Managing work with stakeholders who are in different time zones can be a challenge.
If you're working with a stakeholder who's on the same continent as you, it's easy to communicate via email, text, or chat. You can set up a meeting using your preferred method and invite them to join. However, if your stakeholder is in another part of the world, it may be difficult to find a time that works for both parties.
There are several solutions that can help make managing stakeholders in different time zones easier.
- First, make sure that your stakeholder knows what time zone you're in and what time zone they're working in. If it's possible, try to pick a one-time zone as your primary and stick with it throughout the project. This will help prevent confusion and miscommunication between the two of you
- Second, make sure that your stakeholders have a way to get in touch with you when they need something urgent or just want to chat—this could be either through email or text messages (depending on what they prefer).
- Consider setting up a virtual meeting space where both parties can communicate through video chat or text messaging. This way, each party will know exactly what the other person is doing at any given time. It also allows both parties to get more done during the same day instead of having half of their day wasted waiting on someone else's schedule!
- If you're working with a stakeholder in a completely different time zone, it's important to make sure your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate their schedule as well.
For example, if they live in Europe and you live in the United States, then they may be awake when you're asleep and vice versa. This means that it may be difficult for both of you to meet at the same time during the day. However, if both parties are willing to work around this problem by having phone calls at unusual hours (such as late at night), then it could still be possible for both parties to communicate effectively without requiring any major changes in their schedules.
Freelancer: Hi, this is [freelancer].
Stakeholder: Hi, I'm a little confused. You said you'd call me at 9 am my time to talk about [task]. But it's now 10 am. Did I miss your call?
Freelancer: No, no—I've been waiting for your call! I'm just in a different time zone, so it's earlier there than here.
Stakeholder: Ohhh, right. So what should we do? I don't want to be late for work!
Freelancer: Well, if you can stay up until midnight or so, then we can talk then and sync up our schedules. It won't be too late for you then—just an hour later than normal. Is that okay?
Stakeholder: Hi, this is [Stakeholder Name]. I'm calling to talk to you about your work on project X.
Freelancer: Hi, this is [Freelancer Name]. Thanks for reaching out! How can I help?
Stakeholder: I just wanted to make sure we're both on the same page about how we're going to handle working with different time zones.
Freelancer: Sure—what do you mean by that?
Stakeholder: Well, since you're in [location], and I'm in [location], it's going to be tough for us to collaborate in real-time most of the time. So, I just wanted to make sure we have a plan for all of that.
Freelancer: Yeah, no problem! My schedule is pretty flexible during most of the day—I should be able to work at different times of the day depending on when it works best for you guys.
Stakeholder: I am on GMT+2 and you are on EST. Is this going to be a problem?
Freelancer: No, not at all. I have been working with stakeholders from all over the world for years and it has never been a problem.
Stakeholder: Ok, great! What time will you be available tomorrow?
Freelancer: I can be available from 4 am to 6 pm your time (GMT+2).
Stakeholder: That should work for me. Can we start at 5 am your time? That way we can overlap for a few hours and make sure everything is working well before we get busy.
Freelancer: Yes, that sounds good to me!