Wondering is someone here has experience working remotely in a team, while all/most of the others living in another timezone? Currently I’m also working remote, but everybody is in the same timezone, so it’s easy to connect during the day.
I have, to some extent. But my experience may be not very representative. Our projects don't require tight communication, so a day long delay in response is perfectly acceptable.
I have done that before. Office hours are 10AM-7PM. 7 hours difference, which meant everybody else started working when it was 3AM for me. The arrangement was that I would work from 7AM-4PM, which meant 1PM-10PM for everybody else.
It was actually quite alright, as the rest of the company was working in same country but remotely (thanks covid...). That means most of the discussions happened on slack, and for video meetings where I'm involved, they would arrange them in their afternoon (my morning), which isn't much of a hassle.
A couple of years ago I also did a few months remote work, with about the same timezone difference, but the rest of the team was on-site. That's (much?) harder, because then the discussions happen organically offline
Yes, I guess it should be fine. Maybe got an opportunity, but would be the only one in Europe initially, with the rest in the States, mostly west coast I think, so that’s 9 hours difference.
The rest of the team is mostly remote working (even in the same timezone)? I think that's more important than the time difference itself
Working remotely with timezone difference with rest of team remote working Is IMO better than Working remotely with no timezone difference with rest of team on-site
I think so, but that would be a great question to ask indeed. If the rest is on-site (normally) you would miss a lot of communication. With the rest remote you can at least read up later.
I have experienced this a few times, once when working with a team that was mostly located in Beijing and once when most of my teammates were in Romania. (I’m based in the UK.) When working with the team in Beijing, it was particularly tough. Made an effort to start work as early as possible in order to maximise the overlap and get on IM with the team. I often found myself receiving a list of issues that were blocking the team and then working with the UK/US folks throughout the day to resolve and unblock those issues. It made it pretty essential to write stuff down/get stuff in an email.
Working with teammates in Romania was/is much easier because the time difference is only two hours. We’re on Slack at the same time as each other and frankly there’s not much difference between that and working with teammates in the same country atm, since it’s not like we can go in to the office and see each other anyway.
One question I have is where you are located and where your potential teammates are located? When working with colleagues in China, I found cultural and language differences to be more challenging than timezone differences and I think I would have found it much easier if we’d been able to get on a plane and go visit each other from time to time (sadly the company didn;t consider it important to pay for that sort of thing at the time). And getting on a plane isn’t really an option at the moment, alas.
Netherlands and US, should be similar enough I think. English is no problem, worked fully English before. Culture wise it should also be fine I guess.
Maybe the question from me would be: are you prepared to work late (to fit your teammates’ timezone) when you need to?
Sometimes it will be fine, and understandable. Somewhere in the future probably will live together with my girlfriend. But if it’s like one day a week it should be fine.
I am working from Taiwan (GMT+8) with my teammates in France (GMT+1~2). COVID made it easier, because now my teammates are all at home, all communications happen online.
I’ve done work where the time diff was once Europe - Australia which was fine, and Europe - west coast Canada which was much much harder. Depends on the kind of work - we were doing “project” work with a lot of independence (each dev was working mostly alone doing museum interactives), which worked well.
I first did this from 2000-2002. I highlight those dates because remote working was still quite new at that time. I lived on the east coast of the US and the company was on the west coast. The only real problem I remember was during conference calls they would forget about me and leave the meeting. Kinda made me feel less important. My next remote employment was about six years later though I was only one timezone away at that company and they had a much improved awareness of remote employees so I felt more a part of the team. I started with a company last summer where 99% of the company is two timezones away from me. The nature of my work means our overlap is sufficient for us to communicate properly when we need to. Plus, it being 20 years after my first experience, and COVID, I think everyone is just more used to having remote employees.
Great question, by the way!
I have been in almost all combinations of timezones working from Europe to the USA, from the USA to Europe, etc. Everything was doable except one project, where a part of the team was in Europe, the other part in Canada and I was in Australia having meetings 3 am, etc. I have survived that for 2 months. 🙂