At a recent team meeting four out of eleven developers missed the meeting. None of them planned ahead of time to miss the meeting, and all of them were a little surprised when I mentioned it to them.
Three of the four who missed the meeting are not collocated anywhere near the bulk of the team. They are on other floors or in other buildings. The one developer who was located with everyone else was simply heads down coding. I’m willing to bet that if all of the developers were located together chances are all but maybe one would have made the meeting. A host of developers walking by your cube is a good reminder.
So colocation is even helpful for team meetings. After I realized we were missing quite a few people I dismissed the idea of trying to round people up and assumed things had probably come up. Running around to another building and another floor for a 30 minute meeting just isn’t worth it. The distance barrier makes it difficult to take action to resolve a simple problem.
Anyway not really that big of a deal, but another little lesson on the value of sitting near your neighbors.