Having employees in different countries, allows you to take advantage of time zone differences that could improve efficiency in your business. Our clients use the Philippines time zone strategically in order to streamline and improve business hours. Here is the current difference in the time zones between the Philippines and common time zones in the United States.
|New York (EST)
|Philippines is 12 hours ahead during DST
|Philippines is 13 hours ahead during DST
|Philippines is 15 hours ahead during DST
Keep in mind that the Philippines does not change time for daylight savings so these numbers change to 13, 14, and 16 respectively when daylight savings time is over for the United States.
So how do you take advantage of Philippines staff and their time zone differences?
- Have your team work normal working US hours (8am-5pm)
- Most common
- Team can work alongside your US team
- This is often times a graveyard shift for Philippines workers and requires additional cost, called a night differential
- Higher risk of turnover with employees because of the shift schedule
- This is most common with customer service teams that need to be on US hours
- Have your team work US night hours
- Daytime in the Philippines so shift is preferred and doesn’t have night differential
- Team can work while you and your team sleep
- Team can cover off hours when you would normally not have, or have limited, coverage
- This is common for customer service covering night shift in the US or developers, engineers, accountants, etc. that don’t necessarily need to work on your same time zone.
- Have your team work a split shift where they work some US hours and some off hours
- This would be close to a normal shift in the Philippines and may require some night differential but is preferred to graveyard
- Team can synch with your US based team briefly as they start their shift and then continue to work while your team is off
- Common with title and escrow coordinators, accountants, and other back-office work, where a small sync may be required but most work can be done off of your time zone
Real world applications of each of these scenarios:
- Service desk team for an expense management software company works normal US hours to handle customer inquiries and tickets as they operate the software.
- Food and produce distributor has customer service team that works US night hours so that they can receive restaurant orders at the end of the night and create tickets so that the drivers can come in and go first thing in the morning.
- Title and escrow firm has a team working a split shift where the team comes in, synchs briefly with the US team and receives the list of titles to be processed. They work while the US team is off and when the US team comes in the next morning, the work is complete.
There are many reasons to use the Philippines as an offshore staffing destination. One of the benefits is being able to think creatively about your current business processes and use the time zone to maximize your efficiency. Partners like Connext will even work to find a time zone that will maximize the efficiency of the team and the process they are working on.