The endless debate over whether or not to offer your employees the option of telecommuting remains. While all parties agree that telecommuting is able to offer an improved work/life balance, many aren’t sure this is the right solution for their company. Due to the lack of investment in tools or training for these technologies, it makes sense that adoption and effective collaboration aren’t happening. Having the right tools in your hands make all the difference.
The size of the company or group using telepresence systems makes a difference as well. Working at a global company where offices are in California as well as China and Russia, it only makes sense for there to be a video conference option available. The communication and relationship building are simply not even in the same ballpark when you connect over phone or email versus a virtual “face-to-face” meeting. Having group discussions face-to-face rather than over the phones puts all the right people in the same “room”.
Many corporations that have offices around the world also have employees with personal telecommuting solutions in their homes. If there is a meeting with people in Russia and 2:00 am in the United States, why drive to the office for this meeting, drive home after, and then back for the regular work day? This also allows for the reduction in business trips. Spending days away from the office and hundreds of dollars for one meeting when this same meeting can be done before or after lunch one day is a huge step. No more wasted money. No more wasted time. This also is an increase in the quality of life for these people – less commute time and more time with their families.
That being said, why would someone working from home be any different? Just because a company is not global doesn’t mean that communication isn’t crucial. Teleworkers may not feel connected to the rest of the group or organization. For them, it is important to have video to maintain that sense of community.Lastly, another problem that can cause organizations to shy away from telepresence and telecommuting are the lower quality images they see. Having a past video conference catastrophe or being in a meeting with someone with poor audio and a pixilated camera makes it difficult to focus on the matter at hand. With systems from Cisco and Polycom, this is a non-issue. Their sound quality and video quality makes it feel like you are sitting across a desk from the person. For large group meetings, the camera has speaker recognition and can focus in on the person speaking as well as the other members attending. The mobile telecommuting options including those for iPhone, iPad and Android, are also able to function properly with enterprise-grade room systems for the most convenient “anytime-anywhere” video conferencing.