Because of the Internet, we are now more interconnected than ever. It is easier for businesses with teams or employees from different parts of the world to keep communication lines open and collaborate no matter the proximity. Aside from that, it is also easy and convenient to form teams from different parts of the world with freelancing and crowdsourcing platforms like Freelancer.com . Freelancer lets you build a team of professionals for your business - and you don’t need a brick-and-mortar office to work together. In fact, hiring freelancers from around the world to perform various functions in your business is the modern definition of an international team.
With people from different parts of the world working together becoming a common thing these days, here are some practical tips on how your international team can manage projects and stay coordinated despite the distance and different time zones.
1. Have a synchronized schedule
Time zone differences can cause delayed responses between you and your team so to work around that, make sure your activities and deadlines are scheduled. When you have schedules in place, you and your team can then communicate prior to that to polish out the plan and finalize it. When the appointed day comes, all your team has to do is implement the plan - there will no longer be a need for go signals or double checking, unless the situation specially calls for it.
2. Pick a time zone
To avoid confusion on whether a teammate from across the world meant 1 pm his time or yours, stick with one time zone throughout the duration of a project. When you’ve set a schedule using EET, avoid switching the time zone reference between that and other time zones from your team. Using a default time zone also lets you and your team get used to the time difference.
3. Keep the team updated with daylight saving time changes
A teammate from a different country could have been three hours ahead of your time zone and all the while, you thought it was just a 2-hour difference. This kind of situation can cause conflict especially if you’ve set a schedule for a meeting. To avoid these, make it the team member’s responsibility to update the team in case the are DST changes in his or her country.
4. Use time converter and scheduling tools
Numerous tools for tracking different time zones are readily available online or you can download them to your smartphones. You can use Time Trade, TimeZone Converter or World Time Buddy to find out the local time for your team members. You can also adjust your Gmail settings to enable features that allow to your schedule correspondence with your team members from other parts of the world.
Enjoy our weekly installment from Sebastián Siseles, the international director of Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. View previous posts here .