8Virtual Distance and Technology

A lot has changed since our first version of this book was published. Mobile devices continue to become more feature rich. Platforms for video conferencing have also evolved and provide low-cost alternatives that have largely been used instead of meeting in person. The speed of technology has increased to the point where we now have 5G networks facilitating communications in new ways.

Despite all of these changes in technology we are still people. Virtual Distance is a people-based issue and technology does not solve people challenges – people solve people challenges. It's true that technology enables virtual work. However, we mustn't lose sight of this most important point.

In the first edition we were encouraged to include a chapter about the use of technology in the workplace and how people might leverage tools to help their Virtual Distance initiatives.

However, we want to emphasize that we are not recommending technology as a solution to reduce Virtual Distance. A heightened awareness, the Virtual Distance metrics and all of the strategies and tactics we've discussed so far form the foundation for how to reduce the affects of high Virtual Distance and leverage its power as a unifying concept all over the world. Having stated that, we've kept the chapter intact in this edition, because the main points about how to use technology in support of Virtual Distance strategies, still apply.

Concepts such as social presence and media richness maintain ...

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