One of my directs and his four teams sit in a different building on the other side of campus. It takes ten minutes to get from my desk to his. The trip includes impossible parking and two security checks. Not difficult, just annoying.
First, should I allow a phone or webcam one-on-one? So far I have required face-to-face in my office. I could rotate to his office every other week, but I like the automatic location - nobody arrives at an empty office.
Second, should I allow the distant direct to call in for my staff meeting? So far I have required him to attend in person in the conference room next to my office. My distant direct does have a conference room we could use, but again I like the consistency of location.
Third, I have been scheduling 2-4 hours per week to sit "over there." This time is not for a scheduled meeting, rather for me to sit in an open cubicle and do work. The value I have seen so far is 1) face-to-face work questions from my direct and 2) random hallway conversations with my skips and their directs. This time has not been effective for "doing work" but does create conversations - which is step one toward my real goal of relationships. The questions: Should I sit "over there" at a regular time (every Wed from 8-noon for example) or keep it sporadic as I have been doing for the last month or does it matter? Will there come a point of diminishing return? I was originally planning on doing this for only a few months, but after a month I am inclined to make it permanent. Should I purposely schedule my time there to coincide with lunch?
I don't know if this is relevant, but my three other directs sit on the same floor as me and their offices are between my office and the kitchen. Even on a day when we have no meetings together, we are sure to bump into each and say hi. I have been following the guidance of a daily phone call (or pretty close), but have not yet implemented more frequent updates.