I've done a lot of telecommuting in my life. My first real writing gig came when I was 16 as a freelancer for a computer magazine whose offices were 3,000 miles from my house, and since then I've worked for a number of blogs, web startups, and computer game companies in an online, virtual office environment. During that time I've found that the key to a successful distributed team is communication. The difference between the ventures that failed and those that succeeded was how well set up the communication structure was for the team.
We all love Basecamp, which I think is an invaluable app for distributed teams (we use it here at Read/WriteWeb). It's a superb way to communicate and keep track of every facet of your project. But back when I started telecommuting, there was no Basecamp, so we had to cobble together our own solution, mostly from opensource software. These days, there are is even more great software available to teams who want to assemble their own virtual office. Below are some of the tools every team needs to create their own Fakecamp.