Tips for International Teams: How to Bring Teams Together and Manage Time Zones

Written by Gabrielle Brogan
September 10, 2021
Written bY
Gabrielle Brogan

At Kings Crest Global, we pride ourselves on being a truly global company. We are located all around the world and you can find us based in Serbia, Spain, Bangladesh, Portugal and America and Brazil, to name a few. Being international gives us an edge because of our diverse experiences and opinions, but the time zone differences also pose unique challenges.

When I am having breakfast, it is well past lunch for my colleagues in Barcelona. Therefore, we have developed methods to address this and ensure that we work seamlessly across locations. We also implement these principles in our startup consulting and digital transformation consulting services, ensuring that our clients achieve their goals and truly harness the power of the international virtual landscape.

1. Bringing Your Team Together

When dealing with different time zones, colleagues can often feel disconnected. Therefore, it is important to create opportunities where people can come together and feel like a team. During the holidays, members of the KCG family were able to go live directly to Thailand and adopt elephants. My elephant is called Nong Pech and is known as the “diva” or “cheeky one.” While not all the members of the team were able to attend the call, due to the time zone in Thailand, our CEO captured the live video from Thailand to show to those who could not attend the live viewing. As a KCG family, we strive to be as connected as possible across the globe.

We also help our clients improve their company culture in the virtual world as a part of our digital consulting and transformation services. We recommend everything from creating an internal company video that really highlights your brand and personality, to creating employee engagement campaigns over email and Zoom calls. The goal is to show your team that you care and to harness the power of technology while you do so.

2. Establishing Working Hours

When you’re hiring, you should ensure that you and your potential hire are on the same page about working hours. For many new startups launching in the digital age, this can be a key challenge to overcome. Our startup consultancy includes targeted advice for building remote teams, taking into account elements such as today’s unpredictable pandemic. It is crucial to understand what your employee’s expectations are and have them understand what your expectations are of them. Many employees will want to retain a 9-5 schedule, but some, due to child-care duties or other responsibilities, enjoy the flexibility that remote work provides to create their own schedule. After hiring someone, you should make sure that the team knows about your new employee’s work hours. They will then know not to contact your new employee at a time they are not planning to work with a new assignment and they will know when your employee is available and can take on new work.

3. Using a Time Zone Enabled Calendar System

We at KCG schedule everything using Google calendar, and I mean EVERYTHING. This is useful because it not only makes sure that we are reminded of scheduled calls, but through booking a calendar invite, you can see different time zones and what time you will be calling someone in their time zone. When you create a meeting using your Google calendar, you can click on the time, then the time zone, and see what time your meeting will be in various time zones. Therefore, if you need to be sure that this is a time that your colleagues or customers will be available, you can meet everyone’s needs. Even if you need to connect people in Maui, Hawaii with people in Anchorage, Alaska, you can with the assistance of Google calendar.

4. Dedication to Video

Nearly every call we have at KCG is done through video chat. This allows us to see each other and truly interact. Without video, you can’t see if someone is smiling and laughing or frowning and in confusion. Video allows a far greater degree of interaction and is critical to effective remote working.

Beyond that, videos are a vital part of a healthy virtual working ecosystem. We recommend that any company that has shifted to working online during the pandemic use video to call their clients and colleagues. We also help companies to create videos to help explain their services, and create influential and persuasive marketing videos, whether those are shared on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. This, like PPC campaigns, can increase lead generation, improve company culture and enhance efficiency, too!

Building a seamless virtual workplace means dedicating time to company culture and leveraging the power of the online tools at your disposal. If you have any questions or could use some expert advice on shifting your company to the digital world, simply get in touch, here!

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