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Teleworking at Its Finest – Driving Innovation…and Family Time

This week it seems the topic of teleworking has garnered more attention than who wore what at the Oscars.

You may have noticed that I’ve been missing from the Cisco blogosphere the past few months. Don’t worry it’s not because I’ve become any less passionate about telepresence and collaboration and what we’re doing here at Cisco. I’ve had a recent addition to my family. But with the recent conversation heating up on the topic of telework, I thought it was the perfect time to share my experience.

Angie_Michael_Final[3]Putting on my “new mom” hat has me believing that the greatest benefit of telework is the flexibility it provides. As an employee of a company that encourages teleworking, I’ve never been more grateful for the opportunity to choose when I work in the office and when I don’t. And I know I’m not alone. People want the convenience of working from home and they want to avoid the time-suck of the daily commute.  This does not mean they are less productive or innovative, in fact, I find the contrary to be true; which I expressed in a previous blog post.

Based on last year’s Telework Week, participants found that productivity was a top benefit – 71 percent of organizations reported increased productivity from working at home. The Stanford University Study, as referenced in the Boston Globe, also noted similar statistics with a 13 percent increase in work performance of those that volunteered to work from home.

On the other hand, I am not oblivious to the fact that working from home can have its downside:  Isolation being one of them—from your coworkers and people in general. But this is a void video technology can fill. Solutions like Cisco TelePresence help sustain interoffice collaboration and allow businesses to maintain a high level of productivity. A recent Cisco-sponsored study from the Economist Intelligence Unit found that business leaders believe in-person collaboration can improve business processes by as much as 20 percent. If you’re more of a visual person like me, check out the infographic here.

When businesses incorporate telepresence technology, they set their employees up for the best of both worlds:  more time with their families, but no love lost with supervisors and peers on the job. It seems organizations are realizing this as according to Cisco’s most recent VNI study, the global market for business video conferencing will reach $14 billion by 2017.

Whether you are a believer in telework or not, no one can argue against loving flexibility so I appeal to your beliefs on the subject.  With Telework Week taking place next week, I’m sure people will have more to say on the subject. Let me know where you stand on teleworking and what you find to be the biggest benefit.

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