1 Lab Group, 3 Time Zones

Time, its measurement and the effects on data are a central preoccupation of our lab group. It seems fitting then that this precision around defining time also has to be a feature of how we interact as a research team. Although the Laussen Labs group is based in Toronto, Ontario, core members live in 3 global time zones: Australian Eastern Time, Israel Standard Time and Eastern Time. This creates challenges in identifying optimal times to meet with adjustments being required for daylight savings. All of our meetings are virtual with members in Toronto with Danny Eytan in Haifa, Israel and Andrew Goodwin in Sydney, Australia. Virtual workspaces (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_workplace) are a growing trend in the workforce as a whole. We feel that this has the potential to greatly accelerate research collaboration and suspect that in the future more and more groups will routinely interact like ours. There is an interesting literature on this including the following references:

(1) Peters, L.M., & Manz, C. C. (2007).  Identifying antecedents of virtual team collaboration. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 13(3/4), 117-129.

(2) Quereshi, S., & Zigurs, I. (2001). Paradoxes and prerogatives in global virtual collaboration. Communications of the ACM, 44(12), 85-88.

We augment this with 6 monthly meetings where we all congregate in one place for a retreat to focus on the research and development objectives for the next 6 months. Our last retreat was in Toronto.