Setting Ground Rules for Timing International Conferencing Activities
International Conferencing Activities and video conferencing are outstanding communications methods for global teams. They allow everyone, regardless of location, to meet virtually. If your team members are located in the same time zone, or in relatively close time zones, impromptu and scheduled conference calls are as easy as domestic ones. However, the further apart they are, the more complicated it gets. Few people are willing to set their alarm clocks for 3:00 am in order to attend a work-related conference call. With that in mind, it’s helpful to set some ground rules. Below are a few tips to get started.
Determine Your Business’s Master Working Hours
This is helpful in general for businesses with satellite offices around the world. All branches should be aware of your main office’s working hours. If your main office is in Los Angeles, California, consider making Pacific time your official “home office” time. This doesn’t mean all branch offices will need to match their working hours to your home office time, but they should be aware of it
Determine the Best Times for Most Conference Calls
Spend some time examining a time zone map to determine a few optimal times for your global conference calls. Depending on how
Thus, for all-hands-on conference calls, you might establish 1:00 pm home office time as the ideal time for this type of conference call. For global conference calls between the home office and Tokyo, you might determine that 4:00 pm home office time is best. For international conference calls between LA and London, 8:30am Pacific time might be the best compromise.
Whatever you determine to be the optimal times for each office, create a master chart and share it with your team.
Consider the Proportion of Attendees in Each Time Zone
Finally, not all calls will require everyone’s attendance. If you’re the only person in Los Angeles who will be on a given conference call and everyone else is overseas, it might make more sense to schedule the call during your participants’ office hours. This may mean you’ll have to host an international conference call late at night or early in the morning, but you’ll be the only one who’s inconvenienced.