Aspect’s aim is to be globally renowned in audience inspiration and with our clients we put a focus on the importance of inspiring their audience and developing ways to do this. But how do we do this on a global basis?
Whilst we live in an interconnected digital age with advanced communication tools, no technology is capable of altering the rotation of the earth and eliminating time zone differences. These time zone differences split the working day into two parts, there are periods of collaborative overlap and periods of concentration. So how does this impact how we work?
In order to maintain positive business relationships it is important to be in regular contact with your clients and suppliers. This falls into the ‘collaborative’ part of your day, involving synchronous or everyone-at-the-same-time communications such as audio and video calls.
It is during this time of your day that the challenges of working across different time zones become prevalent. Apart from adjusting your body clock a bit and making use of your alarm clock and a strong cup of coffee, we suggest adopting a few simple rules:
- Be precise about time – always specify the time zone when arranging meetings, luckily most scheduling tools will do this for you and Outlook can show a 2nd time zone in your calendar as a permanent point of reference
- Maintain a consistent schedule – set up regular meetings with project teams to catch-up (this may involve shifting your schedule to fit in with a client’s working day)
- Break the email chain – asynchronous or everyone-at-their-own-pace communication elongates the planning window for an event. If seeking clarity on an e-mail, pick up the phone instead of waiting a day each time for a response
Periods of Concentration
The beauty of working across different time zones is that it increases productivity by allowing you to focus on your work with fewer distractions. During your working day, as opposed to receiving numerous telephone calls, you can work away uninterrupted and utilise asynchronous communication tools such as e-mails and Dropbox to leave information waiting for your clients and suppliers.
From a client perspective, the advantages of working with someone behind their time zone is that they can send urgent work at the end of a day and it’s there waiting for them when they wake up. Of course this does also impact the reverse and so expectations and deadlines must be made clear when working with suppliers ahead of your time zone.
As a glass half full kind of agency, we love the benefits and challenges that working globally brings. If you’d like to hear more about how we can support you to inspire your audience on a global scale, contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)20 8282 7575.