Alleviating The Chronic Pain Of Time Zones


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Cass Phillipps @webwallflower FAILCON

One of the most common and pervasive problems we all face is working across time zones. Cass Phillips will share concrete tips for successfully scheduling, communicating and managing across time zones.

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  • People used to tell the time by the sun, using a Sundial at the city center to denote the region’s time.Greenich Time was created in 1675 to help sailors have a single time to reference when plotting longitude at sea.Finally, almost 200 years later, the railroad required areas to adopt set time schedules based on Greenich Time. It still took another 20+ years to get everyone to agree, but it made business a lot easier…or so they thought.
  • Most importantly, having empathy with the people you’ll be working with, to make things as smooth as possible for everyone.I’m going to share some of the tips I’ve picked up after having worked with teams in over 15 cities this year.
  • The world is changing – expanding and shrinking at the same time.I now have more calls in other time zones than I do here in San Francisco – this is the new normal.Don’t let something that can be easy and frivolous start you on the wrong foot with a potential client – I’ve been there!
  • Don’t include Day Light Savings or not – you may just confuse people even more.Consider using military time, too.Consider listing your city, too!
  • This is a sure-fire way to avoid confusion…but make sure you’ve got it right!We’ll suggest some tips how ahead of time.
  • I’ve definitely done this…a lot – and agreed to it!When someone proposes a time, you hate to inconvenience them and say no – but you may not be at your best.Don’t do that to someone else.
  • Internally, set a time for “international meetings” and do not schedule things over this time. You cannot easily reschedule.For example, I keep 8:30a open in my calendar every day. It is reserved for any international meetings or calls that may come up.
  • Worst morning call ever!
  • I’ve missed SO many international meetings, thanks to Daylight Savings Time changes.
  • Worst morning call ever!
  • Alleviating The Chronic Pain Of Time Zones

    1. 1. Alleviating the Chronic Pain of Time Zones Cass Phillipps FailCon Founder @webwallflower #officeoptional
    2. 2. The History of Time Zones Time zones were actually invented to make business easier!
    3. 3. Time Zone Preparation And they still can, with a little bit of preparation ahead of time.
    4. 4. Why Is This Important? Empower your partners, employees, clients, and customers to show up to your meeting at their best. If you don’t mess up the easy stuff, you can spend your time tackling the hard stuff.
    5. 5. Ask Where Someone Is Before setting a meeting, ask – don’t guess! Then find the time there.
    6. 6. Include Relevant Information Always include your own time zone: 2:00pm PT Don’t include Daylight Savings You may just confuse people more. Consider adding your city: 2:00pm PT (San Francisco) Or using 24h time, just to be safe: 14:00 PT (San Francisco)
    7. 7. Stay One Step Ahead Include their time zone, too: 2:00pm PT (10:00pm BT)
    8. 8. Know What It Means For Them Don’t propose a time that doesn’t make sense. Be Considerate!
    9. 9. Know Your Time Zones What is a globally acceptable time? 8:00am PT (LA, San Francisco, Seattle) 11:00am ET (New York City, DC, Miami) 5:00pm CET (France, Germany, Italy) 8:30pm IST (India) 11:00pm CTZ (China)
    10. 10. Common Courtesy Don’t just default to video calls. People may be at home…or in their PJs.
    11. 11. Dealing With Daylight Savings Announce DST – email the day before, and post signs ahead of time. Put a DST alert in your phone, reminding you to check calendar appointments. Use iCal or gCal invites. They’ll adjust for you…sometimes…
    12. 12. Time Zone Tools
    13. 13. Check The Interwebs Or Simply Google “Current Time In ______”
    14. 14. Add a World Clock To Your Calendar Google Calendar  Settings  Labs
    15. 15. Show More Time Zones In Your Cal Google Calendar  Settings  Show Time Zones
    16. 16. Recognize Holidays Include international & religious holidays in your company calendar. Folks’ll be impressed with your knowledge and consideration!
    17. 17. For Teams Spread Thin Call in to a daily scrum (at a time good for everyone) Ask if anyone needs to follow-up together after the meeting. Ensure the team knows when everyone is working and respects that.
    18. 18. Be Prepared For Communication Preparation – it’s not silly. If you don’t mess up the easy stuff, you can spend your time tackling the hard stuff. Arrive to every meeting at your best.
    19. 19. Thank You Cass Phillipps Founder of FailCon @webwallflower