Something else that is almost necessary to ensure success is for your company to help facilitate remote employees.
I'm sure there's more, but these are a few things our company does that I feel really help me to feel involved.
Oh, and I also have the same problem of being in a different time zone. I have trained my coworkers to always add a timezone when they write a date
Yeah absolutely. +1 on all of this.
I use a Text Expander snippet so I never forget to add the Time Zone. My snippet even knows when PSD changes to PST.