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The Power of Virtual Distance A Guide to Productivity and Happiness in the Age of Remote Work

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-04-21
  • Publisher: Wiley

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This revised second edition presents 15 years of data on Virtual Distance metrics and their predictive impact on organizational success factors shedding new light on how to correct for communication challenges that often show up as a foggy set of digital disconnects where the vitality of the virtual workforce often gets lost in transmission.

This still-evolving Digital Age conundrum continues to present new complications. The rise of remote work which rests on an increasing reliance on electronic communication and the overall growth of virtual interactions has led to the escalation of a phenomenon called Virtual Distance. Virtual Distance, which influences our behavior through three components Physical Distance, Operational Distance, and Affinity Distance affects not only how we relate to others thousands of miles away but even to co-workers sitting right next to each other!  Perhaps even more problematic, Virtual Distance causes measureable malfunctions in teamwork, innovation, leader effectiveness and overall performance. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Power of Virtual Distance offers specific, proven and predictable solutions that can reverse these trends and turn Virtual Distance into a unification strategy to capture untapped competitive advantage.


The Power of Virtual Distance, 2nd Edition is a must-read for leadership who want to understand the true and quantifiable costs of the virtual workplace.  For the first time ever, readers can take the guesswork out of managing the virtual workforce by applying a mathematical approach derived from the extensive Virtual Distance data set:  The Virtual Distance Ratio.   The Virtual Distance Ratio can precisely pinpoint the particular impacts of Virtual Distance on the organization’s critical success factors.  Beyond business metrics, Virtual Distance solutions also detail ways to restore meaningfulness and well-being into people’s experience of work, enhancing life lived in the Digital Age. The Power of Virtual Distance reveals an updated set of data, including the first award-winning analysis, collected from an extended range of executives to individual contributors, that represent situations and solutions in more than 36 industries in 55 countries across the globe. Readers will get a “first look” at the data and its revelations on how to be less isolated and more integrated.

Helping managers globally, this book: 

  • Offers new, real-world case studies and a chance for readers to participate in thought experiments to help with personal performance, group synergy and by extension, relationship dynamics of all kinds
  • Demonstrates (with statistically significant trend analyses) that Virtual Distance is growing at exponential rates in every corner of communities worldwide
  • Offers expert advice on how to manage the “unintended human consequences” of today’s digital technologies

Companies that successfully harness the power of Virtual Distance demonstrate better performance. The second edition of The Power of Virtual Distance is a valuable, one-of-a-kind resource for everyone – from the C-suite to human resource professionals; from divisional leaders to project managers.  Everyone in the organization can benefit by discovering how to improve financials, innovation, trust, employee engagement, satisfaction, organizational citizenship and other key performance indicators.  And perhaps best of all, by following the prescriptions on how to reduce Virtual Distance, the entire workforce will have the tools they need to bring about a revival of meaning, purpose and an enlivened sense of “humanhood” back into everyday work and everyday life.

Author Biography

DR. KAREN SOBEL LOJESKI is CEO of Virtual Distance International (VDI), a research-based predictive analytics and consulting firm specializing in measuring, mapping, and managing the impact of Virtual Distance in the workforce and beyond. She holds a BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Technology Management, Leadership, I/O Psychology and Innovation from Stevens Institute of Technology. Sobel Lojeski is affiliated with many academic institutions including the Stockholm School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and the Graduate School of Education, Institute for Advanced Study and Babson College.

RICHARD R. REILLY is Professor Emeritus at the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology. He is the co-author of Blockbusters: The Five Keys to Developing Great New Products.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xxv

Introduction: We are the Data 1

Chapter 1: The Road to Virtual Distance 37

Chapter 2: Redefining Distance 49

Chapter 3: Meeting Virtual Distance 67

Chapter 4: Measuring Virtual Distance 97

Chapter 5: Mapping Virtual Distance 123

Chapter 6: Managing Virtual Distance 147

Chapter 7: Redefining Teams 183

Chapter 8: Virtual Distance and Technology 199

Chapter 9: Reimagining Innovation 223

Chapter 10: Soul-Based Leadership – An Introduction 239

Appendix A: Virtual Distance and Neuroscience: A Different Perspective 269

Appendix B: Notes on Survey Research Methodology and Virtual Distance 295

Appendix C: Expanded List of Project Descriptions 305

Index 333

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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