Video conferencing technology makes WFH viable

Friday, September 27 2013
Video conferencing technology makes WFH viable

Many professionals don't just expect to be able to work from home, they demand it. While this perk has its detractors, there are plenty of proponents who simply don't care where their employees are as long as they do their jobs.

This is a pragmatic approach to management and many workers appreciate it. The real question for company leaders is: How do I supervise people when they aren't in the office?

See what you're missing
"Out of sight, out of mind" is the absolute worst philosophy you can have when it comes to managing your remote contributors. You have to connect with them and communicate on a regular basis to understand how they're feeling.

Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother, told Fast Company that she relies on web-based video conferencing software to speak with her virtual employees. There are other business communications platforms that enterprises can use for this end, so every organization can find the perfect solution for their needs.

Owens explained that she used the technology because actually seeing people while she talks helps her understand how they feel. She feels like she's the only one to understand this concept.

"Am I the first person to discover this?" Owens jested.

Allow connections
One issue that pops up when people work from home is that it eliminates the social aspect of work. When people are in the office, they can joke, talk about movies and make friends. That's not exactly easy when people work from home all the time. Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, told CNNMoney that allowing workers to connect online is important.

"Telecommuters don't get that casual water-cooler contact, so it's important to create it virtually. When you show your own human side as well, communication rises to a whole new level," Mickos said.

This is yet another matter that video conferencing technology can help out with. The software allows associates to easily talk with one another and actually carry on conversations instead of typing back and forth. Face-to-face discussions will help people build relationships and get to know one another, creating a strong staff that can help the company reach its objectives. By socializing with their co-workers online, employees can improve morale and actually start enjoying themselves at work every day, which isn't something that many people can say.