Thanks for the comments so far. I find extremely interesting the varying opinions regarding staying in touch on virtual teams. While Matt talks about the possible pitfalls of team members “going dark” for a few days, Frantisek describes a situation where checking in once a week is acceptable. I think these variations are a perfect example of some of the issues I covered under the article section “Respecting Others’ Communication Styles”. And Frantisek also points out that different jobs and roles may require different levels of communication.
I personally have had more experiences similar to Matt’s, and I tend to like to talk to team members pretty often. So, as project manager on a Web dev job, I’m likely to want to hear from people at least once a day, whether it’s via IM, e-mail, VOIP, conference call or whatever. Sometimes I multitask, holding an IM conversation while writing an e-mail or talking on Skype.
At any rate, the whole virtual team method of working is still in its infancy, and it will be a long while before we’re able to figure out its best practices. But, it won’t be a dull ride.