The Wall Street Journal’s story on the officeless office points to a larger trend that goes beyond the issue of cubicle timesharing: employees are spending less time together as companies are less and less defined by a physical location.

The “extended enterprise” is creating a gap in employee communication. Workers have less face time with their management and peers, and fewer hallway conversations. They miss out on the clarity, camaraderie¬†and serendipity that comes with proximity. Add to that time-shifting due to increasingly global work teams and you have people that are less connected.

This is a soft problem, but a significant one. Connection and synergy are needed now more than ever as change accelerates and business cycle times compress.

This is one reason many companies are adopting video as a corporate-wide communication tool. Enterprise video portals (like Rimage’s Qumu Video Control Center) act as a corporate YouTube, with live streamed webcasts that are also viewable on demand wherever a worker happens to be.

Videos are being used top-down by leaders, and peer-to-peer to get the work done. They provide much richer engagement for employees separated by time and distance.

Don’t let your focus on workplace efficiency compromise the effectiveness of your most important asset – your team.

Photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.