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> When I was at the office for a decade, 90% of the insight and productivity came from informal conversations in the hallway, lunches and things I overheard in passing. As a remote worker, nearly all communication is very deliberate so I am not exposed to those ad-hoc conversations. Everything is very deliberate: I receive an email, a text or a meeting. The net result is my personal career becomes very confined and stunted... I become that guy who does that one thing rather than a team-member who has an awareness of everything and the ability to jump in as needed.

As a remote worker this is very true. I actually took a trip down to the main office this week (first time in two years since I was hired on), and the amount of insight I gained from wandering the office, talking to managers and just interacting with people on the smoking patio (I've learned this is always the easiest place to get a pulse on what is going on in the company, smokers don't like sitting around with a group of people sucking down nicotine in dead silence, there's always conversation going on). I easily found 10 new projects we could put on the backlog, and that's being conservative.

Actually, after talking with my director about it I think I'm going to start taking trips down there a little more frequently - even so we do have fairly good communication over email, phone and IM to a couple of teams within the company we work closely with, and it has lead to some projects we otherwise wouldn't have done (rolled out Salesforce to a subset of users who were dying without a proper CRM trying to keep track of all of the people we need to contact at our clients when things go awry), but it's still a lot more limited than what I got done in a week of talking with people.

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