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I'm Working While They're Sleeping: Time Zone Separation Challenges and Solutions [Kindle Edition]

Erran Carmel , J. Alberto Espinosa
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Distance is dead. Time zones are not. Millions of knowledge workers coordinate daily with partners around the globe, yet nearly all overlook the myriad ways that time zones affect their productivity. In I'm Working While They're Sleeping veteran American University researchers Erran Carmel and J. Alberto Espinosa distill more than a decade of research to address time zone challenges in practical terms. The authors offer case studies, stories from global corporations, and recommendations you can immediately put to use. • Discover why timeshifting is the key solution for time zone-challenged teams. • Recognize why scattertime may be the work mode of the future. • Learn how both Follow-the-Sun and Round-the-Clock leverage time zones, but in very different ways. • Understand how to think strategically--- not just tactically--about time zones.


Product Details

  • File Size: 4570 KB
  • Print Length: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Nedder Stream Press (November 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006DKCVMQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,142 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"I'm Working While They're Sleeping: Time Zone Separation Challenges and Solutions" is a gem of a book for anyone trying to work in a geographically distributed team. Carmel and Espinosa first start with an introduction to time zones, and explain why I am so confused when I travel. Everyone moves to daylight savings time at different times. Everyone has different holidays. Everyone has different work-weeks. Everyone has different holidays. No problem. Carmel and Espinosa have an answer for that. Make a time zone bubble chart and visualize the time zones in your calendar. Simple!

They talk about the cost of delay when using distributed teams: delay costs, rework costs, and context switching costs. But the real costs are:

"the frustrating, time-wasting, common mistakes made in coordinating meetings across time zones, such as missing the meeting by one hour because of time zone computation error."

They discuss many tricks and tips to manage distributed and dispersed teams, such as scattertime and timeshifting. They suggest the "zoner" are naturally able to "see" the timezone differences and are comfortable in breaking the email chain when a problem escalates and winds people up.

A surprised for me: "Mumbai at 13:00 is the center of the business world" and the US is a timezone outlier. Well, rock my world!

Carmel and Espinoza have data, not arguments about whether there is delay and performance degradation about geographically distributed teams. Their answer? Yes, there is delay for distributed teams. There is performance degradation. Can you manage around it? Yes. You need to do some planning, around the calendar time you meet, identifying the scattertime in your organization, the zoners, and the timeshifting and who will do it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some good practical tips March 20, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am just in the process of setting up offices in a couple of foreign companies and this has lots of tips to help me do it well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Distance is dead, but time zones are not! April 23, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do not 100% agree that the issue of distance no longer exists; however I agree time zones are here to stay! According to the authors of, "I'm working while they're sleeping", we do not have a problem communicating across distances because there are so many tools available to ease this process, however, issue of differences in time is still there and will remain. Even some of the evidence the authors present in the book, on team dispersion versus productivity, refutes the claim that the issues of working across distances are all in the past. This part I did not get..... One of the examples given was the issues teams experience, even when they are located in the same building, efficiency still goes down......probably due to people thinking that less effort is needed if you are in the same building. I think we have all seen this, even with a difference in floors, in the same building, there tends to be knowledge on some floors that has not been dispersed to people on other floors. However, the authors gloss over this issue for the book, stating there are no more issues across distances, but rather concentrate on talking about the issues caused by time zone differences.

This is the third book which Erran Carmel has been an author on, which I have reviewed. Therefore I was anxious to take a closer look at it. For me it was the first book that I have seen, that concentrates chiefly on time zone differences. I am vacillating as to who is the best targeted audience for this book? After reading through, I am thinking it would be most beneficial to those who have already worked, at least once, with teams across many time zones.
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More About the Author

For almost two decades Erran Carmel has been studying the globalization of technology work, including global teams, offshoring of information technology, new kinds of global sourcing, and the emergence of software industries around the world. He has written two successful books. His 1999 book, "Global Software Teams," was the first on this topic and is considered a landmark in the field, helping many organizations take their first steps into distributed technology work. His second book, "Offshoring Information Technology," came out in 2005 and was popular in outsourcing courses around the world. His new book, I'm Working While They're Sleeping" came out in late 2011.

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