Time Zone Tribulations
One of the best things about working as a virtual paralegal is that I get to work with really interesting people from all over Canada, the United States and even people who live in Europe! I have one client that is in the UK and I have people I occasionally need to liaise with contacts for my clients in some pretty far flung locations. This can be really cool, BUT there is a caveat. It can be pretty challenging to work across multiple time zones.
The most important thing to do when you are working with people who don’t live in your time zone is to get in the habit of always indicating times for phone calls and meetings with proper time zone abbreviations. Don’t expect people to remember exactly what time zone you are in. For example, I live in Alberta and am in the mountain time zone, so if I wanted to talk to someone at 10 am my time, I say 10:00 MST. I always like to indicate their time zone as well, so I might say “can we speak at 10 MST, 12 EST (your time)?” It helps to keep it very clear.
I love Time Zone Meeting Planner for helping me with planning the other person’s time. I can have several time zones accounted for all at once! I also use Google Calendar’s World Clock feature to help keep me on track.
*featured image © The Stakhanovite Twins, Flickr, Creative Commons License