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A Painless Approach to Scheduling Meetings Across Time Zones

Colleagues who live far apart still work together—quite a lot, in fact. One in-depth survey found that about 48% of global teams collaborate every business day. Yet, 56% of the respondents to that same survey said collaborating across time zones is challenging. While there’s no silver bullet for this logistical headache, we’ve got a couple of tricks up our sleeve that seems to help. Try these before your next meeting across time zones and when in doubt, record online meetings to keep everyone in the loop.

USA Rule of Thumb: 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time

If your team is spread across the U.S. or if you have clients in different states, you could be working with up to four major time zones: Eastern (EST), Central (CST), Mountain (MST), and Pacific (PST). But instead of memorizing who’s in which time zone, we’ve found an easy solution that works for everyone most of the time: 2:00 p.m. EST.

2:00 p.m. on the East Coast—11:00 a.m. on the West Coast—is often the perfect time for a meeting. It’s optimal because it allows those working in the more Western time zones to get into their workday groove, but it doesn’t pressure the East Coasters to stay late after business hours.

Even better, if someone has a conflict at that time, an hour earlier or later will often still be among the best times for a meeting. These can be scheduled using meeting apps.

Great Tool for International Meetings

We found an awesome tool that everyone who schedules international meetings should know about: World Time Buddy. WTB is a free, well-designed tool that shows you what time it is in every relevant time zone at the same time. It’s simple, but it helps a lot. Even better, you can invite everyone to the meeting with a couple of clicks, straight from WTB. The tool can sync up and create a meeting invite on Outlook, iCalendar, and Google Calendar. Nice, right?

When All Else Fails, Record Online Meetings

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to get everyone there at the same time. But in this day and age, there’s no need for the people who can’t make it to miss out entirely.

With a leading collaboration solution, you can effortlessly record online meetings and automatically send a meeting recording, which is a great way to keep everyone included despite a time zone conflict.

About Kelly Strain

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