Virtual Distance Model
Virtual distance is a perceived or psychological distance that grows when we rely heavily on electronic communications like email. Virtual Distance has significant and negative impacts on the subjects leaders care about most like innovation, performance and so much more.Virtual Distance does not arise from physical distance. In fact, Virtual Distance is most severe when there is a lot of noise in the system day-to-day and when people’s fundamental relationships either break down or never even get a chance to develop. We are all familiar with examples of this: colleagues who sit right next to each other but use email to communicate or people who text each other across a table in a restaurant.Leaders continue to mistakenly believe that virtual workers are only those that telecommute, are somehow remote, or operate in a distributed environment. Instead, we need to understand that all professional people are virtual workers and therefore, Virtual Distance exists to some degree in all corners of the workplace.
To minimize Virtual Distance one has to:
  • Raise awareness and become familiar with Virtual Distance
  • Measure Virtual Distance and its impact
  • Map Virtual Distance where it matters most
  • Manage Virtual Distance on a continuous basis

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