One of the benefits of working for a global agency is the exposure to offices around the world. I’ve had the opportunity to work on several teams here at LEWIS that are in different parts of the globe: from a few hours north in Boston to across the Atlantic Ocean in the UK. I’ve learned that having team members in different offices requires some getting used to, but is a great learning experience.
1. Remember the time differences
Whether you’re working with a team on the West Coast while you’re on the East Coast or with one across the pond, it’s always important to keep in mind the difference in time. Ensuring that projects and requests are completed during teammates’ office hours will make working across time zones easier for all members of the team. Also, it’s good to be prepared that your inbox may become slightly more full in the morning or later in the evening, depending on your own time zone.
2. Adapt to office culture from a far
While all offices and teams are part of the same company, it’s safe to say that each office has its own unique culture. Understanding how a team works and adapting to each team is a great way to expand your skills. For instance, some offices may be more formal when communicating with team members and clients, while others are more casual. Adapting to how the team works and how it’s structured is an important aspect of being a good team member.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate
When you’re not working in the same office as the rest of the team, it’s extremely important to regularly communicate. Whether it be via chat, email or on the phone, communicating your daily activities for the client to the rest of the team shows that you’re an active and valuable member of the team. Video calls are also a great way to make up for the lack of face-to-face interaction!
Lastly, take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the other offices. Each team you’re on exposes you to the inner-workings of other office. Ask questions about the other clients they work on and be willing to share tips you may have from your own experience. One of the best things about working on a cross-office client is the ability to be introduced to a new part of the business. Take advantage of it!
For those have you that also work on cross-office teams, what other tips would you share? Let me know in the comments below!