Need to meet: Presence and Absence

As a sociologist going into all these companies, it is interesting for Upadhya to think about presence and absence. Of course there are various ways one has an immediate boss, who is there physically and sees what the workers are doing.

There is a client or a remote manager who is in another place and with that person one interacts via phone, Internet, email. Often all are brought together in the same networked system of machines. But then many people say that it is really hard to do a whole project like this. There are certain points in which you need to have this face-to-face communication’. And people feel this very strongly, Upadhya noticed. It is usually in the beginning and at the end of the project that people want to meet. In the beginning they are planning and designing or get the requirements. When clients give the specifications that is always face-to-face. And then at the end it is often what they call ‘post mortem’, everything that went wrong in the project, people sit together and figure that out.