Date Field fixed time zone (not formula)

Hello,

I have created a form to schedule meetings with our company. However, I have noticed that when someone from another time zone picks a time for a meeting using the “Date/time” field, Airtable schedules this meeting in this person’s time zone. For example, if someone in London picks the time 10:00 am, the meeting will be at 10:00 am their time (3:00 am CST). Is there a way to have this “Date/time” field to only stick with Central time no matter where the person is located? For this particular case, the meeting will be 10:00 am CST, not 10:00 am London.

If you enable the GMT time zone formatting for that field, I believe that all of the times submitted on a form will come in with the same time zone.

Note that behind the scenes, Airtable is seeing this same time zone as GMT, but the effect for you is that the time is always consistent.

Thank you, @ScottWorld, for your reply. The problem is that, in this case, the meetings will be scheduled in GMT (not CST), correct? This means I must create a formula field to convert the time into CST, right?

Although this will show the same timezone for everyone, I think this is a risky design, especially if you eventually create a calendar integration.

There is no way to change how the Airtable form works. You can add help text to the form to let the users know the form uses local time.

You can also have a separate date field for just the date, and then a text field for entering the time. Then use a formula field to calculate the combined date/time. The formula will be rather complex because it will need to take into account the timezone offset, which can change throughout the year.

It depends on what you mean by scheduled.

Are you just looking at the list of dates & times in Airtable and scheduling things there? If so, then you don’t need to do any conversions, because all times will always be displayed uniformly in Airtable. All time zones will see the times as exactly the same.

However, if you’re sending the times to Google Calendar or another calendar service, then yes, you would need to create a formula field that offsets the time properly so that Google Calendar adds it at the right time. (I believe that Airtable always sends data to other services in GMT, so your offset would need to take that into account.)

My time zone database & training video covers this time zone issue in depth, so this may be of massive help to you:

I do not think this is risky. I think it is the most efficient & straightforward way of handling this. It just requires a formula field to handle the offset, as I demonstrate in my time zone base & video above.

But yeah, @Mission_Quest, time zones are extremely tricky in Airtable because Airtable doesn’t handle them in the most straightforward way. So even with the guidance above, you’ll likely have to play around with things for a while until you get it exactly right.

Yes, I send these times to Google Calendar. Would you advise me to force the time in the (Date/time) field to be in GMT or to leave this option (GMT option) off?

Which one ensures better formula outcome?

@Mission_Quest

Unless you have people choose their time zone from a list (which is another great idea), I don’t think you’ll have any other choice but to leave GMT turned on. Otherwise, the times will all be coming in at a variety of wrong times, which was your original issue.

I would spend some time with my time zone base & time zone video to help you create the formulas.

p.s. Also, if your company is large enough to hire an Airtable consultant, I can work with you on creating all of this with you.

Now that Airtable can show the timezone in date/time fields it will be very confusing if that setting is turned on, because Airtable will say that the date/time is GMT, when it is not.

Also, how do you deal with the fact that the timezone offset needs to have different values at different parts of the year to account for daylight savings time?

This is a good point about the day saving! No clue.

What if we decided to allow only one person (who is based in America/Chicago) to be the person who schedules all meetings? Would I need to adjust anything in the Date/time field? of the time formula?

Airtable automatically handles daylight savings time. (Although it does it in a slightly confusing way. It pre-adjusts times in the future based on as if you were looking at it from today’s point of view. It’s odd.)

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