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How do you manage working in different time zones?


by @clusk | 4yr  | 12 comments

For those constrained by their businessโ€™ time zone, how do you manage this?

My home office is in Los Angeles โ€“ though I could swing anything in Central/South America, Iโ€™m looking at going to Lisbon or Chiang Mai for a bit. Both of them are >=8hrs difference potentially wreaking havoc on the work + social life + sleep split. This is a common question for nomads but there doesnโ€™t seem to be a lot of posting on the site about it.

What do you guys think? Any Americans working in Asia or Europe that does it well? I could likely negotiate with my supervisor to work in Eastern standard if I was in Lisbon/Europe, which wouldnโ€™t be too much of a stretch. Noon 'til 8pm. A bit more manageable than Chiang Mai or Bali.

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@eduardo | 2yr

Weโ€™ve got many guests in our coliving space (www.sun-and-co.com) in Spain who work Pacific times. It doesnโ€™t seem to be a problem. Most of them itโ€™s true that arrange all of their meetings in one or two days and then, they can work the rest of the week in the morning.

If you go to Asia that will make it a little bit more complicated since youโ€™d be working during the night.

There is an interesting Chrome app I often use: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/my-time-zone-automatic-ti/fdmjemdmpmohggbjhmbeoipmheemmcpm

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@anthonycastrio | 2yr

Early mornings and late nights as needed (hopefully not on the same day). This is the main tradeoff you make as a nomad, but the overall freedom is more than worth it to me. Also https://www.worldtimebuddy.com

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@nerdontour | 2yr

As many before me emphasised, transparency is the key. If there are important live calls/chats that you need to attend โ€“ adjust to it and try to minimise the amount of it. Everything else can be done asynchronously with automation and proper documentation. Being open, keeping great communication and preparing things ahead is in my opinion more important for customers than being in the same time zone.

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@lricci | 2yr

Iโ€™ve contracted with remote workers for years. I look for a 4 hour window each business day when they are working on a team. And when they are working Solo, I want a 2 hour window for contact during my business day. And when Iโ€™m the contractor, I do the same. Source of funds should be least inconvenienced when you are working in different time zones. I never cared what the work hours were, just that we had them agreed ahead of time.

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@jason147 | 3yr

I have my own business that deals mostly with clients in the States and I am in SE Asia. The biggest thing for me has been the importance of scheduling.

2 tools that have helped me immeasurably: Acquity scheduling (HUGE Difference maker on a lot of different levels for me) and an add on called โ€œHourโ€ for my mac.

Other than that - itโ€™s just like has been said. I just had to find a rhythm and make the initial adjustment. Traveling from place to place complicates things so I try and schedule in longer periods (7-10 days) every few weeks in one location with solid amenities to set as a base to re-charge and get really intensive work done. And yep - I had to start turning the phone off and only accepting scheduled calls.

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@ld | 4yr

Laying out expectations really help. Iโ€™m a web dev freelancer from California. Iโ€™ve been in Europe for the last 3 months. M work is more projects/results based and my clients know to allow 24 hours for me to respond. Itโ€™s irrelevant for me to be available online when they are. I was worried about it at first too, but as long as you stay in communication, no one knows or cares where you are (at least for me), they care about their tasks being done in general. In fact, being 9 hours ahead of CA has worked out better than I expected. I have most of the day to work without clients emailing me or other distractions, my Monday work is done before their Monday starts, and again, if they email me with something at 4pm their time, well, I will get to it the next day before they wake up. I also am not available via phone, it is really disruptive for me to be interrupted, so I donโ€™t accept random phone calls.
:slight_smile:

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@alex_vt | 4yr

I work in Argentina, 5 hours ahead of my office in California, and what Iโ€™ve ended up doing is by default working from 2-10 such that my hours align with the rest of my teams, but if I know some event is going on during the week Iโ€™ll work from, say, 11-7 instead. I have a data plan set up such that I always can be in contact with my team if Iโ€™m outside of wifi and something goes wrong, so it gives me more flexibility in changing my hours (as long as I can get to a computer within 1-2 hours), but so far there havenโ€™t been any problems with this approach.

Iโ€™m much more of a morning person so I actually like the inverted work day where I have my free time in the mornings and not much free time after work. It feels good to know once I sit down for work (assuming Iโ€™m starting at 2) that this is the last thing Iโ€™m going to do for the day before eating dinner and then falling asleep.
Any other folks here who think theyโ€™d like this arrangement should definitely give it a try.

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@orca | 4yr

Personally I have three homes one in Zurich, one in Argentina and another in Florida and I spend various parts of the year in each.

Of course a lot comes down to where you are dealing with. In my case I have to liaise with the office here in Switzerland and that can be quite difficult. Normally what I do is allocate several hours to ensure there is an overlap. For example when I visit Australia I have to work early in the morning and again in the evening.

A lot will depend how sensitive the work is time-wise but there are numerous ways you can feel things in one potential solution is a virtual personal assistant. The other thing is to try to automate as much of the business as possible.

