Virtual time zones

With so many people working remotely, it is becoming more normal for colleagues to work across large distances. On a recent workday I found myself juggling meetings across five different time zones.

Suppose you are working at a company where most of your co-workers are clustered in a single time zone, but you are somewhere else in the world. For them it may be morning, whereas for you it is late afternoon or nighttime.

Until recently this would have marked you as an outlier — the one member of the team who is not showing up in person to the staff meeting. But now, in the age of COVID-19, everybody is working from home.

So it might make sense for you to virtually adjust your time zone. Right now that would be awkward, but with advances in AR and VR technology, it might become easier, and even commonplace.

People might choose to shift, during parts of their work week, into virtual time zones. During those times, the sun will rise and set when you find it convenient to do so.

This might be very good, or very bad. Or maybe both. :-)

4 Responses to “Virtual time zones”

  1. Alistair says:

    Shift workers have been playing this game for a while now.

    Though it is easy to adjust the light in your factory or home, the commute is a pain. I remember driving home, ready for bed only to watch the sun rise during the drive. By the time I got home, I was wide awake again.

  2. Luiz Velho says:

    Definitely both! -L.

  3. Adrian says:

    This was a premise of the novel _Eastern Standard Tribe_, by Cory Doctorow.

  4. Ruofei Du says:

    I personally think it not good – working hours seem to span way longer than expected to effectively collaborate with people in Europe and Asia. But if everyone refines the 8 hours, it becomes harder to find the overlapping time.

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