Telecommuting and working abroad

If you’re able to take your job with you when you move abroad, you will find that the rules may be slightly different. In order to prepare for this transition, you will want consider the differences and how you can accommodate for them. Here are some of the biggest changes you will need to make.

Working remotely can be a great experience!

Since you will be changing time zones dramatically in some cases, you will need to let your current clients and customers know. In some cases, this will work to your advantage, but when your client base is mostly in Canada, you will need to adjust your working hours to accommodate their needs. Or you might have to shift your work day availability for your new time zone. You might want to let your clients know ahead of time to see what they will prefer in order to arrange this new work life.

You may also be able to interact with some of your international clients in person now, so this might work to your advantage. You may want to let your international clients know that you can deliver things to them personally and start to encourage them to share your skills and your availability to others they know in your local area. On the other hand, when you aren’t going to be close by other customers who used to be local in Canada, you will need to come up with a regular schedule to meet up with them a few times a year or to teleconference regularly.

Communication is going to be the main change for you and your clients. You will want to test out new systems of interaction – internet messaging, VOIP, and video cams to see what will work best for your needs. With the ever growing technology, it’s easier than ever to interact with people over vast distances, so this shouldn’t be a problematic issue, just one that will need to have some bugs worked out as you learn a new way of working with others.

As for employees, you will need to create a clear list of responsibilities as well as communication patterns so that you can still run things as you used to. Have messaging systems in place and hours where you can reach each other to ensure that things are still getting done on time. Create deadlines that accommodate the new time zones and double check any needs for clients to make sure you are delivering items and services on time.