Whenever you write a text or email, you lose body language cues and tone can be implied/perceived incorrectly. Some people “hide” behind texts and emails on purpose because of how things can be misconstrued. Case in point: ever met someone in person, but they were overly nasty or sexual with their online communication?
I don’t get sexually harrassed at work, but I’m easily overlooked if I depend solely on written communication.
As a technical writer, I’m somewhat of an intermediary between product management (what the product is marketed to do) and software development (how the product actually works). I have to mitigate software bugs in the customer documentation I produce.
At professional conferences, I’ve given a presentation titled “The Invisible Writer” to discuss how tech writers are easily ignored or overlooked, especially those like me who permanently telecommute. I also understand how busy everyone is, but we all have a job to do, and my job of documenting features and benefits of our products is not “beneath” or less important than that of my PM or R&D colleagues.
Making periodic on-site visits and establishing relationships with people helps greatly with building rapport, especially when it comes to low-touch, high-info personalities and environments which are the nature of my information technology background.
How do you keep positive working relationships with people you don’t interact with often?