LATAM Developers


Understanding LATAM Time Zone – A Guide

Businesses today are increasingly leveraging remote teams to tap into global talent pools. However, one significant challenge of building remote teams is the disparity in time zones, which can hinder effective communication and collaboration. 

Fortunately, Latin American countries offer a unique advantage in this regard, as their time zones align with those of the United States. This synchronization opens up exciting opportunities for US-based companies looking to hire remote workers from Latin America. 

woman in black shirt sitting on gray concrete bench during daytime

Up next, let us explore the Latin American countries that share time zones with the US, the benefits of leveraging these alignments, and how companies can harness this potential to build successful remote teams.

1. Latin American Countries Sharing Time Zones with the US

To fully grasp the advantages of aligning time zones between Latin America and the US, let’s take a closer look at the countries that share these temporal similarities.

1.1 United States Pacific Time Zone

The US Pacific Time Zone, which is eight hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and three hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST), covers regions in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Mexico adopts the US Pacific Time Zone within the state of Baja California. 

Therefore, if your business operates in states following this time zone, you can seamlessly collaborate with remote workers from Baja California in real time.

1.2 United States Mountain Time Zone

The US Mountain Time Zone, located in GMT-7 during winter and GMT-6 during summer, encompasses states such as Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Mexico utilizes the US Mountain Time Zone in regions including Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa, and the Revillagigedo Islands. 

If your company operates within the US Mountain Time Zone, consider hiring remote workers from these Mexican states to ensure smooth communication and eliminate potential challenges arising from significant time differences.

1.3 United States Central Time Zone

The US Central Time Zone, six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), spans states like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, among others. Latin American countries sharing the Central Time Zone include Mexico (majority of the country), Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

By recruiting talent from these countries, US companies can bridge geographical boundaries while benefiting from the proficiency of Latin American IT professionals, who are well-versed in English, the primary language of business in the United States.

1.4 United States Eastern Time Zone

The US Eastern Time Zone encompasses a wide range of states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida (part), Georgia, Indiana (part), Kentucky (part), Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (part), Maine, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee (part), Vermont, and Virginia. Latin American countries sharing the Eastern Time Zone include Panama, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico (within the state of Quintana Roo), Peru, and Ecuador. 

Hiring remote talent from these countries presents cost-saving opportunities while tapping into a diverse pool of skilled professionals.

Here’s a table comparing different regions in Latin America with the US time zones, as well as a comparison with regions in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. 

RegionTime ZoneTime Difference from US (hours)
US (Eastern Time)UTC-5/UTC-40/1
Latin America
Mexico (Central)UTC-6-1
Brazil (Brasília)UTC-3-2
South KoreaUTC+913
Eastern Europe
Russia (Moscow)UTC+38
South AfricaUTC+27

The time differences mentioned are based on the standard time offsets from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during standard time.

Note that the time differences mentioned are based on standard time offsets and do not account for daylight saving time changes, which may vary in different regions. Also, keep in mind that some countries within these regions may have multiple time zones.

These time differences can give you an idea of the potential overlap or difference in working hours when collaborating with remote teams in these regions.

2. Advantages of Time Zone Alignment for Remote Teams

analog clock at 12 am

2.1 Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

One of the primary advantages of aligning time zones between Latin America and the US is the ability to facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. By operating within the same or similar time frames, remote teams can synchronize their workflows, conduct meetings without scheduling conflicts, and receive timely responses to queries. This synchronicity boosts productivity, streamlines operations, and strengthens team cohesion.

2.2 Access to a Larger Talent Pool

Expanding your talent pool globally is a strategic advantage for any business seeking to hire top-notch professionals. By considering remote workers from Latin America, you can tap into a vast talent pool that spans multiple countries. The time zone alignment allows you to recruit the best candidates regardless of their location, giving you access to a diverse range of skills and expertise.

Furthermore, Latin America has witnessed a significant boom in technological advancements and government-led STEM initiatives. As a result, there is a wealth of highly skilled IT professionals in the region who are proficient in English, making them well-suited for collaboration with US companies. By broadening your search to include Latin American talent, you increase your chances of finding the perfect fit for your organization’s needs.

