I understand. This is a tired topic, and I’ve not written on it for that reason. But in my reading this morning, a new and better reason for limiting virtual work presented itself.
Limit Virtual Work, Don’t End It
But first, some virtual work is good, especially for thought leaders and creatives. Some activities go better when we can isolate ourselves from the natural noise and interruptions of the office. When I need long periods to focus, think, and create, I like to get out of the office. Sometimes a change of venue is all I need, and a coffee shop works great. But sometimes the coffee shop is too distracting, so the home office becomes the place to focus.
With that disclaimer in place, here is why I think most of us need to get back to the office and limit our virtual work.
Why Getting Back to the Office is a Good Idea
We accomplish more when we work together in groups fused with trust and we develop trusting relationships by spending time together.
As amazingly helpful as a “Zoom” meeting can be in our busy and geographically distanced workplaces, they can’t replace the effect of in-person interactions. In-person interactions help form bonds of trust with people faster and stronger than we can through phone calls, email, or virtual meetings.
My point is that whenever possible virtual work should be limited to those times when we need to focus. That could be a small team working on a project out of the office. But it is not virtual. The location has just changed, perhaps for the same reason why I go to a coffee shop or my home office. Unless you are geographically hindered, your best bet for building relationships that make you, your team, and your company better is in-person work.
Virtual meetings help us get things done when we can’t meet and work in person, but you are making a big mistake if you are opting for 100% virtual work.