One of the common myths of fully distributed companies – companies where 100% of the people work from home – is that people imagine employees never meet in person.
Distributed companies do meet face to face, and it’s actually one of the key elements to make fully distributed companies work. The meetings are planned and structured to allow people to come together in a way that’s productive. Face to face time isn’t a continuous activity like in an office, it’s a periodical activity.
Meeting in person has loads of benefits, but primarily it boosts all the aspects that are more difficult to channel through purely digital means (at least for now). The primarily reason to meet in person isn’t to work, but to socialize. Knowing the colleagues, their tone of voice, their mannerism, facilitates every further dialogue that will happen online later on. Sarcasm, humour, dry sentences, can be then interpreted in a lighter and more conscious way, leading to better communication overall. Work can be done too, since there are activities and discussions that are more effective in person, but it’s almost secondary in importance.