Employees who are supported; perhaps encouraged or required to by some organizations today; and can work remotely, enjoy a number of advantages to bank on, as long as they deliver the goods on what’s expected of them to produce. Most relish the fact that they can work at their own pace and basically make their own schedule that suits their critically important work-life balancing needs. And they save on commuting time and costs, to boot. For the ever-increasing socially and environmentally conscious class of workers populating today’s newer working ranks, it saves on carbon foot-printing, which makes them, and Mother Nature very, very happy.
But, remote working, especially from home, isn’t always the utopia that many regard it as being. Meetings with colleagues and clients, for instance, often are inappropriate or inconvenient to conduct, or for a client or colleague to attend, at one’s home-office. And if the meeting is done virtually through Skype, FaceTime or some other basic, video-telephony, or even through some other more elaborate visual teleconferencing technology – some very vital communication cues often gets lost in translation.
Technology can remarkably replicate much, but not all vital communication elements when people meet and speak. Some claim that up to 50% of all vital interpersonal communications are non-verbal, and that is only in-presence capturing and emitting of such crucial body-language communication is the true way to optimize on the purpose and desired impact of a meeting. Reading and sending non-verbal reactions that can only be observed or delivered in-person are certainly key to a well-conducted, fruitful meeting.
Furthermore, the informal ‘before-and-after’ interfaces of a meeting, in many instances, are as critical, if not more, than the meeting itself. The natural flow of an appropriate, in-person greeting and ice-breaker; or maybe a post-meeting spontaneous cup of coffee, or invitation to lunch or a beer after-work, goes a long way to solidifying the impact that one is looking to achieve as the goal of meeting. A central purpose of a meeting is to establish or reinforce relationships, which is achieved much more effectively and poignantly in-person.
Add all these factors up and the sum points to the fact that some meetings don’t lend themselves for home-office treatment. Even the most devoted and frugal of home-based employees need to have a Virtual Office somewhere that’s convenient for them, and for the bulk of their clients and colleagues, to at least occasionally meet at when face-to-facing it is really the prescribed way forward for optimal results.
Go ahead – work from home. But also make sure you, like most astute businesspeople today, get yourself a professional Virtual Office that can serve as your home-away-from-home officing base and provide you with the services, reliability, the spark that’ll lift you on the V.O. Operator’s shoulders, and serve you well when you need to meet and impress others -- at a fraction of the cost of what a full, dedicated, yet often unused office, will run you.