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On remote work and time zones

santoshhari profile image Santosh Hari Originally published at santoshhari.wordpress.com on ・2 min read

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a client on the opposite coast. However, this presented its own set of challenges, the primary one being dealing with time zones. So, I naturally learned to adjust my communication to factor in time zones since it would be embarrassing for me to schedule a 2pm call and then have the client not show up.

Protip: when working remotely always state timezone clearly. Heck, do this even when not remote

"Are you available at 2pm US Eastern today?"

— Santosh Hari 🤔 (@_s_hari) February 17, 2020

I enable multiple time zones in Outlook, my chief timekeeper at work, as shown below.

timezones

Fwiw, you can also enable multiple timezones on Google Calendar

timezones2

But the original tweet appeared to have sparked interest in the topic among my followers, largely techies and I received a lot of useful tips.

David Haney uses relative time, which is great for same-day scheduling.

I also use relative time, as it applies the same way to everybody: "are you available in 90 minutes?"

— David Haney (@haneytron) February 17, 2020

Steve Lorello uses UTC, which works great when scheduling meeting with a software-focused crowd.

I usually use UTC when scheduling meetings with folks outside my time zone lol

— Steve Lorello (@slorello ) February 18, 2020

Michael Godfrey uses the 24-hour calendar aka military time to avoid confusion.

I have learned to do it all the time. Just to be safe. And to use 24 h time.

— Michael Godfrey (@mgodfre3) February 18, 2020

Oscar “OZ” Zamora always specifies the location. This is something I could start doing myself since I communicate with Canadian coworkers all the time.

And location. Coworker from Mexico extended a teams meeting for today; holiday.

— Oscar "OZ" Zamora (@ZamoraO) February 18, 2020

A friend with a private Twitter account also mentioned blocking off time on the calendar if you don’t need to be disturbed. For instance, if you need to do heads-down coding all afternoon just block the afternoon off. Also, if you have coworkers or clients reaching you after-hours block those off on your calendar.

Do you have any additional time zones and calendar tips? Feel free to share in the space below

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