Real connection – real progress – is about presence and proximity. This even applies in businesses. Google talks about it below (From the Google Blog).
Traders in the same location tend to make the same trades at the same time. The trades of cubemates within a small radius is the best predictor we found. By using a record of historical office changes, we could observe that the correlation begins shortly after people are seated nearby. It makes sense, because the physical proximity enables easy communication. As Eric Schmidt (our CEO) and Hal Varian (now our Chief Economist) advised in 2005: “The best way to make communication easy is to put team members within a few feet of each other. No telephone tag, no e-mail delay, no waiting for a reply.” As you can see below, our finding about the importance of proximity holds, even once we account for many other factors.
This is stepping past what they were discussing, but I really believe that intimacy comes in moments. We get close to people over a long period of time, but it’s just because it takes a long time of having fun together, building trust, and spending our lives together for those moments to happen that bind us. It’s those memories of moments of laughter, of pain, of life-changing realizations.
Sometimes, the most important factor in connection is simply presence.