How to build a strong teamwork culture across time zones
Choosing a remote team has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage of hiring remote workers is that you can hire people from all over the world! This means your talent pool will increase. The biggest and most common disadvantage is that employees may be in different time zones. It is more difficult to schedule team meetings at convenient times for everybody, but it is not impossible! Therefore, you have to create a strong remote culture with your team. Focus on good communication and collaboration. Continue reading to learn more about how to build a strong teamwork culture across time zones.
Understand the impact of the time differences
Hiring remote workers creates more diversity within your company. For example, people from different countries have different views on religion, culture, or education. Perhaps you even want to give your employees extra flexibility by adapting the holidays to their culture. To build a strong remote team culture, you first need to find out how the time differences affect your company’s work. Every company with remote workers deals with different time zones, which means there is no standard manual that works for everyone. Try spending a week or more to learn about how things go across time zones and write down things that go right and wrong. That way, you will learn more about the impact of the time differences on your business, and you can adjust your remote culture accordingly.
Asynchronous communication doesn't have to be the standard
Asynchronous communication means that communication between colleagues doesn’t take place in real-time. If you make asynchronous communication a part of your remote culture often it causes less stress if a colleague doesn’t respond immediately. However this comes with its own set of problems. There may be a delay in answering questions, since there is no immediate response or feedback. Companies with such remote work culture can only use email as tool of communication, but we highly recommend to also implement a visual aid such as a virtual office.
Working apart, it might take some time before you get a response from the other person when they are not working at the moment. You may also struggle to see who is available, or who is working on what. With a virtual office, you can visualize availability super easily, and also be more aware of which projects they are working on in addition to how willing they are to be interrupted.
Weekly team meeting
To build a strong team, your employees should know who their colleagues are. Therefore, it is recommended to make weekly real-time meetings part of your remote culture. This encourages team communication and collaboration. Figure out what times are manageable for all team member. Maybe even rotate the times, so every meeting takes place at different times for everyone. Are the time zones of your employees too far apart and is it difficult to have everyone present? Record the meetings! That way, those who couldn’t attend can always look back and don’t miss anything important. This contributes to a great remote culture.
Virtual team building activities for work
Working hard and keeping the company running is obviously important. But companies with great remote work culture also spend time on team bonding activities between colleagues. Because of the distant, it is best to look into virtual team building activities for work. This can be in the form of team building projects or by organizing online get-togethers or game nights. Let some employees organize this as a team and the team building already that’s there! Fun activities ensure that your employees get to know each other differently and learn more about each other’s personal lives. Team building activities are thus essential in your remote work culture!
A small but important part of a great remote culture is that it is clear to everyone who is working when. This includes everyone showing their availability. A tip for Teemyco that is effective: by checking the weather status update, you can see the current location and time zone. Your colleagues can also share their personal status which will become visible when you mouseover their avatar within the office. Sharing calendars is another great way to do this, and Teemyco has a simple 1-click feature which allows you to connect Google Calendar. This gives everyone an indication of when someone will be back at work and when they might get a response to their question.
Find out what impact the different time zones have on your business and adjust your remote work culture accordingly. This can be done by setting clear rules around communication and availability or using varying meeting times, so everyone can attend. But it is also important your employees create a social bond through fun team building activities!