One of the advantages of virtual meetings through platforms like Zoom is the reduced need to travel and the resulting reduction of jet lag. However, this convenience comes at the cost increased difficulty in finding times across disparate time zones. No one wants to schedule a call at 2am! Here are the top tips for x.ai users to manage their time zone headaches.
Create time zone-specific templates
When you know that you’ll be meeting with a guest in a particular location or time zone, it is helpful to cater to their time zone in advance. You can do this ahead of time by creating Meeting Templates for some of the more common time zones where your guests are. In my case, I have Meeting Templates set to overlap with Australia, The Philippines, London (GMT), Berlin (CET), and India.
For my /gmt and /cet templates, I explicitly set the time zone in order to display the meeting in that time zone in x.ai. However, I offer time windows that also work for my regular hours (or close to them) in New York City:
When someone schedules a meeting from this template, the time will display in their time zone, GMT.
By setting the scheduling hours for a given time zone, region, or country to a smaller window of time that works for both parties, I can avoid situations where there is no overlap in scheduling hours or where one party gets a 2am meeting scheduled with them. Use this Meeting Template below.
Update your guests’ time zones when scheduling
Another trick to ensure that your guests see your availability in their home time zone is to make the change before sending Scheduler out to book time with them. Whether you are scheduling over email by CCing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the x.ai Meeting Creator, you will have an opportunity to update each guest’s time zone.
You can even preview the email that will be sent to verify the times that will be offered to your guest in their own time zone.
Pre-fill the time zone on any Meeting Template
A somewhat hidden feature is the ability to pre-fill a particular time zone on any of your meeting templates. To do so, simply visit your own calendar page and select the time zone you want to use. In this case I will choose Israel time, IST.
Once I select the time zone for Israel, the page will refresh automatically to display my availability in the correct time zone. I can copy this URL and send it to my guest to ensure that this page will default to their time zone!
Use team members’ time zones for Round Robin Calendar Pages
Sometimes (pun absolutely intended) you will have team members in differing time zones and they will need to share a Round Robin Calendar Page. You certainly do not want to book your Berlin-based team mates for a Hawaii-based call. This is why our Round Robin Calendar Pages allow you to use your team members’ time zone by default.
In this example this page will offer availability from 9:30am to 6:00pm in each time zone where you have a team member.
PRO TIP: You can also use each team members’ scheduling hours from their default Meeting Templates for even more flexibility.
Set workable time windows on your Combined Calendar Pages
Frequently you may have a particular type of meeting that requires an overseas colleague be involved. For these scenarios, you can create Combined Calendar pages that will offer your guests the windows of time that work for both team mates.
In this case, I have created a Combined Meeting Template with my colleague in Israel, omitting Friday because Israel observes the weekend on Friday-Saturday. 11am in New York is 6pm Tel Aviv, so this Meeting Template will offer reasonable times for both of us.
Reducing the Time Zone Scheduling Pain
With x.ai you can dramatically reduce the difficulty in scheduling across multiple time zones, both with your internal teams and with external guests. Remote work has never been easier!