Many companies now allow team members to work from home, and startups in particular often have to search outside their country of origin to find the talent they need. If you’re an aspiring freelancer there are many ways to find work with companies all around the world.
Even if you don’t work for a company abroad you might want to consider asking your employer if you can try working remotely. Studies have found that working remotely can actually boost productivity and reduce stress:
Source: Evolving Workforce Research 2014, TNS Global
If you do live far from your employer, here are a few things to keep in mind as you join a team thousands of miles away:
Communication is Key
Whether your company favors email, video chats, or a third-party messaging service like Slack, you should take care to stay in regular contact. Voice calls can be especially effective for meetings, and you may want to set up weekly calls with relevant team members to update them on your progress, discuss new projects, and generally feel included despite working from far away.
Mind your Time Zones
Don’t miss your meetings! You may have to account for time differences between yourself and your organization’s home base. Take particular care around daylight savings because countries don’t all change their clocks on the same date, and your regular meeting time might move an hour forward or backward for a few weeks.
If you’re based in the United States consider changing your phone’s clock to the 24-hour setting. Many other countries don’t use the AM or PM system for telling time, and if you aren’t prepared you may think someone’s pulling your leg when they request a meeting time for 15:00.
Since you don’t work in the same space as the rest of your company, it’s always useful to take extensive notes on your calls with team members. There’s no single, correct method for note taking, but it helps if you’re a fast typer. After I finish any meeting, I spend a few minutes cleaning up my notes and making them completely readable to a future version of myself. This way, I have a record of my progress, important tasks, and spontaneous ideas that came about during the meeting.
Good luck, and happy working!