Frankly there is no perfect solution and Iโ€™ve been looking for it for years and have not found it but there are lots of ways you can make it a lot easier. One suggestion is you could tell your clients youโ€™re on eastern Time as opposed to Pacific that would make things three hours easier if you are Europe. This would be easy to achieve with a telephone number somewhere on the East Coast and it would be acceptable to most people in the US because I know from experience when Iโ€™m at my house that we never have any problems with that time difference.

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@bryanaka | 4yr

Totally agree with @grum - it is part of your job as a remote worker to be realistic with your hours and set reasonable expectations up front. Donโ€™t feel like you are cheating your client/boss by setting different hours than they work - work with them to come up with something that works for both of you and then sell it as a win-win.

I spent 2 months traveling around Europe and Central Asia (I know, not super long) and my clients were Pacific Time: 7 - 14 hour difference depending on where I was. I ended up working in the early morning (6-8 AM to 10 AM - Noon) for one client and late night (6 - 8 PM to 10 PM - Midnight) for the other while spending the mid-time exploring. Even hiked part of Cinque Terreโ€™s sendero azul on a work day :wink:

Important keys for me were:

  • Made a realistic, semi-routine schedule with built-in flexibility
  • Made sure my availability was clear and completely transparent
  • Lots of communication in their preferred medium (slack)
  • Checked in once every or every other week with how the arrangement was going and if we needed to make changes
  • Take a nap if you are sleeping less total hours at night. Seriously, the burn out is real
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@martinb3 | 4yr

Iโ€™ve done this before in Europe with colleagues that work Central time (+0600). I ended up working 2pm to 10pm, where my dinner break mostly lined up with their lunch, and European culture dictated staying out much later in the summer (e.g. dinner at 11pm - midnight).

This worked out well, except if I wanted to do touristy things that were only open in the morning, because I couldnโ€™t always get up quite that early going to bed at 2am or later. It wasnโ€™t realistic to try to sleep right at 10pm either, as I was too wound up from work and needed the time to relax before crashing.

Good luck!

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@grum | 4yr

If you choose to take on remote work, you take on the responsibilities associated with it - i.e. not letting expectations on availability be ambiguous to others.

Sit down with clients/the boss and define a realistic availability timeframe. If they arenโ€™t willing to be flexible, you need to re-think your travel plans.

In the end if you start forcing unrealistic working hours, youโ€™re going to burn out and lose the freedom youโ€™ve given yourself. This is a common problem for people in this community. Those who fight time will lose in the long run.

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@clusk | 4yr

Thanks for the feedback. I work remote currently though not in a time zone >3 hrs from my home office so time management isnโ€™t the issue I will face - more quality of life question than anything else.

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Read and participate in 14,056 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Video chat coworking solutions?

 

in Brazil by @essentiallyint | 3d 3 days ago | 2 comments

I am new to working out of coworking spaces. My business entails a lot of video conferences. I haven't chosen a specific coworking space yet but generally, what are the potential solutions for this? I have a microphone and headphones but still fell like it may be inconsiderate to take the calls anywhere in the coworking space. For a solo person, what are some general solutions? Are there usually options to rent a private room by the hour with just enough room to set up my microphone and laptop? Sidenote: any coworking space recommendations in Florianapolis, Brazil would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Best place for solo UK traveller for surf, sun & working between Oct and Dec??

 

in Tenerife, Spain by @leojb | 6d 5 days ago | 0 comments

Hey Nomads, would love to know any thoughts here.

Top of the list are currently Tenerife, Lagos/Ericeira (Portugal) & Malta??

Would love to know if anyone can vouch for these at this time of year.

Beautiful beach would be the dream. Basically European Bali! I'm sure something many of us are searching for.

Thanks a million. Much love.

Leo

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How do you ensure that you have good WiFi for working whilst travelling e.g. in places like India?


in India by @davda1546 | 3mo 3 months ago | 4 comments

We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?

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Any attorneys working remotely?


by @rohitsn | 4mo 4 months ago | 3 comments

Transactional Attorney with a focus on US Immigration. Burnt out doing the law firm thing. Trying to leverage skill to get on this digital nomad tip. Love the traveling experience, hostels, seeing new places, new cocktails etc etc.

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Any nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 6mo 6 months ago | 33 comments

Hoping to see all the cool stuff people are working on while they live an extraordinary life.

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What have been your biggest challenges working remotely in your team?


by @wanderer | 6mo 6 months ago | 2 comments

My interest in DN lifestyle started when half of our company have been taking 1 month for remote work @ Ko Samui. It was truly cool but we observed quite some communication challenges. Communication seemed just โ€œriskierโ€ when online.

What were your worst situations caused by misunderstanding while communicating online with your teammates? What do you do to avoid misunderstandings?

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How do you plan your budget with different currencies?


by @leonagano | 12mo 11 months ago | 8 comments

Hey travellers, how are you doing?

Do you have problems to plan your trip choosing any currency they want? For example, Iโ€™m going to the UK but would like to plan my trip (How much will I spend in housing/food/having fun/attending attractions?) in US Dollar or Euro or any other money.
How do you guys do it easily?

