What makes telework so successful for Cisco and its employees? For me the answer is simple and powerful: video.

I’ll admit, I’m not a big believer in full-time telecommuting (at least for myself) because I agree that the best way to collaborate is to get everybody together in the same room. But in today’s fast-paced global business, that type of gathering is increasingly prohibitive in terms of time, expense, and logistics.

Instead, I have found it’s possible to have a “just as good as being there” experience with Cisco video tools—the room-based and personal Cisco TelePresence systems, Cisco Jabber for mobile devices, and the high-definition video window in Cisco WebEx meetings.

The ability to see someone is critical for me, because I know that visual communication brings greater personal connection, understanding, and trust to a business relationship. These factors are especially important when I’m meeting someone for the first time, or when I need to have a difficult conversation with an employee or customer.

The value of a visual connection is also recognized by Cisco employees and video calls have fast become the norm within our work culture. Being present on video help sustain the visibility of remote employees with their colleagues, managers, and company executives— an important factor for job success and satisfaction.

As our comfort with video technology has increased, we are using video meetings effectively for collaborative brainstorming and problem-solving sessions. This collaboration may not come as easily as it might if we were all physically together. But we are still able to resolve issues, produce good ideas, and make good decisions by gathering the right meeting participants, no matter their location or time zone.

I know that as an IT leader, the way I do my work sends an important message to my team and my colleagues. By using Cisco video tools for many of my meetings and by regularly working at home to take care of my life, I’m helping employees see how they can telework successfully. And as Cisco employees continue to use our telework tools productively, we see an incalculable payback to the company, our employees, and their families and communities.

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