3 Great Ways to Keep Track of Your Deadlines When You Work Across Multiple Time Zones
Posted on 13/02/2018
When working in a virtual office, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is having employees working across multiple times zones. One person's noon is another person's midnight, which is why keeping track of deadlines when dealing with more than one time zone can be difficult to do. To successfully overcome this potential barrier, the key is centralization. Every employee must be on the same page and perfectly clear on how his/her role ties into the overall business.
Stick to Using the Same Time Zone in All Communications
Inconsistent communication is often the biggest culprit of missed deadlines when dealing with overseas workers and clients. When scheduling a deadline, it is crucial that all parties involved are aware of what time zone has been chosen for discussing timelines. To minimize confusion, there should be no switching from one time zone to another. All communications should be discussed in terms of one time zone and said time zone should be clearly noted next to any mention of a specific time. For example, "9:00 am" should be written "9:00 am PST." Sticking to one time zone creates a common thread that relieves each involved party of the responsibility of worrying about other team members' time zones.
Create a Group Calendar
Major deadlines like client meetings, employee meetings, and jobs that require input from multiple departments should be organized in a centralized location like an online calendar. In a virtual office, emails, phones calls, video calls, and texting are the primary modes of communication.
These methods can be subject to delays and limit each employee's access to knowledge. Essentially, not everyone can stay up-to-date with what co-workers are currently working on. Regularly updating a group calendar that all employees can access is a great way to keep everyone in the loop. This way, workers who are reliant on each other have a better idea what their co-workers' schedules might look like and can plan their communications accordingly.
Plan on Meeting Personal Deadlines During Personal Business Hours
There is a high likelihood that each employee will face this situation: A deadline that is outside of business hours in their own time zone. Some level of flexibility should be maintained, but to keep things consistent and reasonable, employees should plan on finishing jobs assigned to them during their normal working hours as often as possible. This may involve a little pre-planning where some tasks are completed and turned in hours or days before a deadline, but the extra effort will stop team members from overworking, working at unreasonable hours, or missing deadlines completely.
Staying on top of deadlines can be tough in a virtual office
, but there are tools and resources available to help virtual businesses thrive. Creating a tangible environment for employees and clients to interact is perhaps the most important hurdle and should be treated as such. To discover new and exciting resources to successfully operate a virtual office, visit us at http://www.yourcityoffice.com.