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I'm Working While They're Sleeping: Time Zone Separation Challenges and Solutions by [Carmel, Erran, Espinosa, J. Alberto]
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I'm Working While They're Sleeping: Time Zone Separation Challenges and Solutions Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 186 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ERRAN CARMEL is an Associate Professor at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington DC.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4570 KB
  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Nedder Stream Press (November 23, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 23, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006DKCVMQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot even being to tell you how disappointed I am with this book. Not for the content but for the quality of the physical book. I started reading it tonight and every time I turn a page it falls out. At this rate I'm going to just have an entire book of loose pages. Not happy
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is specifically targeted for knowledge workers and their managers, but the book will captivate a much wider audience. If you are human, then you likely struggle with time. As Anthony Giddens wrote, "Time is the most enigmatic feature of human experience ". Humans find the construct of time intriguing and perplexing. Is time an objective structure, part of the fundamental fabric of the universe? Or is time a subjective structure, part of our fundamental cognitive processes? In the past 3,000 years, we have struggled to measure local time (think sun dials and Stonehenge). And in modern times, we struggle to coordinate time. This book allows one to revel in the notions of time, how to manage time, and how to coordinate time with others. Readers will find themselves empathizing with the rich anecdotes of interrupted work schedules, missed meetings, and the frustrations of coordinating work with people in different time zones. Readers learn, based on ten years of research, that the promise of "follow the sun" rarely works in practice. Time is stubborn. Among the book's many lessons, my favorite is the new vocabulary I now possess to describe my personal coping strategy: scattertime. If you are human and struggle with time, you will devour this book.
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