As I sit down to write with my freshly brewed cup of Red Apple coffee with the music I want to hear playing in the background, I realise that working in isolation with a dispersed team isn't all that bad.
Ludi is based in Vancouver, and we have developers in New York, a little hamlet in the north of England, and now in Seattle.
There are certainly challenges to working in a distributed team, many of which I touched on when I began my MA in Virtual Communication out of RMIT in Melbourne. This course came to be as a result of many, many corporates in the world grappling with issues of trust, motivation and competence in their global teams.
For an individual working in a small team of less that ten, presumably the issues are easier to manage... personally, I feel a need to rely more heavily on personal reporting and accountability, and we have a number of tools in place (Phone, wiki, blog, email, IMs) to stay in touch with each other.
Apart from all the technological tools which certainly aid my endeavours, I find it very simple to detach myself from those when I think about the effectiveness of my work. I can see it terms of offline endeavour. Am I motivated? Do I like my team mates? Do I enjoy the work? Yes, yes and yes.
To me this is more important than cables and the internet. If you want to work, it doesn't matter where you are.