[ Warning: Sarcasm Alert ] Friends, gamers, countrymen. I come to bury virtual collaboration, not to praise it. Outsourcing, virtual collaboration, remote workers — the buzzwords of the game industry these days. But it’s not for everyone, and here’s a few reasons why it’s not for you.
1. Outsourcing only works for art
Certainly, we have seen many companies outsourcing art both near and far, but the benefits end there. In fact, most best practices on outsourcing come only from art. No one has actually applied them in other arenas, such as in this article on writing.
2. Your company culture will get hosed
You are all about getting together and playing ping-pong after work with your co-workers. If people don’t show up at work, all that jolly team spirit will disappear. Sure, building remote systems into your company culture, such as playing games, meeting virtually, and having fun mailing lists, do work, but not for you.
3. Remote workers don’t actually work as much as in-house workers
When your artist is sitting at his desk, you know he’s working and not surfing MySpace. When your designer is at the office until 10pm, you know it’s because she’s been grinding on that design doc, and not spending half the day goofing off. On the other hand, as soon as they go home, who knows what they’re up to. And evaluating results rather than hours worked as many suggest in this article is really not the best plan for you.
Clearly, if you need to see your workers working, only believe art outsourcing has been successful, and believe your company culture will dissolve if workers only come in once a week or year, then virtual collaboration is not for you. However, maybe, just maybe, with a bit of a designer’s mentality, you can create an environment that makes it both fun and productive to work remotely. But that’s up to you.
What are some other great reasons why virtual collaboration is not for you? Comment with your answer!