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comment by _refugee_
_refugee_  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to Self Quarantine

I agree that there is absolutely nothing like being in person. klein's point about the increased expense of developing more software to simulate in-person is a good one. I work with people in person as much as possible.

There's another element of being in person that isn't touched on, so far in this thread. It's all of those easy, quick, innate interactions that just don't happen when you're virtual, and I don't care how many chats or Slack channels or whatever you built to try to replace them. When I'm in person at the office and I know Jack is an expert on x or y and Jack's in the office, it's so very easy to walk over to his desk and have a quick conversation with Jack. It's not easy to do that virtually. I can look over to his desk and see if he's there or not. If he's there, I can see if he looks busy or not. When we have the conversation, unlike a discussion over chat, our discussion isn't reduced to a series of questions where Jack is simply trying to answer whatever I put before him.

I've worked full time from home and I've worked full time at the office. I do think a job where you can have a healthy mix of both is good -- people need flexibility in their lives for various reasons -- but I also think that, if I can, I want to be in the office 4 out of 5 days a week or so. I want to be managed by someone who I interact with in person at least once a month if possible. When I become a manager, I want to manage a team in person. I've seen work relationships that never clicked and it was in large part due to failures encouraged by two people not being in the same location.

You can make it work if you're not in person, but it's so much more difficult to do so.