P a g e
Telecommuting is no longer the wave of the future; it’s here and it’s taking the world by
storm! With improvements in networking technology, e-mail, instant messaging, smart
phones and web/video conferencing, companies depend on their employees’ productivi
ty in,en route to, and outside of the office. In fact, many businesses expect
or at leastencourage
employees to work from home on a regular basis. What
surprising is thatsome innovative companies are
virtual. In the “office
model, allwork takes place at home, the neighborhood espresso shop, or anyplace that savescommute time, gas, and office space.
Communicating in a Virtual World
So what’s different about being a virtual employee? In a word: everything. One of the
biggest issues facing the virtual world is a lack of meaningful communication. The ability toremain connected with coworkers and management in a way that minimizes personal andprofessional isolation is a major hurdle. Without a brick-and-mortar business office,complete with cubicle farm and daily water cooler chats, how are teleworkers to maintain afeeling of camaraderie and company cohesiveness? This article will explore the uniquecommunication characteristics and needs of this trend as well as review several high-techand low-tech ways to stay in touch.