Zach Holman writes on how chat is superior to meetings for most things that businesses do. From the description, Github sounds extremely similar to how Automattic operates. We’ve been going a slightly different direction though: after 7 years of essentially no meetings, many teams have started to incorporate more regular Google Hangouts in addition to their few-time-a-year in-person meetups. I’m curious to see how these evolve, right now my theory is these are largely to restore some of the social connectedness you lose when working remotely, with the pleasant side benefit of occasionally knocking out issues or decisions that high-bandwidth communication can facilitate better.

3 thoughts on “Chat Trumps Meetings

  1. Chat trumps meetings? Maybe. Depends on what your business is. Depends on your corporate culture. Depends on whether you’re working with highly verbal people, or highly visual people, or whatever. Depends on whether you’re a business Platonist for whom there will be One Right Way of doing things, or a business Aristotelian who looks at what actually works in the real world.

  2. We also had a fair share of Google Hangouts with some of the people working on WordPress 3.5 this cycle. Sometimes it was to get quick feedback and get on the same page (screen sharing is a win there). Other times, we’d break off to go work on our individual tasks, but keep the hangout going in the background in case we got stuck and needed someone to unstick us. It’s less disruptive than an in person meeting. There’s no relocation. People can jump in and drop off as needed without there being as much of a social “oh, you’re leaving this meeting” stigma. Screen sharing is probably superior to in person meetings (almost to the point that in person meetings should start using this to share screens instead of fiddling with projectors).