I’ve been thinking a lot about how we run global meetings. You know how it goes: most of the time, we're trying to juggle a bunch of time zones, and more often than not, we end up defaulting to US or European time zones because that might be where our HQs and main offices are, right? But, here’s the thing - it’s started to feel a bit off to me, and I heard from some they resented feeling as less important based on their location away from HQ time zone which was US-centric. So, I changed things up about 4 years ago.
I’ve made a decision that might seem small on the surface, but I believe it's huge in terms of respect and cooperation in a team. I committed to hosting meetings based on your time zones, not just mine here in the US. Whether you're drinking your morning coffee in Singapore, taking a lunch break in Copenhagen, or winding down your day in Sao Paulo, I wanted to make sure we're meeting at a time that’s respectful of your schedule.
Here's why this matters to me:
Respect: It's easy to overlook the convenience we have when meetings are scheduled during our own working hours. By rotating our meeting times or just offering to meet on the other person’s time zone when possible I hope to show that I value and respect your time as much as you value the team's objectives. We're in this together, and respect is a two-way street.
Cooperation: When we make an effort to accommodate each other's schedules, it fosters a stronger sense of team spirit and cooperation. It’s about showing that we're willing to make small sacrifices for the benefit of our colleagues around the globe. This, in turn, makes our team stronger, more cohesive, and frankly, more awesome.
Team Relationships: Getting to know each other better, understanding our daily routines and challenges, helps build stronger relationships. By stepping into your timezone, I get to get a glimpse of your world. It is nice to see what is going on in your office or out your office window instead of the dark of night.
I'm not saying it is perfect. There are and will be bumps along the road, and some meetings might still need to compromise based on schedules. But, it’s a start towards showing that every member of your global team matters. Your time and your contribution are valued, no matter where you are in the world.
So, what do you think? I’m all ears for feedback. Let’s strive to make our global teams feel truly global, not just in tasks, but in spirit too.
Let the time zone roulette begin!