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6 Reasons Why Time Zone Management Is Important

6 Reasons Why Time Zone Management Is Important

The Digital Age and Its Global Footprint

Time management is a critical aspect of operations in today’s connected world and it is essential for various reasons. Below, there are several examples of such important tasks:

  • Global team collaborationed: Imagine a software development company with teams in New York, London, and Bangalore. If no proper time zone management is performed, scheduling a meeting or figuring out deadlines can become a complex puzzle. When New York starts working at 9 AM, London is already preparing for lunchtime at 2 PM, and Bangalore is close to finishing the workday at 6:30 PM. Effective time zone management means that meetings should be scheduled during the overlapping hours, mostly in the early morning of the eastern time zone and at the late evening in the western time zone.

  • Customer service operationsed: Let us consider that a major tech company operates call and service centers all over the world to provide 24/7 customer support. Similarly to the previous example, the easiest way to be in the in-touch customers is by distributing the offices by time zones. Thus, for the call centers in North America, the convenient time to finish is at midnight. Meanwhile, the Asian call centers are already in operation for several hours and the European afternoon shift is finishing. Lastly, European night shift will keep the communication going until the American morning shift starts at 9 AM. The seamless distribution of shifts across the planet minimizes the possibility of service downtime.

  • Financial marketsed: People working on Wall Street should be able to make quick and timely decisions that require time zone precision. To keep up with the rapidly changing conditions, the traders in New York, Tokyo, and London have overlapping shifts. When it is 8 AM in London, it is already 4 PM in Tokyo. Such shifts are very hands when trading on the Tokyo stock exchange.

  • Supply chain and logisticsed: A prominent example of the use of the supply chain when managing times of operation is Amazon. If a product is bought in one part of the world, it has to be processed, shipped, and delivered to the other part of the world. It is possible because the product can be processed by a team in India or the Philippines when a person in the US has already gone to sleep. In such a way, time zone management can help to shorten the time for orders placed during the day.

  • Global news operationsed: For example, an American news channel such as CNN operates on an international scale. An even in Sydney can be discovered by a reporter and broadcasted in the US during the prime time.

The Challenge of Poor Time Zone Management

Mismanagement of time zones is the source of many problems in life. Let me identify some particular cases when time zone handling inadequately might lead to consequences too troublesome.

Missed Project Deliveries

Considering the fact that many technological projects involve employees from different parts of the world, they cannot be realized without the engineering and controlling part. Hence, an example of a project delivery missed by an Indian team that simply misunderstood the American part’s requirement can be taken. Therefore, the entire project was devoted because the Americans, for their part, could not comply with the deadlines due to the part missing. This situation can cost a technology company millions of market dollars.

Business Losses Due to Time Zone Handling

Conflict-resolution sales representatives should appropriately schedule calls with their European business partners. One of the representatives, John from California, mistakenly considered that the difference in time zones between California and Central Europe was 8 hours, but in reality, it was 9. As the consequence of this miss, John didn’t call his European partners for three weeks to establish warm and close contact with them and present the unique products of his company. In the meantime, Adams from Colorado, John’s business rival and his company, also presented perfect products that the partners happened to use and were satisfied with.

Customer Service Inefficiencies

Being an owner of a large global corporation, the activities of which are pushed, in particular, by customers from Europe, I decide to arrange an outsourcing call center in the Philippines. However, due to the miss in time zone calculations, the customer service worked when most clients from Europe slept. Therefore, the clients had difficulty with contacting the company. This fact made the company’s reputation and product corrupt.

Healthcare Problems

The example of inadequate time zone maintenance, in this case, is the failure of the American telemedicine service to call the Australian patient when the time is the most convenient for the patient. The New York doctor, who agreed to give advice to the Australian patient, decided that he would call whenever he deems it necessary. However, if he considers that the time is very beneficial for the patient, it may well be midnight.

Strengthen Customer Relationships

Mastering time zone subtleties is a large part of effective time zone management and a way for businesses to build better relationships with their brands. These are the direct ways in which the ability to optimize customer intersections can lead to higher customer engagement and loyalty:

Appropriate Communication Timing . For businesses that send out periodic communication, knowing when it is most likely to catch customers’ attention could lead to significant customer engagement increases. For example, sending promotional emails at times when it is more likely that it will be the first thing the customers see in their mailbox would result in higher open and click-through rates. Data from promotional marketing campaigns show that there is a direct correlation between well-timed sending and customer response rates.

Customer Support Accessibility . By ensuring that customer support is available during peak customer activity hours for each region, companies can offer customers a better experience. For example, a tech company with a user base in Europe to whom it offers support only during business hours in California is likely doing worse in terms of customer relationship than another company with extended support hours. For European customers, it will also receive much higher praise if their inquiries are resolved promptly and are satisfied with the response. The much faster response rate means that specific problems will also be solved more efficiently, which most likely contributes to customer satisfaction.

Product Launches and Events . Companies should also keep their target markets’ time zones in mind when they are scheduling their product launches or virtual events. For example, if a video game company launches a new game or a tech company launches a new tech product in the late evening in Europe, this might be the best time for them. Not only will most of the online communities and streamers be active at the time, but most of the target audience from the U.S. will also still be awake. Similar considerations can be made when sending out product review units: if a U.S. and European press are both likely to cover it, best send them out at an appropriate time.

Global Team Availability for Real-time Interaction . For social media companies and online games that require 24/7 real-time user care or intervention, the proper time management from a global perspective is essential. By having staff around the clock, no matter where their users are, companies can ensure that every user’s needs are immediately addressed, since it is likely the only immediate way users can communicate with the app. Users trust and stay with apps that have earned their ability to be trusted with APIs.

