Handling Time Zone Differences When Working With Remote TeamsMarwa Hassan
Many changes have occurred in the last decade, particularly for businesses, including modern globalization, cutting-edge tools, innovative technologies, and access to new cultures. However, one advantage that has recently gained popularity is the ability to work with global talent.
Companies in 2022 will be able to hire developers without regard for geographical constraints. For example, regardless of how remote your location is, you can manage an offshore development in Connecticut or Massachusetts. Anything is possible as long as you have consistent Wi-Fi. That is the degree of adaptability that distributed teams have.
Time zone difference-the biggest challenge
There is no doubt that the advantages of hiring an offshore software development team outweigh the disadvantages. However, one disadvantage, at least according to most businesses, is the time zone difference. The time zone difference affects more than just communication with remote teams.
Collaboration with teams across time zones can result in miscommunication, delayed delivery timelines, missed milestones, and sabotage the entire project, ultimately putting a dent in your pocket if not managed efficiently and strategically.
Nile Bits, as a leading company with the best offshore software development teams, has learned a few tricks and tips along the way that will help both offshore teams and businesses manage time zone differences.
Seven tips to handle time zone differences with offshore software development teams
Let us be clear: daily communication is not the same as micromanagement. Daily communication with the offshore development team will ensure compliance with the manager’s reports, which will be shared with the rest of the team. This will save both parties time and resources due to misunderstandings.
Make sure to schedule calls with team members according to their time zone. You could easily find one hour during the day to have a brief call with your offshore development team, no matter where they are in the world.
Implement smart hiring
In other words, you require a capable team. For example, if your offshore software development team cannot work with little supervision and requires constant supervision throughout the day, you have hired the wrong people.
Given the time zone difference and the additional assistance they require, it will take a long time before you can launch your software. That is why it is critical to hire an experienced, dedicated offshore development team that is dependable, self-motivated, and capable of managing tasks efficiently.
Keep the time zone visual handy
Keeping a hard copy of your offshore development company’s time zone will help you manage and schedule calls. You could try memorizing the time difference if you think you can remember it, but time zones can vary greatly. Even the smallest error in remembering the time difference could result in call rescheduling or cancellation.
As a result, it is preferable to keep such vital information in a visual format on your smartphone or PC.
Once you’ve decided on and established effective communication channels, effective management tools, and scheduled calls, make sure you have a single point of contact (Point of Contact). The goal here is to avoid confusion caused by having more or unnecessary people.
What’s the point of hiring a capable development team if you can’t put your trust in them and end up micromanaging everything? As a result, consider hiring offshore remote developers who are dependable and knowledgeable in their field.
Invest in good management tools
You’re not using the right tools if you’re having trouble scheduling meetings/calls, coordinating with other team members, and dealing with other management issues. Using efficient time zone management tools is a better way to handle and manage the time zone difference with offshore development service providers.
How do these tools assist? Most time zone management tools include a simple interface that allows you to keep track of the local time in the regions where your offshore development team is located. This will allow you to plan and schedule meetings more easily.
Some tools allow users to enter multiple locations and view the times so that they can effectively plan their meetings. Some of the best time zone management tools are World Time Buddy, Spacetime.am, Timezone.io, and World Clock Meeting Planner.
Have you tried everything to deal with the time difference and nothing has worked? Then it’s time to start using agile practices. Using agile methodologies for remote working teams can boost productivity and performance while also improving project visibility and ensuring all team members are on the same page. More than 70% of companies worldwide use the agile methodology in their projects.
The project manager, for example, can divide the tasks into minor activities and assign them to teammates. Following task assignment, all tasks can be tracked using effective project management tools such as Azure DevOps or Jira.
Such tools also allow team members to schedule meetings such as daily scrum calls and other important planning so that everyone on the team knows what they need to do.
Access to global talent is subject to certain constraints. And the best way to deal with such constraints is to accept them. You don’t work with your offshore development team just because they can’t show up for a quick 10-minute meeting.
Instead, make schedules and plans that work for both of you. Schedule meetings with offshore teams a week in advance to let them know when you will be available if they need to contact you.
Benefits of hiring an offshore development team
When compared to hiring a new in-house team, having an offshore software development team can significantly reduce your costs. Of course, no specific amount can be guaranteed because it depends on the country in which your offshore team is based. You can expect to save anywhere from 25% to 50%.
Focus on core expertise
Web application development and blockchain technology are examples of software development projects that require time and focus. Companies that outsource software development services can share technical job responsibilities with offshore developers while remaining focused on their core business.
Offshore development teams can provide you with access to cutting-edge technologies that local teams cannot. Offshore development teams that are dedicated spend more time improving their knowledge and skills by learning new technologies.
Access to global talent
By utilizing offshore development teams, you will gain access to a global talent pool with which to collaborate. Companies can obtain specialized talent, particularly for advanced technologies such as Blockchain, AI/ML, and others that require expertise and industry knowledge to bring ideas to life. When you hire an offshore development team, you only pay for what you need.
One of the primary benefits of hiring a dedicated offshore development center is that you do not have to provide them with a cubicle or office resources. Wherever the offshore team is located, they already have everything they need.
The difficulties of managing an offshore team are not as severe as you believe. Yes, they are more difficult to manage than an in-house team, but they are not impossible. By communicating effectively, you can effectively deal with time zone differences with offshore teams. If you follow the suggestions above, you can expect an efficient project development and delivery process.