This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

How Time Zones Affect Global Businesses When your biz spans the globe, it might not feel like time is on your side.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Harry Tsao and Talmadge O'Neill wrap up work in Los Angeles, their employees in Shanghai are just getting started. "At 6 p.m. our time, it's 10 a.m. their time," says Tsao, co-founder with O'Neill of Mezimedia Inc., a 110-person creator of online shopping tools that had $7.4 million in 2005 sales.

For Tsao, 35, and O'Neill, 38, it's hard to have many real-time conversations with the company's product developers in Shanghai or its sales office in Tokyo. Unless a problem arises during the few hours their workdays overlap, resolution often gets delayed. "What would normally be resolved in a three-minute conversation can be postponed 24 to 48 hours," Tsao says.

That's just one way the long, strange workday of the 21st century can throw sand in the gears. As the number of time zones your operation crosses approaches the double digits, cultural norms and biological imperatives mean somebody--often the entrepreneur--is working all day, every day. Breakfast in Silicon Valley is dinnertime in London, and Sunday is no holiday in Israel.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In