In today’s economy, more and more workers are doing their work from home, from a coffee shop, or from a co-working space. Many companies have multiple offices; there may not be any opportunity for meetings in the conference room or for conversations around the water cooler. Video technology can facilitate and support communication, interaction, and collaboration for remote workers.
Challenges for Remote Workers
Remote work places challenges on workers, employers, and colleagues.
- Employers often have concerns about remote worker productivity, whether workers work hourly, on salary, or on a contract basis. Various tools are used to assess remote worker productivity, depending upon the situation.
- Workers may experience challenges related to loneliness, overwork, and a lack of structure. Remote workers are likely to feel isolated, and may feel like they are unaware of goings-on in the office.
- Colleagues may find it difficult to communicate with or access their remote-working co-workers. Collaborative projects may be especially challenging.
Using Video Technology with Remote Workers
Video technology can solve many of the struggles associated with remote working for all parties involved, including remote workers, their colleagues, and their employers.
Real-time video conferencing or video meetings provide an effective way to have actual conversations online. Rather than relying upon email, which lacks the nuance of tone and facial expression, real-time video meetings provide instantaneous feedback and can reduce misunderstanding and confusion. In addition, real-time solutions allow for immediate problem-solving, with no back-and-forth communication.
One of the flaws to remote working is the challenge of collaborating with others. Some tools already in use in many companies help to reduce those challenges by allowing for shared documents and files on a cloud-based system; however, collaboration requires communication. Immediate access to video meeting spaces can improve the collaborative process, whether two people are involved or ten people.
While digital technology has made remote work possible, it still often lacks the personal factor–it is much more difficult to develop good working relationships with colleagues when you speak only via email or an occasional phone call. Video technology provides the ability to develop personal working relationships with co-workers, even if the two workers work across the country from one another.