Jason Zimdars in a post on Signal vs. Noise called, Embracing Slow Time:
People who struggle to work remotely often bemoan the lack of in-person collaboration jumping from this tool to that tech in an effort to recreate the magic that only happens when we’re all in the same room. There are definitely advantages to face time, but too often it seems like facial expressions and waving arms are substituted for clear thought and courtesy.
I’m a big fan of using remote tools to carry out work in teams that are separated by physical space or different schedules. Churches have to work this way, I’m convinced, because they involve staff and volunteers whose schedules vary. But, not everyone is eager to work in a remote environment. I understand the reluctance to learn Yet Another Tool™, but what I resent is exactly what Jason Zimdars points out in this post, namely the fact that face-to-face meetings are often populated by otherwise reasonable people who come to meetings unprepared.
Remote work, which usually requires effective writing, has the potential to make our work better. Writing requires the participant to put thought into the work in advance. By its nature remote work forces the issue; preparation becomes mandatory.
I think face-to-face meetings are incredibly effective, but only if the participants have put time and effort into preparation. Remote collaboration in advance of a meeting makes the most of the limited availability of face-to-face time and reduces the likelihood that someone will show up to a meeting without first giving it some thought.
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