Working Together, 10,000 Miles Apart

November 19, 2005

It all sounds very glamorous, working in London and Tokyo, but what are the realities of trying to collaborate in different timezones? James lists up a few of the web technologies he and Robert are using to make things easier.

Telephones Are for Losers

With a broadband connection on all day, what are you doing wasting money on international phone bills? VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technologies such as Skype allow you to speak all day long at zero cost. Use a wireless Bluetooth headset and you're free to move about the office getting on with two things at once.

Web 2.0 is Where it's at

The internet doesn't just stop at your company site and webmail. Many new "Web 2.0" on-line applications allow for serious collaboration and data-sharing:

Timezone Trickery

But even with all this technology, at the end of the day, you're still hours apart. Whilst it might seem like you'll only ever be awake at the same time for a few hours each day, this can actually work to your advantage.

A quick chat on a daily basis keeps you up to date without bogging you down like endless phone calls and e-mails would. The quiet space this creates lets you focus on the job in hand, resulting in tangible progress to pass on to your partner when your day ends, and theirs starts. In effect, allowing you to work on an almost 24 hour production line, without losing any sleep over it.