a congregation (jama'ah) cannot be achieved without physical presence in prayer, be it for the daily obligatory prayers or the friday prayer. the evidences are in quran and authentic sunnah. i will try to clarify, insha Allah.
Allah the mighty and sublime revealed in quran;
"When you (O Muhammad) are among them and lead them in the prayer (Salat), let one party of them stand up (in Salat) with you"
this verse was revealed in regard to prayer while in fear (eg-in a battle field etc)
therein, Allah, the Most High, decreed congregational salat while in fear or on a journey; hence, congregational prayer during the period of safety and residency (not traveling) should be more mandatory. thus making a congregation is encouraged in even such times.
(refference : tafsir ibn kathir)
let us look at the authentic narrations regarding performing jama'ah and how physical presence is the basis and the virtues of it. every good deed is done with the hope of getting rewarded by Allah the most merciful.
01 - Narrated
Abdullah bin Umar:
The reward of the congregational prayer is twenty seven times greater (than that of the prayer offered by a person alone).
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 649
02 - It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:
"The Messenger of Allah said: 'The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are the 'Isha' prayer and the Fajr prayer. If only they knew what (reward) there is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.'"
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)
Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 797
these hadith establishes the superiority of praying in congregation and the higher virtues behind it. the most compelling hadith regarding praying in congregation is in sahih bukhari.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is I was about to order for collecting firewood (fuel) and then order Someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer and then order someone to lead the prayer then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (compulsory congregational) prayer. By Him, in Whose Hands my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat present in between two ribs, he would have turned up for the `Isha' prayer.'
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 644
from the above mentioned it is very clear that praying in congregation (required physical presence) is a must for all obligatory prayers. you have to be present in person in order to be part of a jama'ah.
now i'll mention why a congregation cannot be achieved without physical presence, insha Allah. there are numerous hadith that gives evidence to it. firstly a congregations essence is making rows, standing in prayer. there are certain rules and guidelines in authentic sunnah for how we have to form rows in a jama'ah. these cannot be achieved without physical presence. unless these criteria be met, it cannot be considered a congregation. (please keep in mind we are relating only about making a congregation for prayer)
01 - It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 690; Muslim, 433. According to another report narrated by al-Bukhaari (723): “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of establishing prayer.”
02 - It was narrated that Abu Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to touch our shoulders when we were praying and he would say: “Make the rows straight and do not differ, lest your hearts differ.” Narrated by Muslim, 432.
03 - It was narrated that al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to straighten our rows, as if he was straightening the shaft of an arrow, until he saw that we had learned it. Then he came out one day and was about to say the takbeer, when he noticed a man whose chest was sticking out from the row. He said: “Slaves of Allaah! Make your rows straight or Allaah will cause discord among you.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 717; Muslim, 436.
these are certian criteria that cannot be achieved unless the person is present physically. so much emphasis is laid upon making jama'ah and straightening of rows (here by straightening of rows, i mean physical presence).
i believe its worthy to mention the hadith of the blind man here. from it we can further see how much our beloved prophet P.B.U.H, wanted us to attend the prayer in person.
Abu Huraira reported:
There came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) a blind man and said: Messenger of Allah, I have no one to guide me to the mosque. He, therefore, asked. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) permission to say prayer in his house. He (tee Holy Prophet) granted him permission. Then when the man turned away he called him and said: Do you hear the call to prayer? He said: Yes. He (the Prophet then) said: Respond to it.
[Reference : Sahih Muslim 653]
may Allah grant you mercy and guide you to the straight path.
Allah knows best.