2.3 Cultural Similarity and Cohesion

Cultural similarity plays a crucial role in fostering a positive work environment and promoting collaboration within teams. When remote workers share similar cultural backgrounds, they can better relate to one another, leading to increased creativity, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

Hiring talent from Latin American countries allows US companies to benefit from cultural similarities. Colleagues from Latin America and the US often share common values, customs, and work ethics. This shared cultural understanding creates a more comfortable and cohesive workplace, improving overall team dynamics and employee engagement.

2.4 Competitive Compensation

One notable advantage of hiring remote workers from Latin America is the potential for competitive compensation. Salaries in Latin American countries tend to be lower than those in the United States. This allows companies to attract top talent while offering more cost-effective compensation packages.

For instance, while a software developer in the US may earn around $150,000 per year, a software developer in El Salvador earns an average of $50,000 per year. By hiring talent from Latin America, US companies can achieve significant cost savings without compromising on skill and expertise. Offering competitive salaries relative to the local market ensures that you attract and retain top talent, providing a win-win situation for both parties.

2.5 Extended Work Hours

Time zone compatibility allows US companies to extend their work hours by leveraging the time difference. While it may be nighttime in the US, it could be the start of the workday in Latin America. This enables continuous project progress and faster turnaround times, as developers in Latin America can work on tasks while the US team is offline.

2.6 Increased Productivity

With overlapping work hours, real-time collaboration and communication between US teams and Latin American developers become easier. This leads to increased productivity and faster decision-making as there are no significant delays in obtaining feedback or resolving issues.

Additionally, US companies can ensure faster response times to urgent matters or critical incidents. If an issue arises outside US working hours, the Latin American team can address it promptly without waiting for the US team to come online, minimizing downtime and potential customer dissatisfaction.

2.7 Reduced Travel and Relocation Costs

When recruiting remote tech talent from Latin America, the need for extensive travel or relocation is minimized. While occasional visits or team-building events may still be beneficial, the overall travel and relocation costs associated with hiring on-site employees are significantly reduced.

Overall, time zone compatibility with Latin America offers US companies the opportunity to tap into a talented workforce, increase operational efficiency, and leverage the advantages of global collaboration, ultimately enhancing their competitive advantage in the tech industry.

2.8 Reduced Need for Night Shifts

Hiring from LATAM reduces or eliminates the need for night shifts within the US company. With minimal time differences, there is less dependency on working during non-standard hours, promoting better work-life balance and minimizing potential employee burnout.

2.9 Enhanced Project Continuity

The time zone compatibility between the US and LATAM allows for smoother project continuity. While the US team concludes their workday, the Latin American team can continue working on tasks, ensuring progress while minimizing downtime. This leads to faster project turnaround times and overall increased productivity.

If you’re looking to hire LatAm developers remotely, take a look at our guide on the Top 7 Websites to Hire LATAM Developers in the Americas for more in-depth information.

3. Conclusion

Latin America’s time zone alignment with the United States presents an exciting opportunity for companies to build successful remote teams. By leveraging this synchronization, businesses can enhance communication, access a larger talent pool, benefit from cultural similarity, and achieve cost savings through competitive compensation. The key lies in strategically identifying the Latin American countries that share time zones with the US and tapping into the rich talent pool available in those regions. Embracing remote work and global collaboration can propel your organization to new heights while fostering a culture of innovation and inclusivity.

While other regions like Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa also offer talented tech professionals, the time zone factor often poses more significant challenges for collaboration with US companies. Larger time differences can result in limited overlapping working hours, increased reliance on asynchronous communication, and potential delays in resolving urgent matters.

By contrast, hiring from LATAM allows for better alignment in work schedules, streamlined communication, and improved productivity. These advantages make LATAM an attractive option for US companies seeking to tap into a skilled remote tech talent pool while minimizing the disruptions caused by substantial time zone differences.

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