Enhance Team Cohesion and Morale

Conceptual Information

In an organization with teams in multiple time zones, taking steps toward effective time zone management enhances team cohesion and morale. The following are practical sources that show how effective time zone management can help build a more united and motivated team.

Scheduled regular cross-region meetings

Having meetings at reasonable times for all participants shows that the management values each member, demonstrates respect, and prevents burnout. For example, if a company has teams in the US and in Australia, the management can schedule an all-hands meeting for 5 p.m on the east and west coast of the US and at 8 a.m in Australia. As such, all the team members will have a chance to participate in a meeting at their convenience.

Rotated terrible times

To give time for meetings, running businesses or teams in different time zones, it is impossible to have a single convenient all-hands or team meeting time for members . Therefore, rather than having a few members always inconvenienced, the management can rotate. If a team has to span Singapore, London, and New York, some of the meetings can be at 9 a.m in New York and 6 p.m in Singapore and London; and have some few meetings at 10 a.m in London and 2 p.m in New York. As such, the members from Singapore will sympathize when the meetings are at 2:00 a.m .

Use of asynchronous communication tools

The other approach for a remote team, which can work well for a team in different time zones or global workers, is to use tools that facilitate asynchronous communication. The tools may include shared documents, messaging apps, and project management software that enable messages to be put in place when each member is working. This approach ensures balance between work and personal life, which is necessary for morale since there is no pressure to conform to the general schedule. The approach ensures that individuals can contribute when they are effective.

Dynamic holidays

Additionally, management can use dynamic holidays to ensure adequate work and personal life balance. The holidays are associated with the culture from which the team members hail. The other approach is to have floating days off and flexible vacation times, or celebration of various holidays virtually .

Tailoring work hours for essential collaboration across time zones

Also, with a critical need to collaborate to progress with the work on a project, collaborating on projects that do not require long feedback time reduces. For example, a tech company has developers in India and product managers in the U.S. If the developers work in their standard times and the product managers try to match the time, there is a problem. The company can arrange for the developers to work in the evenings and the product managers work at night or morning.

Leverage Technology to Improve Efficiency

It is important for businesses working globally to use technology to manage time zones more effectively. Some of the ways this can be done are:

  • Automated scheduling tools – it is important that the software detects the particular time zone of all meeting participants and provides suggestions for the best time for a meeting. This could prevent the back-and-forth involved in finding time in several zones for a meeting and help prevent the most common scheduling mistake. For instance, if a manager based in New York wants to schedule a video conference with teams in London, Dubai, and Tokyo, using tools such as World Time Buddy and Calendly can cut the scheduling time significantly .

  • Time zone conversion in applications and via plugs – in multinational companies, it is very often that team members schedule and attend meetings in their own places and across different countries. Using time zone conversion features in emails or calendar applications can allow an immediate understanding of when the events are happening in the attendee’s time zone. According to Sheen “this also improves compliance with deadlines and attendance” .

  • Collaboration software with time zone features – some collaboration software includes features such as the ability to show the time zone of each team member . It is used in order to prevent people from accidentally messaging or waiting for a response after hours of the team member or early in the morning, which may lead to increased stress and burnout of the employee. For instance, software such as Slack or Microsoft Teams include timezone features.

  • Cloud-based document management – Google Drive or Microsoft Teams allow all team members to work collaboratively and see changes and comments on documents in real time. This means that people can work on documents at different times and continue from the point the previous person left off. According to Sheen , this feature should be made the most of when the time zone makes it difficult for the team to operate at the same time.

  • AI analytics – companies can use AI-driven analytics to determine the best operation hours for certain operations based on the company’s data. For example, the minimum activity of a company’s users is tracked across the world, and the company plans to use AI software to determine the best time to perform some server maintenance operations or deploy software updates.

Business Landscape Competitive Advantage

Efficient time zone management is a critical competitive advantage for businesses, allowing them to be more dynamic and responsive to global market needs. In this post, I will describe how correct time zone management can become a genuine competitive advantage in the business world.

  • Extended Market Coverage. Companies that optimize their functioning across several time zones can run longer service hours or offer their call center as a 24/7 one. For example, due to the efficient time zone management, AmEx can offer round-the-clock customer service by routing the calls at call centers across time zones along with providing information and processing requests from the customers. Moreover, as calls to the banks are usually international 800 numbers , such service organizations can also offer an international call forwarding number to their affiliates to ensure timely and effective communication with the desired department.

  • Responding to Global Markets Faster. Companies involved in financial trading will significantly benefit from correct time zone management. With trading desks across New York, London, and Tokyo and some island banks, the financial institution can run the operation 24/7 and always benefit from when times for trading are overlapping in two cities. Such optimized time zone management will allow financial institutions to react immediately to market changes and ensure the most substantial benefit from the shifts. For example, in the light of current turmoils, investing in time zone management for the Q8 Trade will become essential for its success.

  • Optimal Global Workforce Employment. Companies can leverage the correct time zone management to make the most of their human resources by effectively distributing which world time zones specialists will be employed in. For instance, a software company can have its specialists coding in India and then have another time zone specialist undertake the coding and maintenance after the debugging and problem detecting.

  • Sales Teams Dynamism. Sales teams that can call clients in the local business’ opening hours will increase the number of acquisition calls 10-20 times. As one can predict, having more calls and offering multiple timetables to potential clients would result in a better conversion and as such is a powerful sales tool.

  • Ensuring Effective Supply Chain Management. For manufacturing and retail companies and warehouses, time zones across continents will allow them to order and get their supplies and inventory on time. For instance, Toyota can use time zone management to ensure that the delivery of spare parts from all its suppliers across the globe arrives on time with no delays at its assembly plants.

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