Here Are 5 Strategies to Stay Sane and Healthy
The wonder of the internet has made working with different clients across multiple time zones a reality for many freelancers and remote workers.
Being able to work with people from around the world brings huge opportunities. However, it also poses some challenges. It might turn out that to be present during an online 9am meeting with your client from a different time zone you actually have to stay awake at 3am your time. Two hours later you are exhausted – but won’t be able to catch any sleep, because an evening meeting with another of your clients starts in one hour – your 6am. A few weeks of such a carousel and both your mental and physical health are sure to dwindle.
If you’re working with clients across multiple time zones, here are five strategies for staying sane and healthy:
1. Keep Track of Your Time Zones
When you’ve got a number of different time zones to keep track of, things can get really confusing, really quickly. A visual reminder of the time difference you have with each client can really help.
Search online for handy time zone software or just invest in a couple of clocks to stick on your desk.
That way, you always know what time it is in your client’s country. And working out timescales and deadlines is made so much easier.
2. Agree to a Time Zone
You don’t want to be talking at cross purposes with your clients – arranging a video call for 1pm and then being unsure whether that’s 1pm for you or for them.
From the very beginning, agree to work to definitive time zone. It makes sense for you to offer to work to their local time and make things as easy as possible for your client.
3. Download Remote Working Apps to your Smartphone
If you’ve been freelancing for a while, you’re probably aware of the many online tools built to help remote workers. There are so many ways to share your work and progress with your clients, and to collaborate with them on their projects.
These tools are never more important than when you’re dealing with clients in different time zones. Find those that work best on your smartphone or tablet. It is estimated that around 70% of all smartphone owners use their devices for work, so you will have no problems reaching out to your clients wherever and whenever you are. This will help you fully maximise your working day, but also get more time to relax – if you can answer some emails or update the project’s status when you are stuck on a bus, you will have more time in the evening to rest and unwind.
Download relevant remote working apps to your phone and keep up to date with clients whenever and wherever you happen to be.
4. Reorganise your Working Day
Try to reorganise your days to suit your clients as much as is reasonable. For instance, if you and your client have just a few overlapping hours during the daytime, reserve those hours for that particular client.
This might mean working into the evening but taking mornings off. Or doing some work on a Sunday night instead of a Friday afternoon. You need to find what works for you and your clients and adapt accordingly.
5. Set Boundaries
You want to do a good job for your clients. But you can’t be available for them 24 hours a day.
In order to stay healthy and sane, you need to reserve time for eating well, exercising, enjoying a little downtime and getting a good night’s sleep.
So manage your clients’ expectations and be clear on boundaries from the start of your working relationship. Tell them when you will be working on their projects and available for calls. And then stick to it.
By being clear on boundaries and being reliably available during the times agreed, your clients won’t be disappointed and frustrated when they can’t get hold of you in the middle of the night.
Stick to these five strategies and working with clients in multiple time zones is a breeze. You can work with people across the globe and stay healthy and happy to boot.
About Evie Cooper:
Evie Cooper is an avid health blogger and an advocate of work-life balance. She is also a part of the team at CPAP Direct, a company promoting sleep hygiene and offering CPAP machines (continuous positive airway presssure) to all those with sleeping difficulties.