One of the problems with working abroad is that all your work will be carried out remotely. However, this does not have to be a problem at all. It is perfectly possible to work with your clients remotely, and in many cases it won’t make much difference which country you are working from. But what are the main things to remember when you first start to work remotely from abroad?
Inform Your Clients
It should not be a problem informing your regular clients that you will be going abroad. If you have been working remotely for them for a while anyway then they will not mind where you are working from. The only problem will be if you currently have face-to-face meetings with clients, but you can reassure them that you will be happy to make video calls instead. If any of your details change, such as your phone number, it’s important to let your clients know in advance. Reassure them that they won’t notice anything and that you will still be working as normal, just from a different location. If you will be moving to a different time zone, either change your working hours to fit the working hours back home, or inform your clients of your new hours so that they know when they can contact you.
Find Clients Used to Working Remotely
When you find new clients whilst you are working abroad, whether you tell them that you are abroad immediately is up to you. If you are just going away for a few months then it may not be necessary at first. However, if you are going to be spending longer away from home then it may be a good decision to tell them early on in case they have any problems with this. Remember that, for many clients, hiring outsourcers and other service providers from other countries is now perfectly normal and you should not encounter too many problems when you tell new clients where you are currently based, especially if it is only a temporary arrangement.
Keep Up the Communication
Don’t let being abroad be an excuse to communicate less with your clients. If anything, you should be communicating with them even more than normal. It stands to reason that if you will not be meeting up with them personally then you should put more effort into contacting them and staying in touch, so make an effort to respond to emails and calls promptly and that way they will not feel like you are a few thousand miles away.
Take Advantage of Online Tools
There are a number of tools you can use that will make the experience of working abroad even better for both you and your clients. Screen sharing on Skype is something that you may not have thought about when working from home, but now that you are working abroad it is a great way to talk clients through things if you want to explain something clearly that you cannot do in person. Video calls themselves are a great way to stay in touch. They don’t make up for face-to-face meetings, but they go a long way to helping when you cannot meet people normally, so make this an option for your clients and they will appreciate it.
Keep Your Clients Up to Date with Technology
New solutions to help remote workers come out all the time, and if you discover a new technology that you want to use, make sure that you inform your main clients about this. You may have to help them to get set up with services like Skype and Dropbox to improve the way that you work, so take the time to talk them through it if necessary and always explain how it will be beneficial to them as well as you.
Work Better with Clients from Abroad
There is no reason why you cannot work very productively with your clients from a completely different country. Just make sure that you keep them up to date with new technological developments and keep in contact with them more than ever if you want to continue to enjoy a good working relationship with your clients. You may even find that as you develop better remote working practices you actually end up working better with your clients from abroad than from home, and you can continue to use these when you return to your home country.
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