Time Zones

It’s amazing what a difference two hours makes. You wouldn’t think it, but that seemingly small difference in schedules is enough to really change how you interact with people. As I spend time in the Mountain Time Zone this week I find it quite difficult to communicate with colleagues and friends.

With the amazing connectivity that the Internet affords us you’d think a two hour difference in schedules wouldn’t matter, but it can be huge. If anything it’s almost easier to interact via asynchronous methods like message boards, because you don’t really notice a gap in response times nearly as much as you do when someone sends you a message on their lunch break and you can’t get back to them for hours, or what should be a quick call to a colleague quickly turns into a drawn out dialogue because they left for the day so now you’re playing phone tag.

While communicating with colleagues is one problem, it can really take a toll on personal relationships. It just makes things seem all the more disjointed when you not only realize you can’t get together, but you also have to remember that the other party may not be awake to reply to your message or answer your call.

I guess that’s why most of the people I talk with regularly are only an hour off in time zone. One hour is pretty doable, but two or more and it becomes strained.


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