you might have.


Trello, Basecamp, and Asana are project management tools that keep track of what everyone is working on as it progresses through the pipeline. Any team looking to boost remote cooperation while working should invest in one. Daylight saving time was implemented in the United States to address train transportation coordination concerns in 1918. The Interstate Commerce Commission, in charge of railroad regulation at the time, created five time zones still in use today as the country prepared for World War I, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

  • Elon Musk said that entrepreneurs spend too much time in meetings and too little time on making their service or product exponentially better.
  • Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working across different time zones.
  • In that case, it should be drafted in your company policies and communicated with the candidates before you hire them.
  • Learn how to create an effective MongoDB Developer job description that will attract the right candidates for your open position.
  • Weiss says he looks forward to spending a few months in the Pacific Northwest.
  • It’s tempting to believe that sending someone a fast email will save them time, while in reality, it may end up wasting more of their day.

It’s a century-old temporal phenomenon that occurs on the first Sunday in November. The change allows for more daylight in the mornings from early November into March. In the spring, clocks jump ahead an hour to allow for more daylight in the evenings. Numerous studies, including the Tanner Institute’s, suggest hybrid workplaces — those that offer schedule and location flexibility — are the future. Such workplaces outperform their rigid counterparts in employee retention, satisfaction and engagement — if they do it right. Employees of Olsen’s software company, JobNimbus, had only just started working together in a WeWork space after years of working fully remotely.

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You can’t just be aware of time zones, you need to construct a company where time zones are at the core of every internal operation. When everyone lives in different time zones, writing, planning, and documentation tend to become the default behavior for remote employees. This means people who were offline can dive into documentation to catch up, rather than having to wait for answers. While it can be challenging to manage a distributed team, fully remote companies have many benefits.

working remotely in a different time zone

Essentially you’re working solely on one initiative in your queue for twenty minutes straight (no email, no LinkedIn, no Slack especially), and then you give yourself a five-minute break. During those five minutes, I would stretch or get some water before the next 20 minutes set begins. I moved to a different country every month, which meant exposure to a variety of remote work hubs. Before starting at a new spot, I liked to walk there from my apartment and assess the route and lunch options. Time is precious, especially when the lines from work and home are blurred.

Challenges of working in different time zones

Before I left, as a team, we reviewed the best ways to work together on collaborative projects and Slack communication best practices. For instance, 👀 meant they saw your Slack message and will respond to you in a bit. I joined ProductPlan in the summer of 2019, excited to sink my teeth into creating product management content. However, joining the team came with one small twist — Thanksgiving of that year my journey would take me to South East Asia for four months where I would work remotely from the rest of my core team in Santa Barbara, CA. For an even simpler way to see what time it is around the world, check out Every Time Zone.

Learn how to hire and manage remote developers the right way to expand your team. Learn how to create an effective MongoDB Developer job description that will attract the right candidates for your open position. This post provides a template and tips for highlighting specific skills, emphasizing important requirements, and more. Learn how to write an effective Ruby on Rails developer job description, including key qualifications and responsibilities, and sample job description template.