3 Tips for Working across Multiple Time Zones

Working remotely can not only give you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, but also the freedom to work with clients from anywhere in the world!


At Cultivated Experiences, we love taking on clients from different locations and collaborating with international teams where the differences in culture, creativity and ideas can produce such amazing project results.


While we’re working from another country ourselves, and/or working with clients from around the world, one aspect that becomes tricky though is the change in Timezones. Right now, with clients in Eastern, Central & Pacific Time in the USA, plus 2 clients based in Israel, plus a partner in Australia, it’s sometimes a juggle to find the best times to communicate for all side.


So along the way, here are some tips that have helped us to work effectively with our clients from any time zone in the world:


1. Check-In during your Clients’ Working Hours

While you can't be online all the time, it is important to at least be mindful of your clients’ working hours, and to check on their project at least once during your client’s normal working hours. If you are always replying a day later in their time, it’s going to take twice as long to get anything accomplished.

For example, if you’re working in Los Angeles, CA (PST) and your client is based in London, UK (GMT), your client is going to be done working by 9:00am your time - so it’s best to check-in with their project first thing in the morning - otherwise, they won’t see your updates until the next morning, and you’ll need to wait an extra day too to receive a reply or update from their side. And those extra days will keep adding up.


2) Always reference a timezone when scheduling a new meeting

When communicating a meeting time, make sure to always specify which timezone you’re referring to. It’ll save so much back and forth and avoid any confusion around whose time zone you mean when you say “are you free for a call tomorrow at 9am?”.  Do you mean 9am your time, or 9am their time? See what I mean.

 
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3) Always follow-up with a calendar invitation with the Time zone set

With any confirmed meeting, we’ve found it’s best to always follow-up with a calendar invitation that marks the timezone - by specifying the timezone on the meeting invite, the calendar will automatically adjust the meeting time to each participants’ timezone. 

This is also extremely helpful when you’re moving around timezones yourself.

For example, if you set a call for next Wednesday at 9:00am while you’re in London, but do not specify the timezone, if you’re working in Berlin, Germany the day of the call, the meeting invite will show for 9:00am in London, which is 10:00am in Frankfurt, and you’ll be 1 hour late for the call.



These small changes to your communications and scheduling with your clients will make a world of a difference in the efficiency of your work, in turn setting up happy partnerships no matter where you are working from in the world.


BONUS:

Check out www.worldtimebuddy.com for quick & easy checks on a suitable meeting time that will work across overlapping time zones. This tool really will become your new favorite buddy!



Nicole Prybula