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Make certain to get a phone with speaker capabilities. You will need
find it invaluable.
You are going to spend a lot of time in phone conferences. Get the email
addresses, phone numbers (as though you need to be told that). Find out
if they use an IM system, and get on it. Establish your presence there
and use it.
Check to see if they use an online conferencing system and make sure you
know how to use it.
For the Philippine connection, if you have problems understanding what
they say, and you may not have any problem with accents, repeat and
summarize either in an email or before you end a phone conference.
Find out when your teams are most likely to be available and when they
will expect you to be there. The time zones are going to drive you
around the bend so ensure you have a couple of clocks (either physical
or on the computer) to monitor the different times zones.
Become obsessive with schedules and calendar events. Make certain all
teams understand when a deadline expires, is it at the end of a day, or
at the beginning of a day.
For clarity on things, insist on emails for specifics. It helps to clear
Lev Abramov wrote:
> dear list -
> After having been a nine-to-fiver for the past three years and a recent
> lay-off, I have just been offered a three-month work-from-home contract
> (with a chance of becoming permanent). Decent pay and benefits. I will be
> collaborating with two teams in two totally different time zones (the
> Philippines and the US). Set hours (8 + 2 with a two-hour break in
> Not that I have never worked from home - but I have never worked as part of
> a geographically distributed team. Apart from the cross-cultural
> communication problems (and I could use a lot of advice in this
> department!), what should I take into account? How should I brace myself for
> this new experience? Any and all suggestions and advice will be accepted
> with gratitude.
> Best -
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