Tomorrow’s edition of my company newsletter (http://www.geometrick.com/newsltr_signup.htm) talks about why it seems that you can’t find local consultants; or, if you’re a consultant, why so many people work so far away.
Just by chance, I happen to be working for a project that is on a different continent than where I live. Fortunately, much of the work is done, virtually. Unfortunately, there are still many projects where all team members are required to come to the site, every day.
Some time ago, I wrote about the experiences we are having with this on the team I am on. There are definitely challenges that you don’t face when you’re sitting together but both the customer and the people on the project seem to have found both positive and negative aspects to different styles of working, and the biggest issue is that we seem to have taken this all seriously-enough that we are determined to be aware of and work through the issues.
For those people in our industry who insist that it’s not important to meet people face-to-face, our team found this to be absolutely false. We have found, and you will find this tip from many other sources, as well, that when you spend little to no time together, it is even more important to plan to meet on regular occasions. It is so much harder to build rapport and trust without doing that.
From my own past experience, too, even when I am doing work that does not involve working in a team, it is useful to meet the customer, initially, before going off to do whatever consulting work needs to be done. With that said, it is no guarantee, either, and there is still room for a person to smile at you and seem sincere but to go off and not to right by your project. Trust doesn’t just happen – it is built over time.