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More and more companies today work with teams that span different time zones. Here at MeetingKing our team even spans several continents, and communication tools like Google Hangouts or Skype make that really easy. The problems arise, of course, not from the tools we use to actually carry out the meetings, but with finding the time to meet. How do you schedule a meeting in different time zones?
Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but MeetingKing meetings are automatically adjusted to your time zone. If you are in New York, and you set up a meeting with your Sales team in Los Angeles at 2 pm (your local time) using MeetingKing, you will see that your meeting starts at 2 pm. Your Sales team, on the other hand, will see that the meeting starts at 11 am! Neat, huh?
Now, MeetingKing can’t help you find a good time to meet up with your team across time zones(yet). So if you want to meet people from Singapore, we won’t alert you to the fact that your 2 pm is their midnight. So how to set up these meetings in different time zones anyway? Luckily, there are tools to help.
If, for example, you want to talk to a new designer you’ve just found in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Timeandate.com make it easy for you to see what the time is there. Just click ‘World Clock’, and you can search by city, or country, and see what the time is there.
If you want to set up a meeting in different time zones, you can use the meeting planner. The meeting planner helps you see when is the best time to meet for everyone involved – in this instance, we have teams from Los Angeles, New York and London.
As you can see, the areas in red are hours that aren’t really viable for at least one team, with the areas in yellow being hours that aren’t convenient. In this case, the teams can meet online at 9 am, 12 pm and 5 pm respectively. Simple, right?
Google Calendar can show you more than one time zone in your calendar. This way, you know exactly what time it is in Singapore (if to return to our example above), when you are scheduling your meeting. And of course, MeetingKing automatically imports meeting details from meetings that are created in Google Calendar.
The con here, is that Google Calendar only shows you one other timezone. If you have to set up a meeting in different time zones like the one shown above, from LA, New York and London, you won’t be able to see all the timezones on your calendar. There is a workaround, as you can add clocks to your calendar’s sidebar, but they aren’t as elegant.
Another free tool you can use is Agreeadate’s planner. You simply check the boxes that apply to the timezones that you want to meet with, and you can see when it’s convenient for all parties to meet up.
This tool is very basic, and of course, you need to know what timezone your teams are in (as opposed to names of countries or cities), but it’s fast, and gets the job done.