Helpful Tips to Manage Offshore Team With Time Zone Differences

by Summer


When you work and manage offshore team, time zone differences can cause some problems. You may find that you’re working different hours than your team, and this can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. 


In order to resolve these differences, you need to establish some ground rules. Here are a few tips for doing just that.


Establish The Time Zones


The first step to resolving time zone differences is to make sure that everyone understands which time zone they’re working in. This will help avoid confusion and ensure that all team members are on the same page.


If you’re a large company with many locations worldwide, you might consider using a time zone map or chart to help everyone visualize the differences.


Set Realistic Expectations


When you work and manage offshore team, it’s important to set realistic expectations for project deadlines and delivery schedules. You need to take the time difference into account when setting deadlines so that your team has enough time to complete their tasks.


This can be done by creating a schedule or using a digital calendar that shows the time differences between you and your team.


Communicate Regularly


To resolve time zone differences, regular communication is essential. Make sure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to tasks, deadlines, and any other important information related to the project.


A messaging platform like Slack can help facilitate this communication and ensure everyone is on the same page. Slack also shows the local time of all users, meaning that you can easily figure out if you’re messaging your coworkers at the right time. There are other tools that can help you manage offshore team.


>> CLICK and Find Out 6 Supportive Tools To Work With A Dedicated Development Team


Plan for Overlap Times


To ensure that everyone can still communicate and understand each other, it’s important to plan for overlap times. This means scheduling regular meetings or conference calls during times when both parties are awake and available.


While this may prevent your company from having truly flexible work hours,  it will help ensure that all team members are on the same page and can coordinate their tasks effectively. 


Additionally, it will help build trust and understanding between team members, as they’ll be able to communicate effectively.


Be Flexible


Staying flexible is important for any business, but especially so for those who are working with an offshore team. You may need to adjust your deadlines or expectations if the time difference is too great, and you need to be willing to do so if necessary.


For instance, if one of your team members is located in a different time zone, you may need to allow for extra time for them to complete their tasks. Similarly, if the team is working together on a task, you may want to create a timeline accordingly.


This is why setting deadlines with the time zones in mind is important, too. Ideally, you should set a deadline for your offshore team a few days before the final project deadline. 


This way, you’ll have time to review everything and can account for any delays and potential changes without jeopardizing the success of the project.


Review Your Processes


This is one aspect that a lot of businesses forget about when dealing with time zones, but it’s especially important to keep things running smoothly. Your processes should be tailored to accommodate the time zone differences so that you’re working efficiently.


For instance, if your team is located in a different time zone, you may need to adjust your internal processes so that tasks are completed in a timely


manner. This could mean setting up daily meetings with the offshore team or scheduling regular reports or reviews.

Make Teams From Nearby Timezones


You can create teams from nearby time zones to make things easier to manage offshore team. This way, the team members can communicate in a more efficient manner and work together to resolve any issues that may arise.


It’s also important to make sure that each team has its own leader or supervisor who is responsible for keeping everyone on track. This will ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner and that everyone is aware of any changes or updates to the project timeline.


This applies to working with external agencies, too. If you’re outsourcing any part of your work, make sure to hire a company that is near at least one of your teams. It helps manage offshore team so much easier.


For example, if you’re working with a mobile app developer from Miami, the team in the same time zone should be their main point of contact. This way, you won’t have to miss a beat in your schedule, but you’ll still be able to work with an expert of your choosing. This is an especially good tip for bigger companies with teams all around the globe.


>> HERE is Top 12+ Offshore Development Team In Vietnam

Have a Strong Holiday Policy


Time zones don’t just affect your day-to-day operations but also your holiday policy as a firm. Are your employees entitled to public holidays? What about the number of paid vacation days legally required by the country they live in? 


Meeting the requirements of the country where your employee is based and creating a comfortable work environment is essential for successfully navigating time zones while still being fair to everyone involved.


That’s why having a holiday policy that is tailored to the individual countries involved is essential. This way, you’ll be sure to meet the legal requirements of the country and ensure that your team has ample time off when needed.


Not only is this excellent news for your team, but it can also allow you to create a schedule in your company that allows you to not skip a beat with your projects and clients. 


You’ll know exactly what you can count on and when, which is imperative for any business that wants to run smoothly. 


Let’s not forget that having a fair and accommodating holiday policy is good for your employees’ morale, too.


Enforce Time Zone Rules


Simply establishing time zones and rules around them without enforcing them will not take you anywhere in the long run. Both teams will be available for collaboration, and the time frames in which tasks should be completed.


You should also have a policy on when emails can be sent out and make sure that your team is aware of it. This way, you’ll ensure that no one is left waiting for an answer or a response from their colleagues due to time zone differences. It will also make sure that everyone is on the same page and can coordinate their tasks effectively.


There are a few ways to enforce these rules and regulations: 


Firstly, by making sure that everyone is aware of the different time zones involved and what they mean for the project timeline. 


Secondly, you could also implement automated reminders or calendar events to ensure that tasks are completed on time.


Finally, it’s important to have regular meetings with your team so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to time zone differences and how they impact the project. This way, you can make sure that everyone is aware of any changes or updates regarding the timeline, and that all tasks are completed in a timely manner.


When the rules aren’t respected, you should be prepared to take appropriate action. This could mean anything from a verbal warning to more serious consequences, depending on the severity of the situation.


Agile Methodology


Agile methodology is a great way to manage projects when dealing with time zone differences. 


It allows you to break up the project into smaller chunks and create daily or weekly tasks that are easy to complete in a timely manner. This can help keep and manage offshore team organized and on track, even if they’re located in different time zones.


Moreover, the agile methodology can also help with communication between teams. When tasks are broken up into smaller chunks, it’s easier to keep everyone on the same page and make sure everyone is aware of any changes or updates that may occur.


As with all business strategies, it’s important to get feedback from your team. This will ensure that everyone is aware of any changes or issues that may arise and can help you adjust your strategy as needed.

Create a Visual Calendar


Creating a visual calendar is the best way to keep your team organized when dealing with time zone differences. 


By displaying dates and times in different colors, you can quickly identify which tasks are being worked on in which region and make sure that everyone is on the same page.


You should also display any holidays or other important dates that may impact the project timeline. This will make sure that everyone is aware of any potential delays or changes to the project and can plan accordingly.

Hire People with Experience Working Remotely


This is one of the best ways to manage a remote team, especially when dealing with time zone differences. 


Hiring people who have experience working remotely means that they are already familiar with the challenges that come with it and can help you adjust your strategy as needed.


Additionally, hiring people who have experience in different cultures can be a great asset. They can help bridge any cultural gaps that may arise, which can make a huge difference in the success of your project.


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Overall, resolving time zone differences with the offshore team is essential for any business. 


By understanding the time zone differences, setting realistic expectations, communicating regularly, and being flexible, you can ensure that your team is running smoothly and efficiently regardless of the time zone differences. 


Additionally, using agile methodology and creating visual calendars can be a great way to keep your team on track and make sure they’re always aware of any changes or updates that may occur. Good luck!

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