When you are on vacation in Hawaii, you don’t think about the time difference too much after the first day. However, working in Hawaii, you learn to work the time zones. For instance, I normally wake at 6am Hawaii Standard Time (Hawaii doesn’t have Daylight Savings Time), which is already 12 noon on the east coast and 9am on the west coast. After a couple of weeks of trying to adjust using old habits, I’ve created a new way of working.
To keep the work flowing and the stress down, I answer emails from the east coast at 6am when I awake. Then after feeding my cat, showering, getting ready for the day, and heading to the bus stop, I answer west coast emails on the bus. By the time I’ve arrived at the office, my team members have their taskings for the day based on the emails shared from home or on the bus. After a quick chat with everyone to ensure they are clear on their priorities, I go to my office and begin working on my taskings.
We also have offices based in Guam and Saipan, which are 20 hours ahead of us. The easiest way to remember their time zone is that they are 4 hours behind us tomorrow. So, when everyone else is going to lunch, the Guam and Saipan offices are reaching out with their morning emails and phone calls. After responding to their concerns, and questions for the day so they are working on their taskings, I take a lunch between 1 and 2. Back in the office by 2pm or so, the Hawaii team is sending in the results of their work for review or submission. Around 5pm or so, I head out the door, answering emails from the Guam and Saipan group. The next day, the cycle begins again.
I’m not saying that this schedule works for everyone who works in Hawaii or for me all the time. There are meetings or events that sometimes cause changes to the schedule. However, it is a good plan that works the majority of the time. What methods do you use when working in alternate time zones or realities?