How to Make Distance Work Work

You very likely work with someone off-site. Research from the Institute of Corporate Productivity stated in 2008 that 67 percent of the companies surveyed felt their reliance on virtual teams would grow in the next few years. For larger companies, this figure rose to 80 percent. Even in academics, work is not solitary by any means. The proportion of papers at CHI 2013 that were coauthored by people not from the same institution is an amazing 53 percent. To accomplish distance work, people typically manage a string of emails with Word document attachments with Track Changes on, talk via audio or video conference, and use Google Docs and Dropbox for sharing files. There is discussion about whose turn it is and when one person will get back to another because no one can see what’s going on at the other location. And though this succeeds in some sense, it is not easy. Distance matters.

Judith Olson and Gary Olson reflect on over 20 years of research into remote work. Read the full article here.

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