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How do you track the total number of days you've spent in different countries?


by @gonchs | 1yr 1 year ago | 12 comments

How do you track a total number of days youโ€™ve spent in different countries during the past 12 months?

I find it to be important for visa and tax purposes to know how long and where Iโ€™ve been and Iโ€™m unable to find any software that solves this.

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Co-working space in Shanghai WITHOUT monthly payment


in Shanghai, China by @katrin | 2yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Daily/hourly pass needed.
Canโ€™t work in normal cafรฉ because having clientโ€™s laptop for security reasons, canโ€™t use open networks. Working for R&D. Also laptop is so huge it doesnโ€™t fit normal cafe environment because itโ€™s far from discreet.

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What are the most comfortable and affordable coworking places in Amsterdam?


in Amsterdam, Netherlands by @frosay | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

What are the most comfortable and affordable coworking places in Amsterdam?
I donโ€™t like noisy cafes and high prices of Spaces.

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Is there any good and safe coworking space with fast internet in Costa Rica?


in Costa Rica by @sven | 2yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

Everything is in the title.

Iโ€™m working on a big project so I will need fast internet (>15 mbps).
If itโ€™s close to the beach, it would be even better.

Thanks !!

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What are the best coworking spaces in Playa del Carmen, Mexico?


in Playa del Carmen, Mexico by @simone_scarduzio | 2yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Would you recommend โ€œWork Zoneโ€ http://www.oficinasplaya.com over Nest?
Do you have other coworking spaces there you would recommend?

And where is a good place to stay (i.e. coliving)?

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Foreigner owned Coworking business in Malaysia


in Malaysia by @newyam | 2yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Heyo folks! The idea to open up an own coworking space in Malaysia has been on my mind for quite a while and I would like to reach out on foreigners being a business owner/co working space owner in Malaysia, there are a lot of questions that would follow up but most importantly is to reach out to someone with experience.

Ideally would be someone who runs a coworking space in Malaysia, second best would be to just come in touch with a foreign business owner in Malaysia.
Cheers
Yamin

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Best cafes in Budapest for working?


in Budapest, Hungary by @dobredecatalin | 2yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

Hi there, I am planning to work remote from Budapest for about 3 weeks. I typically like to work from Starbucks so I wanted to find out which ones are the largest and better for working.

The ones that I found so far that seem a bit bigger are this ones:
goo.gl/maps/y9kFXwAc2NA2
goo.gl/maps/hUUg9ghtr8K2

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Where can I go for remote working while surrounded by nature (ocean waves, mountain, etc)


by @nish81 | 2yr 2 years ago | 7 comments

I have this dream scenario in my head, and Iโ€™ve searched for a while without figuring out how I might best achieve it. I donโ€™t need many places, just one or two that I can go back to over and over again. I want to be working on my laptop while being surrounded by nature; for example a place right on the ocean where I can hear the waves crashing and look up and see them, then look back down and go back to work (but it would have to be very close by to achieve this feeling, not a distant sea view).

In itself this might not be so hard but my total list of requirements makes it difficult:

  • Fast internet: at least 20Mbps down with ethernet connection possible.
  • Very close to emergency medical services: so not in the middle of nowhere, and ideally in/very close to a decent size town (I have some medical issues)
  • Not more than ยฃ70/night to stay
  • It doesnโ€™t have to be a residence: it can also be a coworking space that meets all these requirements, and I can stay somewhere else and work at this space

So far I thought of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: there seem to be some flats with a nice ocean view, although Iโ€™m not sure how close to the ocean they can get. And maybe also Valencia?

Anyway, Iโ€™m not sure if anybody else has had this kind of dream as well. But I would very much appreciate any tips for places I can check out :slight_smile:

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Coworking in Merida?


in Merida, Mexico by @jasoninbend | 2yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

Any recommendations for a coworking spot in Merida, MX? Iโ€™ll be staying in the Centro zone for most of July. Thanks in advance!

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How do you manage your location independent business as a Nomad Entrepreneur?


by @vzablocky | 2yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

Iโ€™d like to invite nomad entrepreneurs in this topic to discuss what are the challenges you face in filing taxes, insurance and banking complications, while travelling and running your business remotely.

Please share your thoughts! I would be happy to help!

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Coworking spaces in Goa (India)


in India by @adrienbetweets | 2yr 2 years ago | 2 comments

Does anyone know of any decent coworking spaces in Goa (India) ?

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Best coworking space in Medellin?


in Medellรญn, Colombia by @adele | 3yr 2 years ago | 6 comments

Hi there,

Iโ€™m considering a month or two in Medellin and wondered what the co-working space options are like. I want something more than a cafe, so happy to pay the going rate. I spent a couple of months at Hubud in Bali earlier this year and loved it, but realise that Iโ€™ve set the bar pretty high.

Has anyone used Epicenter? I read somewhere it is pretty busy. Any other options?

Suggestions much appreciated.

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Coworking spaces in Osaka?


in Osaka, Japan by @adrienbetweets | 3yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Iโ€™m looking for a good coworking space in Osaka.

There are a few listed on coworker.com & workfrom.co, however, none of them has reviews.

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