Automatically Schedule Meetings Across Time Zones with Doodle

Read Time: 5 minutes

Franchesca Tan

Franchesca Tan

Updated: Feb 9, 2024

Man in a remote meeting with his team

Did you know that there are 38 different time zones worldwide? From the Pacific to the Atlantic, time zones dictate the rhythm of our daily lives and play a significant role in coordinating global activities. Yet, despite their importance, time zones can be a source of confusion and frustration, especially when it comes to scheduling work-related meetings. Now that remote work and global collaborations are becoming increasingly common, navigating time zones has become a crucial aspect of scheduling meetings. However, managing meetings across different time zones can sometimes lead to scheduling errors and misunderstandings. Let's explore some common scheduling mistakes, the shortcomings of time converters, and how to plan meeting times with a poll. We’ll also share the best practices on working across time zones so you can collaborate with others at ease, no matter the time nor the size. 

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Time zone converters and scheduling mistakes

Picture this scenario: You're trying to coordinate a virtual team meeting with participants spread across different time zones. You send out meeting invitations, only to realize later that some team members have misunderstood the meeting time, leading to delays and missed opportunities. 

Traditionally, many people turn to time zone converters to determine the best meeting time for participants in different locations. While time zone converters can be helpful to some extent, they often require manual input and can be prone to errors. Moreover, constantly toggling between time zones and converting meeting times can be time-consuming and inefficient, especially when dealing with multiple meetings and participants.

Plan meeting times with a poll

As work continues to evolve, with more teams embracing remote work and collaborating with colleagues across continents, the need for efficient scheduling tools has never been greater. To find a meeting time that works for everyone without the hassle of manual calculations and time zone conversions, use online polls. Group polls, or time zone planners such as those offered by Doodle, provide a convenient and effective solution for scheduling meetings across time zones. 

With Doodle's meeting time poll feature, organizers can easily propose multiple meeting times and allow participants to vote on their preferred options. Doodle automatically detects the user's local time zone, making it easy for both organizers and participants to view meeting times in their respective time zones. 

This streamlines the scheduling process by allowing participants to indicate their availability, eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication to find a suitable meeting time. It also promotes transparency and inclusivity by giving all participants a voice in the decision-making process—meeting times are chosen based on consensus rather than arbitrary preferences.

Own your time

Best practices for working across time zones

While a scheduling tool can greatly improve productivity, working across time zones still requires careful planning and consideration. Follow these best practices to ensure effective communication and collaboration: Establish clear communication Utilize communication tools that facilitate collaboration such as video conferencing platforms and instant messaging apps. Clearly communicate expectations and availability to ensure everyone is on the same page. Communicate asynchronously Embrace asynchronous communication methods, such as project management tools and shared documents, to accommodate participants in different time zones. This allows team members to contribute and collaborate at their own pace, without the constraints of simultaneous availability. Be flexible and understanding Recognize that working across time zones may require flexibility from all team members. Be understanding of scheduling constraints and accommodate individual preferences whenever possible. Encourage open communication to address any scheduling conflicts or concerns proactively. Plan ahead Plan meetings and deadlines well in advance to give participants ample time to adjust their schedules if necessary. Provide agendas and relevant materials ahead of time to ensure everyone is prepared and can contribute effectively during meetings.

Respect cultural differences Be mindful of cultural differences and holidays in different regions when scheduling meetings and setting deadlines. Take into account national holidays and religious observances to avoid scheduling conflicts and ensure inclusivity.

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Meet anywhere in the world with Doodle

Scheduling meetings across time zones doesn't have to be a headache. Empower yourself and your team to schedule meetings with ease, regardless of geographical boundaries. Whether you're scheduling a one-on-one meeting or a group session with participants from anywhere in the world, Doodle ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to meeting times. Try Doodle today and experience the convenience of automated scheduling across time zones.

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