I don’t know about you, but video conferencing got real this year. Google Hangouts or Skype it doesn’t matter. Videoconferencing became an extension of the table versus a remote connection.
I’ve been using IM, Audio Chat, Video chat since I was a teenager. They have all felt like I was having a distant conversation. Which was still great, because without connections we lack humanity, but they we’re all cold forms of communication.
Now though, with Google Hangouts HD video, and I think a general permeation of video. I can have a conversation with another human being over video that feels as if we’re sitting at the same table. At times I can almost forget that we aren’t in the same place.
If it’s not just me, but others as well, then it could have a large impact on remote working, and tele-presence. Given that you can have real conversations now thats one less thing remote workers can’t do.
If I were to work on a distributed team in the future I would seriously consider looking at always on versions of these tools to see if you can’t also get back some of that inter-office banter.