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freelance time zones

How to Work with Clients in Different Time Zones

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
February 17, 2021

As you may already know, being a freelancer or a remote worker can come with great flexibility and a lot of freedom, however, if you’re working for multiple clients overseas, you may just need to adjust your flexible lifestyle.

While it can be pretty challenging to set meetings with a client from the other side of the world, the good news is that there are ways to maintain effective communication with them.

In our latest video series, ‘The Freelancer Lounge’, Jon Younger, author of the Forbes blog, Freelance Revolution, shared tips on how to work effectively with clients in different time zones along with which boundaries and rules to set.

Watch the full episode below!

Luckily for you, with the right strategies, you’ll be able to navigate working with global clients and ultimately maintain your sanity.

Understand Your Clients’ Expectations

Let’s first cover what your clients expect from you before we dive into how to work with multiple time zones.

Regardless of time zones and where you may be located, it’s crucial to better understand what your client expects from you before beginning on a project. Here are six things that matter to your clients most.

  1. Your committed to their project.
  2. You will be able to meet the deadline.
  3. You’re making steady progress towards their expectations.
  4. You’re solving problems and applying agreed changes on a timely basis.
  5. You’re meeting the budget.
  6. You’re available when they need to reach you without much hassle.

3 Steps to Working with Clients in Different Time Zones

1. Be Easy to Deal With

No client wants to have to work with a freelancer who is difficult to get a hold of or is inconsistent with their meetings. Instead, set consistent times to follow up with your client and don’t keep changing the time to get together with them for a chat. To maintain a healthy relationship with them, you should always try to make their lives easier by setting up a reliable schedule that can be helpful for both you and your client. Always look to creating a win-win situation!

2. Discuss Any Concerns on a Call

When you finally do set up a meeting with your client, it’s important to first reassure them of your commitment to the project and the importance of getting it done. Secondly, discuss the progress that has already been made and what else needs to be done in order to reach initial expectations. Third, remind them of where you stand with the current budget along with making changes that were previously discussed. Fourth, address the topics, if any, that are important to discuss. Next, discuss when the next scheduled call should be and where your progress should stand by then.

Finally, be clear on when you’ll be available and when you won’t and explain why. Your clients will then be able to understand why you are unavailable which will lead to more trust between the two of you.

3. Be Mindful of Cultural Differences

When working with clients in different countries, it’s extremely important to be speak politely and professionally. Be mindful and aware of your client’s cultural characteristics and you’ll avoid making any embarrassing remarks. Remember, the rules may not always be the same in both your country and your client’s. In addition, you should also take into consideration holidays that your client may be observing and don’t mistakenly set up a meeting during a holiday that they may have taken time off for.

Bottom Line

Working with clients overseas can be challenging, but by establishing boundaries that work for both parties ahead of time and being thoughtful and sensible, you’ll be able to work more effectively than before.

If you conduct business with international clients and are looking for an easy and secure way to get paid by them, then no look further than Payoneer. With Payoneer’s flexible and global payments platform, we can help you get paid by leading freelance marketplaces and clients around the world with ease, so you can focus on growing your business.

Receive your freelance payments with Payoneer

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