We are not often working directly together on the same piece of paper, the same stack of incoming forms, or the same keyboard. Instead, we are all in chat or email or some sort of online document editor. Tools like Tap and Tuple are getting more and more popular, even for people in the same physical location, to work through problems or do reviews. And how many articles have been written recently like “Hybrid Work Is the New Remote Work.”
In almost every office I’ve worked in or visited, there have been a lot of 🎧 being used to isolate and focus. In many situations it’s considered impolite to physically interrupt someone; instead it’s polite to send a digital message like “hey, do you want to get lunch?” which can more easily be ignored or quickly replied to. I’m personally excited to use the upcoming iOS 15 Focus Modes feature when it’s released.
You and I are already working remotely, even when we are physically near our colleagues.
Often we need to “time-shift” our communication, even if someone is physically nearby. And having communication written or recorded makes it easy to consume at anytime, possibly multiple times to try to better understand each other, and by future new team members trying to get up to speed.
I was recently reminded of something related in “Distributed Work” published by MIT Press (p. 143) about the problems with physical-only collaboration:
… when conversation is initiated in person, the people must be simultaneously present.
A second problem with physical proximity for initiating communication is that the opportunistic and spontaneous communication that it supports is not always welcomed. Physical proximity leads to interruptions and loss of privacy…
Finally, physical proximity by definition privileges communication with people who are nearby. But in many cases, these are the wrong people to communicate with to get productive work done.
Digital tools can help us collaborate better, no matter if we are in the same room or on different continents. One of our most important goals for Shareup is to help you easily share what you need with anyone, no matter if they are near or far. We can work together with less stress both when physically together and when apart. If you are interested in trying out our initial “alpha version” of Shareup soon, then signup below and we will email you as soon as it’s ready.
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