Meeting Virtual Distance
In Chapter 1, we talked about distance and the major role it plays. As we discussed, Virtual Distance can impede effective collaboration in the Digital Age. Virtual Distance can be described as a feeling—a sense one gets of being psychologically far away from others. It’s different than other kinds of distance in that it has qualities that are derived from both real distance, like physical separation, and perceived spaces that develop from social gaps, as well as day-to-day attempts to balance enormous amounts of work with building meaningful relationships.
As we will see later on, Virtual Distance can cause havoc with financial results, innovation as well as other important aspects of work. But first it’s important to understand what contributes to this sense of separation among us. This chapter introduces you to specific facets of Virtual Distance and provides a foundation on which solutions can be developed to increase performance, improve trust, enhance innovation, and get better bottom-line results from the virtual workforce.
The chief information officer (CIO) of a large international bank had been struggling for many years to understand what was working and what wasn’t among his virtual workforce. During that time, he’d developed a large pool of virtual workers including in-house staff housed in distributed and sometimes remote locations throughout the world as well as low-cost development resources from outsourcing companies throughout ...

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