How to Overcome The Challenges Of Working With a Client in a Different Time zone?
Along with the awesome benefits of working remotely, freelancers must equally overcome the challenges associated with working in a different time zone from the client.
In some instances, the window of communication is so short that an urgent update/information might suffer a delay in execution due to these time zone challenges.
Sometimes, it is difficult to keep tabs of the current time of the client or even forget completely about the time zone difference.
Then you have to adjust to the cultural difference in work ethics and social norms of your client’s place of residence.
Despite the cons, most of these challenges are easily surmountable with good communication.
Here are few tips to manage clients in different time zones:
1) Be mindful of the time on the other side of the world. Simple, but can easily be overlooked. Keep two watches if need be. Better still, set your phone to show different time zones at all times.
2) Be considerate. Your client’s comfort comes ahead of yours. Let your meetings fall within the working hours of your client. And except on client’s insistence, don’t fix a meeting at a time when your clients should be sleeping.
3) Have a schedule that works for both parties. Communicate with your client on the number of hours that must be put into the work daily and have a deadline for the project. Share schedule changes promptly and efficiently.
4) Setup a system of communication that both parties can use efficiently across the different time zones. Don’t be tied down to a single form of messaging. Encourage phone calls, text messages, chats and video conferencing.
5) Make use of technology to ease the process. Take advantage of tools like Every Time Zone, World Time Buddy, and Miranda. These tools were created specifically for dealing with clients in different time zones.
It’s a small world after all and to advance in this global village, businesses must learn to manage communication effectively, especially when work is done remotely.
Running an international business doesn’t mean you need to stay up all night waiting for people to reply to emails and you shouldn’t expect your team to do the same.
You simply need an effective communication strategy in place, the right management and the ability to stick to plan.