Does Working From Home Always Weaken Office Communication?

Working From Home Communications

Remote working has always been a sticky subject among businesses as there are always questions raised over whether it can have a detrimental effect on colleague communication. Common themes often relate to feeling isolated, self-discipline, managing to separate your work life from family life and losing that collaborative office culture.

The pros and cons of working from home can be debated endlessly, but it cannot be denied that technology, such as video communication, only helps to improve the perception of remote working. Being visible and connected face to face with colleagues, customers and partners no matter where you are, or what device you’re using, has made a huge positive impact on the accountability and practicality of working from home, as well as effective internal company communications.

Business-quality video conferencing means reliable, always-on, high definition video that puts you back in the office with your colleagues and in front of your customers, wherever you are.

By creating a culture of face-to-face video communication, both internally and externally, businesses will help office-based and home workers to see this as the standard method of communication, meaning that an employee’s location holds little consequence. The more people in the company that use video on a day to day basis, the less important the location of people becomes.

Being with colleagues every day is not just about being able to sit beside or near them. It’s about working together and engaging with each other, and high quality video does this just as well as being there in person. In business, you need to see the white of people’s eyes. That’s what drives long lasting and meaningful business relationships.

Once people start to use video to communicate with colleagues and clients, they will realise that it is much more personal and interactive than audio communication can ever be. Some worry that the internet has diminished the need for face-to-face communication and video makes sure that this personal touch is not lost. We’re now in a global market place; video is what brings geographically dispersed teams together.

With advances in technology and managed services providers like ours driving costs down, making a video call is also as easy as making a phone call. Whether you’re a large enterprise business with thousands of staff or an SMB, business-class video is for everyone.

Many people refer back to Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban home working in Yahoo this February, which was met with anger from many, and confusion from many others on the basis that this is a modern technology company.

The memo that hit employee’s inboxes read “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”

The beauty of video however, is that impromptu team meetings and those ‘hallway’ type conversations can happen, and instantly if people wish. Video meetings are no longer something you have to schedule and get IT in to help you set up. It’s on-demand and with Virtual Meeting Rooms impromptu meetings can happen at just the click of a button. There are still fears and misconceptions that video is difficult, a technical headache, and a costly endeavour and this is simply not the case anymore.

Are speed and quality sacrificed when we work from home? No. Working from home can often increase staff’s productivity and creativity. Advancements in mobile devices, video technology and faster internet speeds make video conferencing and flexible working even more of a practicality than ever before.

Working from home means people focus more effectively without office distractions, that they save time and money travelling to and from the office as well as to meetings. But at the same time, we can come together with whoever we like and whenever we need to. This effectively means we choose when we need to interact and collaborate with each other, and when we need to get our heads down and work as individuals.

Video conferencing allows staff to discover and make the most of their own best working practices, use their preferred technology and embrace their best working environment – whether that’s in or out of the office.

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Michael Grant

Michael Grant is the Founder and Managing Director of UCi2i - the world’s first global, independent and vendor-neutral Video Conferencing Managed Services Provider. With over 15 years in the industry, Michael is one of the leading industry experts in the architecture and operations of video managed services and video network operations centres. Realising that users are less and less willing to tolerate the complexities associated with business video, UCi2i was founded with the goal to transform this into something as simple and easy as picking up the phone.