Many teams in today’s world work across time zones. This means that they have to deal with temporal offsets – not everyone is available at the same times. Temporal offsets pose challenges to communication and collaboration in teams. This simulation exemplifies these challenges and provides a classroom experience to form the base to discuss (a) different modes of communication, (b) how to use synchronous and asynchronous time most effectively, and (c) the different roles individual members in a temporally distributed team have to play to make it succeed. In the simulation, participants take the role of a consulting team to solve a problem for the client. To find the correct solution, they have to exchange and integrate unique information provided to each of them. Time zone differences are simulated by assigning participants to different “locations” / time zones and splitting their time into “awake” time during which they can engage with the team and the task and “asleep” time during which they can’t. The geography of the team is set up such that the whole team is never “awake” at the same time.

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RSM Case Development Centre

Based on field research; 4 pages
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Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Mell, J.N. (2022). Collaborating Across Time Zones: A Low-Tech Simulation (D&E). RSM Case Development Centre. Retrieved from

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