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As I sit in my home office, surrounded by amazing technology, I’m struck by how different telework is today from just a few years ago.

A few years ago it started with a second phone line and the company VPN.  Today my laptop is plugged into a workstation connected to a Cisco router, as is my Cisco IP phone.  When someone calls my work phone it rings in multiple places at once.  And my computer monitor is huge, which makes my high-definition videoconferences all the more interesting. I can even access the corporate network with my iPad, at home or on the go.  For me, it’s all seamless.  Everything I do is connected, and easier, thanks to Cisco.

The technology keeps getting better. For example, our Virtual Office solution delivers full IP phone, wireless, data, and video services over an encrypted VPN and creates a transparent experience that makes you feel like you’re in the main office instead of a remote location. And our applications, like Jabber and WebEx, extend those video and collaboration capabilities to wherever you are, while our Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Solution enables workers to globally access their networks with their devices of choice, including laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

I work in the office two days a week and travel or work from home the rest of the time. As a manager of eighty people covering fifty states, I can tell you that we all appreciate the time and cost savings that come with meeting virtually on occasion rather than in person. Multiply that by thousands of employees and you can see how it really adds up.

But it’s not just about saving time and money. Telework as we know it today brings people together and enables true collaboration, regardless of location. In fact, there have been numerous times when I’ve met people in person after meeting them via TelePresence or WebEx and it’s as if we are old friends.

Some organizations don’t think working from home is a good thing because they don’t trust that employees will be productive. But most who have actually tried it have reported higher levels of satisfaction and productivity. And I know this to be true from my own experience and those of the people who work with and for me.

Fortunately, I work for a company that not only enables telework but embraces it. In fact, Cisco sponsors Telework Week (March 4-8), to encourage others to do the same. This is a great opportunity for agencies, companies and individuals to see what it’s like and test their systems with high volumes of users connecting at the same time.

To learn how you can participate, check out the Telework Week website.

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