My company users an interoffice messenger. Recently, they are disabling the ability for users to upload pictures (we will then have the default shadow pictures). This is basically an "easy button" for them rather than try to manage/process this effectively.
The entire team I work with is remote and so we have difficulties in connecting already. Pictures are, at least anecdotally, a way to better develop a community and better relationship from teams that will never see each other face to face.
Is there research discussing the benefit of this sort of picture on the effectiveness of online collaboration?
I am referring to the picture in this image (from here):