How are you approaching meetings across different time zones, especially within your team?

1.5k views7 Upvotes92 Comments

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Samsara is unique in that for our revenue size, we are not globally distributed like a lot of other companies. We're primarily based in the Bay Area and the UK, with a smattering of leadership throughout Western Europe. We have a small concentration of folks in Atlanta and a lot of people have relocated for cost of living purposes and other COVID-related reasons. But everybody is attuned to Pacific time, so our business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. We've recently hired a lot of folks on the east coast and we have not acclimated to them at all. They're working late into their evening to cover up to a 6 p.m. time slot, and I'm not hearing a lot of conversation around that. Now that we've started to expand into other time zones and other geographies from a workforce perspective, it'll be interesting to see how the company starts to acclimate.

Even before COVID, it was a very office-centric environment, so it took a large cultural shift to move to remote working. To layer in competing time zones as you're building up those teams adds complexity. And it's not as if you have one person in every major region that helps to cover that overlap between the two. If you just have one person in California and one person in Asia, what do you do with that? That's going to be an interesting problem for us to solve.
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CISO in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees

I don't have teams in different time zones, but one thing we’ve implemented is doing more standups together. We have a daily standup in the morning and then we have an afternoon one, which is not as compulsory. 

CIO in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We have our headquarters in California, but the majority of our company supply chain and some G&A folks are in the mountain time zone, so that is what we've centered on for most scheduling. It might be a little early for those of us on the west coast, but it's a nice middleground for the folks that are working in the central and Eastern standard time zones. And we don't have a lot of operations globally, not to the extent that it would play into how we do things.
SVP - Software Engineering in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
Try to take earlier calls EST time so our India team doesn’t have to stay on too late. But, each team has different dynamics and schedules so we really ask the teams to talk with each other to work it out.
Director of IT in Software, 201 - 500 employees
I have team members in three different time zones. We try to schedule the meetings so they fit everyone, i.e. not too early for someone on the west coast and not too late for someone on the east.
It also depends on the meeting attendees, whether they are in the same or multiple time zones.
The HQ is in MST time zone, so when scheduling meetings with external parties, I based them on MST.
Director of IT in Transportation, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
adjusting to the early birds and late bloomers via zoom, teams.  By now people seem to have adjusted.
Director ERP Management in Travel and Hospitality, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I managed a project where teams from US and Asia worked together. This was interesting mix. Our overseas provider was able to align partial resources with our US time zone but some of the resources were only available outside the US time zone. I had to change the working hours for some of the US team members to work with overseas team and still stay within 40 hours work week. I have seen a slight performance impact in the results. 
VP of IT in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
I try to schedule meetings  during the part of the day where the work schedules overlap the most. We tend to have a lot of 9am or 8am PT  meetings so that the people in Europe and the people in USA west coast can both attend.
Chief Technology Officer in Finance (non-banking), 11 - 50 employees
I've managed teams across timezones from Sydney, Tokyo, LA, London & Lahore. It's difficult but not impossible to keep everyone on track. Culture and language issues are real so take time to understand how to communicate and how to listen. Building a team culture that provides clear goals and celebrates achievements helps people understand what is expected of them and also let them know that their voice will be heard and listened to. People management 101.
Director of IT in Healthcare and Biotech, 201 - 500 employees
We've moved largely to asynchronous collaboration, but otherwise, we schedule meetings for early PST, and allow it to fall in normal hours for other time zones.
Director of IT in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I consider the various support agencies as part of the team. Time differences do introduce different challenges. We work to be strategically flexible with the hours of our staff, when engagement of support is required.

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