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What Makes a Telework Program Successful?

The Cisco telework program has evolved over the years from a convergence of top-down company practices with bottom-up changes in employee expectations. From our experience we have learned how several factors can make flexible work a success for everyone.

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Clear policies and company culture. Cisco has adopted a flexible policy that enables many employees to telework, based on their job requirements and their manager’s approval. Where necessary, this policy is customized to reflect country-specific laws and employee entitlements. Also important is creating a company culture of trusting employees to work responsibly, strong performance management practices and finding the right balance of autonomous and collaborative action.

But a successful teleworking program requires more.

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Attention Agencies – It’s Time to Enable Your Mobile Workforce

I am drafting this blog on my laptop, sitting in the Embassy Suites lounge in Raleigh, North Carolina, enjoying the complimentary breakfast buffet. I share this not to disclose my breakfast habits, nor my whereabouts but to illustrate that we are relying more and more on mobile devices to keep us connected, both professionally and personally. In fact analysts predict that by the end of 2013, 80 percent of companies will allow BYOD (bring your own device) for employees.

As today’s workers embrace mobility, they have expectations that their experience outside of the office should mirror their experience inside the office.  With mobility trends like telework and BYOD on the rise, it’s important that government organizations stay ahead of technology trends to better deliver their employees with the right tools that allow them to collaborate from anywhere at any time.   Read More »

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The Power of Video for Government – Improve Collaboration, Lower Costs

Chances are, you’ve heard this line or a variation thereof before: “Video conferencing improves collaboration and lowers costs for organizations around the world.” While this is true, for this blog, I want to focus on ways video is changing government by sharing the story of two government agencies that are using video in new and unique ways.

We frequently hear how important it is to “do more with less.” In the face of sequestrations and reduced traveling budgets, this is a reality, and agencies are turning to alternatives like video conferencing. Video technologies such as telepresence are streamlining government processes and increasing collaboration, all while cutting costs. Read More »

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Happy Earth Day! How Are You Contributing?

April 22, 2013 at 11:32 am PST

earth dayDid you know that you could keep approximately 19 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere for each gallon of gas you don’t use? By itself that may not seem like a big number, but for those who commute 5 days a week, 20 days a month and around 260 days a year, that is a lot of carbon emissions.

Telecommuting has become increasingly popular at organizations around the world. Many are developing formal programs and seeing the benefits of increased employee productivity, improved morale and business continuity.  The Association of Commuter Transportation (ACT) reports that 83 percent of the Fortune 100 companies allow employees to telework, including companies such as Google, Microsoft, Genentech and Starbucks.

That’s not all, in fact Read More »

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So You Think You Can Telecommute?

The recent weeks of teleworking controversy has been interesting to follow for anyone passionate about collaboration technologies. There is no doubt that teleworking offers significant work/life balance benefits, as exemplified by Cisco´s own Angie Mistretta in her recent blog post. On the other hand, it is equally evident that companies that do not invest in the right tools or training for effective remote collaboration aren’t realizing the true potential and benefits of teleworking.

Being part of a leadership team with people scattered from the Russian border, through Oslo, Boston, Texas and California has made it very clear to me that a lot of innovation, time and money would have been lost if we did not have the proper collaboration tools. Simply said, bringing all the right people into the same office is generally not an option in a global operation.

In my team, the primary tool for collaboration is the Cisco TelePresence EX series personal systems; we all have endpoints on our desks at the office and at home. This is essential to us because, be it late night or early morning, the number of overlapping hours when we are in our respective offices are just too few. Personal telepresence ensures in-person communications within the team whenever we need to meet, and it also allows us to attend other meetings over telepresence at any hour ensuring we’re able to capture all of the details and have maximum impact.

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