These days, global project teams are a fact of life for most of us. Globalisation enables tapping into a wider pool of talent, which leads to value creation and innovation. Technology helps communicate and coordinate across continents. And, an offshore software development company has become an invaluable partner for any business and organisation.
Nevertheless, despite the continuous evolution of technology, there is one thing that it could not conquer, and that is the time zone difference. Having people based across different countries could be really valuable to access new markets. Yet, if not handled right, it could also bring about various challenges. Let’s explore how to conquer and manage the time zone difference
Effectively Managing Time Zone Differences in Offshore Software Development
- Using online tools
Probably the most obvious and annoying part of living in a different location is that scheduling gets more complicated. Activities can be scattered throughout the day to give room for multiple time zones. With the right tools, this could be managed well.
Consider finding a time zone converter, which lets you see time zones all over the world or allows you to visually compare the timelines of various zones. There are free time zone converters you can find on the web. Take it one step further by using a digital calendar, like the Google Calendar to set up events based on time zones.
- Establishing communication
This may require a more proactive approach to regular meetings scheduling. Communication is key to a successful business operation, thus it’s important to keep the network informed of your availability. Moreover, since you are in a different time zone, the work hours would be different, thus, make sure everyone knows your schedule.
Business is about people and building connections—this is something that you should never neglect, regardless of how far away you are from the offshore software development partner.
- Create a virtual workplace
Phone calls and video calls are important. However, a constantly accessible and more informal communication tool could boost output and team collaboration. The collaboration app is a tool where members can collaborate on projects and upcoming events for easy access.
The app furthermore automatically updates when you are in a different location, allowing you to connect to your local network. This makes it easy for conversations and files shared online. This is an effective way of managing people across various time zones.
- Limit to one time zone only
While it could be useful to have two clocks run in various time zones, it would be easier to schedule events in your local time. Although much of the work is online, keep in mind that your life is still local. Schedule all events at your local time to plan your day and make appointments easy.
However, you still have to keep an EST clock readily available so you can double check if you have converted the time properly or otherwise. Nobody would want to miss a meeting because they forgot the time difference.
- Allocate ample time for sleeping
For those in a time zone with differences exceeding six hours, the sleep schedule would inevitably be affected. Thus, you should commit to trying to let yourself sleep at a consistent hour every single day and to wake up at the same time. This enables you to set several working hours.
This will not only help plan and coordinate your days, but it also ensures that you are getting a healthy 7 to 10 hours of sleep. Creating a digital calendar event dedicated to sleep can be a great way of making sure that you don’t schedule meetings while you’re sleeping. Moreover, pay attention to your circadian rhythm. The biological clocks in your body are synced to the sun, so make sure to close curtains or blinds when you sleep and get some Vitamin D in the morning.
- Show your appreciation
All the members of the offshore software development partner, regardless of the time zone they’re working in, should be aware that they’re appreciated. Remote engagement may take more time and effort, but it’s paramount to manage all employees effectively. It could be as simple as a thank you email or sharing success with a wider global team.
As the world continues to go online, and with the current pandemic around the world, having an offshore software development company to partner with makes a lot more sense. Managing the difference in time zones is one of the most effective ways to business success, whatever your brand and size may be.