day 2548: Distance Working

“Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.

The communication technology tools that are becoming available to all of us with ease and affordability are amazing. We think nothing now of setting up a video conference as simply as we once made a phone call. And, at no cost. It makes the possibility of distance working that much more realistic and exciting.  However, lets not be fooled into believing that the technology can replace the need for discipline and commitments that underpin the technology.  I’ve found that doing positive work over distance with technology can be very productive, but trying to resolve the negative or settle disputes, well that is a bit of a risk.  It’s hard enough to find commonality and agreement when under pressure and controversy when we are live with each other, much less allow technology to mask true feelings and honest evaluation of each other.  Thus, let’s be careful of how dependent we become on the technology so we don’t erode the need (and commitment) to keep our personal relationships strong.

Nehemiah was leading the building of the city walls when he realized that there was risk in not having the workers close enough to communicate and protect each other.  To protect themselves they would have had to watch out for each other by checking in or having a sign or calling to those along the wall line. Not unlike a military unit might do to ensure that everyone checks in to assure everyone is safe and okay.  I might suggest we could take a lesson from this as we work as ones trying bring our faith and glory to God through our jobs.  Are there those who are at a distance from us who could benefit from our check in and vice versa?  It may feel to some that they are on the battle lines today and that a direct, caring reach out communication could be just the thing they need today.

Reference: Nehemiah 4:19 (New Living Translation)