Between the email, instant messaging, mobile phones, and video conferencing, it’s a wonder that any of us leave the house, much less leave the office. And while modern technology does make it easier to maintain relationship without face-to-face interaction, it doesn’t mean that we can’t benefit from pressing the flesh.In a recent essay posted to Slate columnist Tim Harford presented what he calls “the distance paradox.” He argues that while networking and communication technology offer the illusion that travel and face-to-face contract are becoming archaic, in fact the opposite is true.
“e-mail, Internet networking, and cheap phone calls have made it easy to maintain a lot of relationships. In principle, some of the relationships could be restricted to cyberspace, but how much fun is that? The same e-mail that allows you to maintain long-distance business relationships also creates demand for more travel and more conferences as people try to establish those relationships in the first place. Mobile phones, Web mail, and BlackBerrys also make travel less costly because it is easier to keep working on the move.”
If you buy his argument, there’s more business travel in your future, not less. Read Harford’s full post: “The Distance Paradox.”