As a full-time member of Strobe’s headquarters in New York, I was recently designated a liaison between our East Coast and West Coast operations, to ensure that both offices are in sync and that our promotions run smoothly. When I was first presented with this new role, I must admit that I was nervous; I wasn’t sure what the task at hand would require. I learned after only a couple of weeks that with proper time management skills and open lines of communication with my colleagues across the country, that it is actually beneficial to work in a time zone that is three hours ahead of theirs.
Now, some might think that working with a schedule that is three hours ahead could be confusing and uncoordinated. When the timing is off and you need something right away, it can be frustrating, but when you plan ahead and your lines of communication are intact, the time zone difference is extremely beneficial to both parties. For the East Coast, it allows for us to work on projects/tasks for an extra three hours before the work day starts in California (it’s also great when the client is on the West Coast too!) while the Left Coast has an extra three hours of work time after the East Coast has gone for the day. When there is extra work to be done, this time difference can be helpful; it allows for additional hours to be put in across the board and totals an almost 12-hour workday!
The most important aspects in running a successful bi-costal project are excellent communication and preparation skills. Both parties need to know each other’s schedules (an Outlook calendar is a tremendous help!) and must be able to clearly define what roles each will play on a per project basis. An effective tool for this is a timeline of the current project(s) that clearly defines the responsibilities of all parties involved (including the client) and deadlines that need to be met, specifying the time and the time zone of that particular deadline. This way, there are no surprises and everyone is on the same page. Once roles are defines and schedules are discussed, its smooth sailing.
It wasn’t until I had spent some time visiting my colleagues across the country that I realized how lucky we both were. I have had the daily pleasure of working closely with people that are 3,000 miles away. I look forward to developing our cross-country relationships and discovering new ways to improve time zone time management more effectively.
Strobe is hiring! Want to join our East Coast team? We’re looking for a Manager, Client Services & an Account Executive. Check out our job listings for more information.