Future-Exit-Sign-000018627375XSmallI posted this a couple of days ago – partly because I liked the article referenced in the drill down – and partly because there are some changes going in in the workplace of yours truly that is making me think about the practicality of this brave new world ….

Looks like it prompted someone else to start thinking as well – and I thought that I would reference her comments below …

Have to say – I see her point – we sometimes forget the power of the ‘water cooler’ meetings. i think that is why people who work by themselves still go out and seek collaboration spaces like these in San Francisco.

I agree that now anyone can access information almost anywhere in the world and you can connect with anyone via phones/skype and social media.

That being said, the article doesn’t address the power of building team cohesion and fast tracking skills and knowledge by having team members physically located together in the same place where they can gather face to face, share knowledge, bounce ideas between one another sharing/seeing expressions & body language, plus building team cooperation by physically being together in the same room.

Consider your presence at the end of day upstairs with co-workers shooting pool and sharing a beer. That level of intimacy can’t be shared & built upon with everyone sitting in their home offices in front of a screen. That level of trust and involvement comes from being physically in the same space, sharing news bits and/or brainstorming at the coffee machine, in a room together, and standing together in front of a shared screen to kick around ideas. In virtual teams, trust seems to develop more readily at the ‘task’ level than at the interpersonal level which can result in team members not knowing one another and no longer referring to the company as “we”.

I agree the workplace is growing in popularity and it’s where the future is headed, plus it offers a myriad of benefits, I’m just conscious of the potential flipside and possible pitfalls.