I am certainly a believer that much can be accomplished remotely. Actually I am doing more and more to help my clients remotely, and we are achieving substantial results — and significant returns on investment. However, that doesn't replace in-person communication 100%. There is a time when communication is most effective in person. For starters, it is quite the challenge to develop a relationship upfront if you haven't met your colleague. This is probably the most critical in-person communication. After you've met him/her and developed a relationship, a lot can be accomplished through various communication channels.
For example, I went to a networking event last night to watch the UNC game. That is certainly not something that can be accomplished via Skype! Although a depressing end result for a UNC alumnus, it was an enjoyable evening. I talked with old friends, work colleagues and met some new and interesting people. Sure, I might have called a few of these folks to talk eventually; however, it wouldn't be the same. You cannot replace this type of in-person communication. Do you value in-person communications when it makes sense?
One tip to implement this week:
The great news is that there is a really easy yet effective tip for this week's topic. The next time you think about typing an email response or sending a text message to someone in the next office and you haven't talked with them in the last week, get up and go talk with him or her instead. Give in-person communication a try. I bet your effort will not go unnoticed. If you work in a different office, pick up the phone. It is amazing what a difference a call can make.