It is actually possible to have npcs move in real time through scenes even if the player is elsewhere:
When you create an action area in a scene you can set the triggered action to be "always active". Through that you can move npcs from scene to scene, you just have to set up action areas for them as well to get around (you can build that pretty much like you do with the player-character for switching scenes). To create a timed cycle you would need an action that is looped permanently and raises a value, e.g. "hours_of_the_day". If the value reaches 9 you trigger the morning routine, when it reaches 17 you trigger the evening routine, when it reaches 24 you reset it to 0.
It's still quite some work, but a great feature. I build an invisible alien following the player through a maze and even i, as the developer, dont know most of the times where it is.
It gets a bit tricky when a scene or a part of a scene is visible from another scene, like when you have a closeup view and a distance view of something, then you have to "fake" npc-movements when the character switches scenes.