Over the past decade laptop use has tripled, video collaboration as grown from 26%-42%, and email, phone and IM have become the main form of communication taking the place of physical meetings as the primary form of communication. Companies are looking for an opportunity to collaborate and work productively through a flexible work schedule.
Not only is a flexible work environment now being seen as a perk for employees, but also businesses. Companies are seeing a 39% increase in productivity and the financial gains attributed to flexible work offices are saving companies more money than lowering operational costs. If you are considering implementing a flexible work space, consider the following factors:
1.) Identify your goals: are you trying to improve employee work-life balance, attract talent, or increase productivity? Since there are many solutions to consider, a great way to start is by solidifying your end goal ahead of time. For example, if you are looking to cut costs, moving to a smaller office and allowing some workers to telecommute can cut down on operational costs of maintaining an office building. For this the telecommuting employees would need VoIP, VPN and video collaboration.
2.) Support and encouragement is key: transitioning to a flexible work environment is a huge change for everyone involved – even those individuals not working from home or telecommuting. Communication between the IT department, managers and teleworkers needs to be high so that operations run smoothly and any bugs fixed to encourage acceptance and engagement. Forums and feedback are also suggested as a way to encourage a dialogue about issues. Conducing meetings via video collaboration regardless of location is also suggested as it encourages those tentative to use the technology to become regular users.
3.) Resources: taking advantage of video conferencing, even in a mobile flexible work environment, is so important and allows an almost the same effectiveness of a face-to-face meeting. Video allows the same benefits from in-person interaction like eye contact, facial expressions, and body language without the need to travel or take time to arrange a physical meeting.
The main benefit of telepresence is that people are better workers with they are working together. Physical location limitations are shrinking and with that people are becoming mobile and at the same time needed to be able to connect in an instant regardless of their location.