Do You NEED To Share The Same TIME ZONE With Your TEAM?

time zones

Companies will soon stop being build based on location and build around time zones. What do you think about this? Luis shares all the insights!

So, people love to drop a set of constraints – in this case, the office – and immediately try to grab a new one. It’s remarkable how fast they can do it. As soon as employees realize they don’t have any more to build a company around the office, they seek to figure out a new set of constraints to apply.

As regards time zones, though it’s nice to get your remote team together at least once a week, there’s no need to share the same time zone to do it. Watch the video to find out more!

Transcript

Luis:

Do you need to share a time zone with your team? Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. I am your host Luis, and I have an espresso today. So that’s what I’ll be sipping, a nice Portuguese espresso shot. This tastes good. This taste good.

Apologies in advance for the quality today. I have a new MacBook and actually the set-up isn’t completely ready. I wasn’t prepared for these USB-C port, so I’m using the onboard camera, instead of my usual setup. I’m sorry for that, but I hope that the conversation will, at least, be pleasant.

A friend of mine shared something on LinkedIn. He wasn’t the one who originated this quote, he was commenting on it. The quote he was commenting on was something to the effect of, I’m not quoting directly, I’m paraphrasing, companies will soon stop being built based on location and being built around time zones.

I’m like, “Hmm, why we think about this?” You know, my immediate response was it’s so funny how people, as soon as they are able to drop a set of constraints, in this case, the office, that they immediately try to grab onto another different set of constraints. It’s quite remarkable that, as soon as the person sees that they don’t have any more to build a company around the office, they try to figure out, “Okay, what’s the next constraint that I can build an office or a build a company around?” In this case, time zones.

Now, I’m all for time zone overlap. It’s nice. I do enjoy getting the team together, getting my team together at least for an hour, doesn’t even have to be every day. In fact, it’s never every day because people actually have work to do. But it’s nice, without anyone incurring in any loss of sleep, to be able to get a team together.

Now, when I do those get-togethers with the team, and sometimes we discuss strategy. Other times we just hang out and get to know each other a little bit better. For some people that’s the beginning of their day, and for other people, it’s the last hour that they’re working, and that is fine. That’s absolutely fine, and no, nothing is on fire around me. It’s legitimately fine.

There’s no reason why people should overlap for most of the day. It’s nice for people to overlap at least a little bit so that they can have a conversation. There’s a problem, they don’t need… As much as I love a sync, sometimes there’s no replacement for having a face-to-face conversation with someone.

But I would actually say that it’s better if the chances for this are few and far between, because there’s the temptation of using Zoom calls or whatever software you use calls, video chats, as the default accepted way of communicating, rather than the best way of communicating, that’s just asynchronous communication. So, definitely if you have a small overlap, these calls become a scarce resource, and what happens with scarce resources, you manage them better.

So, I definitely am completely against the idea that there should be an enormous overlap, let’s say an 80% or even 100%, god forbid, overlap in time zones between team members. Some people are fans of 40% overlap. I personally prefer 20%. There’s a discussion to be had there, for sure.

But, please, you just got rid of the office. Don’t try to find any other artificial constraint. That’s not good. We are building a new way of working, there’s an ample diversity of approaches to take, but let’s try to think a bit outside the box. Let’s try to create better ways to work in a distributed environment, rather than try to adapt and squish the distributed environment to old ways of working.

That’s it for today. And answering my initial question, no, you do not need to share time zones with your team, at least not completely. A little bit of overlap is just fine.

If you enjoyed this small discussion, there are plenty of discussions like it happening in the articles, in the insights, in the news in thinkremote.com. Please head over there and subscribe. This was Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis, and I will see you tomorrow. If you enjoyed it, please like, share and subscribe. Press the little button on the corner of the screen. See you tomorrow.

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