I love this story and absolutely agree. I remember experiencing a similar “Aha” moment in the office. We were sending emails back and forth to people who were only a floor away (no Slack at that time). So, why were we in an office together?
I will admit that there are times that getting together in person facilitates collaboration and allows for more nuance in the discussion. As much as my current colleagues and I happily rely on Zoom and Slack, there are times that we talk over each other, deal with lag, and hit subtle snags due to the limitations of the tech. But, this will all get better.
I still think teams benefit from getting together occasionally and “breaking bread.” It’s creates a deeper human connection, and I always experienced better relationships with my remote teams after we had spent time together working, eating, drinking, and laughing. There are real cultural, bonding benefits. But, these can be monthly or quarterly events, while the majority of your daily work is remote.