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Those who work from home often preach the great benefits of telecommuting – better work-life balance, increased productivity, they’re saving their company money, etc. But some individuals and companies alike feel the negatives of working from home outweigh the positives.

Two large corporations have both shifted away from telecommuting options (Yahoo! and Google) here are three common complaints that are probable factors contributing to this shift:

  • Telecommuting fails to “fire up” workers the same way that having a shared office environment does.
  • Water-cooler discussions are what leads to comradery at work and where some real ideas develop.
  • Corporations still need face-to-face discussions for knowledge sharing and learning.

One of the many benefits telecommuting solutions offer is Presence. Programs like Microsoft Lync will show you if a co-worker is active and allow you to engaged in instant messaging (IM), audio-only calls, and video calls. Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS is also another great telecommuting service as this allows you to make the same calls and meetings as Lync and works with any other endpoint. It also schedules meetings in your Outlook and you can send planned or impromptu meeting invites via email, IM or calendar invite.

With Presence the ability to “shoot the breeze” with coworkers is easy though IM and video chats. These face-to-face discussions that are so important to problem solving and relationship building are also just a mouse click away and can even be easier and more convenient than having an in-person meeting.

By implementing these solutions in business practices, it makes the most sense for organizations to encourage working from home because they will be seeing the results of not only increased productivity, time and money savings, and companies having a better work-life balance, but also communication and connectivity. 

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