A Strong Remote Team

Most of the Referential team is located in the Bay Area so we can see each other face to face frequently.   We do have part of the team located remotely, in both other parts of the US and Europe.  It’s important to us to have a strong sense of teamwork and communication is key.  There’s plenty of email and instant messaging.   We’ve been using Skype for team meetings, nice to see everyone’s face.  The conversation is so much richer when you can see gestures and facial expressions.  Decisions are made quickly and confusion is minimized.   It’s also nice to see everyone’s work environment.  Easy to do an office tour via Skype.   You get a better sense of the person when you can see things like the family photos on the desk or the dog in the corner.   What have you found to be most effective in communicating with remote coworkers?