In the global business world that we live in, the number of people working from home is on increase. According to the Latest Telecommuting statistics, GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics, 3.7 million employees, i.e., 2.8% of the work force work from home at least 50% of their time. This goes to show that working remotely is starting to become a rising norm in the corporate world. Before moving ahead, let’s try and understand the term “Remote Working.”
What is Remote Working?
It can be defined as employees working away from their place of business. A remote worker can work from home, abroad, or even on the road. While working from home sounds quite alluring to most people, there are quite a few advantages and disadvantages associated with being a remote worker. Let’s look at them.
Work from home can impact your wallet positively. Just think about the money that you would usually spend in a day working in an office. Commuting costs, car parking (if you are not fortunate enough to have a company parking space), lunch & coffee breaks and not to forget the costs of purchasing professional attire With these reasons, remote workers can enjoy their hard-earned salary.
We have all been through the Monday blues when you have a list of tasks up your sleeves. You get up early to get to the office but run into a traffic jam due to the road accident and get to the office an hour late than expected. Then your boss calls for an unexpected urgent meeting which lasts for two hours. Before you know it, half the day is gone without getting on to a single task from your list. By working remotely, you can increase your productivity manifolds. There are lots of opportunities to complete your tasks since there are fewer chances of distractions or even the time to travel the office can be utilized to complete your tasks.
Less Absenteeism Due to Sickness
It is never fun going to work while being sick. Chances are, you might even infect your colleagues from your sickness. However, when you are working remotely, you can take care of yourself while getting the work done. It has been researched and found that remote workers have fewer sick days than employees who commute to the office daily. According to CIPD’s Survey from 2012, “56% of employers observed that the absenteeism rate dropped after adopting flexible working practices.”
Feeling of Isolation
Once you start working remotely, you feel isolated and have less connection with colleagues. Even if you are using communication and collaboration tools to connect with co-workers, it does not replicate the office environment. This includes listening to colleagues to discuss projects or even eating lunch together. There are times when remote workers miss the interactions with their colleagues so that they visit local coffee shops just to listen to the background music. All this is missed hugely when you start working remotely. Human touch is missing when you opt for working from home.
Failure to Concentrate
It is imperative for remote workers to remain disciplined throughout the day to ensure zero distractions while working from home. This is the most obvious challenge while working remotely. It is easier said than done. Some individuals manage it effectively while others find it extremely difficult to switch into “work mode” when at home. To ensure no distractions, remote workers need to keep their workspace tidy before starting work. Mobile phones and instant-messaging tools for social interaction must be avoided at all times as they create an unwelcome distraction. To become a successful remote worker, it is important to understand the amount of time that you need to spend on emails, phone calls and other communications.
Challenge to Meet Work/Life Balance
Although remote working promotes flexibility and if managed appropriately can enhance work/life balance, quite a few people struggle to balance these two things out while working remotely. For example, imagine you are working in a multinational company (MNC) with colleagues across the world. There will be times while working remotely when you find yourself sending emails at 10 PM in the night or instant messaging your colleagues located in other parts of the globe. This makes it extremely difficult for you to manage your work and home space effectively.
As you can see remote working has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Hence, there is a need to balance things out and so we suggest you adopt a video conferencing solution to ease off its impact on your professional life.
In the next section, we will look at the video conferencing etiquette to get the best results.
But before that let’s understand the concept of the video conference call.
Definition of a Video Conference Call
It is a form of online meeting that provides the best of both the worlds by combining live video feeds from a video conferencing system with a screen sharing solution to enable group collaboration. It allows remote meeting attendees to conduct more meaningful face-to-face conversations without worrying about the physical distance between them.
As you have now understood the definition of a video conference call, as promised, let’s look at some of the video conferencing etiquette tips to get the best results from the online meetings.
- Prepare in advance and be on time for the video meeting;
- Dress professionally for the meeting;
- Keep the conversation short and sweet;
- Share visuals, PowerPoint Presentations (PPTs), videos, charts, graphs and anything else for real-time collaboration;
- Record the video conference for those who could not attend the meeting;
- Mute yourself if you are not speaking so that there is uninterrupted passing of message;
- Minimize distractions like chat, mobile notifications, calendar notifications and emails to shorten the meeting times;
- Be yourself while facing the camera during the meeting;
- Keep the number of meeting attendees to a bare minimum to ensure higher collaboration and increased participation;
- Double-check that your audio and camera are correctly configured;
- Observe good courtesy like paying attention to the speaker, avoiding multitasking during the meeting and refraining from interrupting to build healthy business relationships.
- Keep pets and children away from the video call.
Since we have already looked at the video conferencing etiquette tips to get the best results from the online meetings, in the next section, we will divert our attention to creating a perfect video conferencing solution for your business, enterprise, or firm.
Things to Consider While Creating a Flawless Video Conferencing Call Solution for Your Business
Reliability of the Call
Ensure that your video conferencing service is built on a reliable and resilient network that meets the global availability of your exclusive business needs.
Never settle for anything mediocre. Remember, you are creating a video conferencing call solution for your mission-critical communication. Anything less than a perfectly tuned audio and 4K video will not make you feel the real-time effect. So, get these two things even if you are trying to connect with colleagues thousands of miles away.
Select a solution that not only integrates with your corporate directory for easy connectivity with colleagues but also provides a solution that supports guest-calling for meeting with customers and partners located outside the organization too.
Wireless Screen Sharing
Transform your video meetings into a collaborative work session instantly through sharing your entire screen feature. This way, you can communicate with the attendees and also cooperate with the document at the same time.
Helpful Customer Support
You need to rely on someone if the video conferencing app stops abruptly or in case of an emergency. This is where a good business solution needs to be backed with a support team having quick response times. Select a solution that supports the service life of the product.
Supports All Devices
It is imperative to ensure that the video conferencing app that you select supports PC, Mac, tablet and smartphones like Android or iOS on top of browser-based calling. For best results, select an app that supports all the devices loved by your team to use.
Great Combination of Meeting Room Systems and Cloud Service
The right video conferencing app will leverage meeting room systems and cloud service in such a way that every person, device and conference room experience superlative video conferencing.
With workforces becoming global, it is about time for your preferred video conferencing solution to have global data centers in every major geography across the world. This will ensure the highest level of satisfaction during the meetings.
Utmost Security of Communication
The video conferencing app that you select needs to have the best quality data centers with independent third-party security and privacy certifications to ensure maximum security and reliability while communicating with your global employees.
Are You Ready to Work Remotely Using Video Meetings?
With time, working remotely using video meetings will become a new norm. Companies will increasingly offer positions with flexible working hours and the option to work remotely. At present, certain jobs are available wherein you can work remotely after a specific period of your employment. So, the day is not far when working remotely will be encouraged more and more by companies across the globe.
The only thing to remember in such a scenario is to look at the advantages and disadvantages mentioned in this write-up and then decide the right remote working strategies that include video calling.