02 November 2016

Telecommuting: Is it a good idea for organisations with multiple locations?


Working from home is a modern phenomenon gaining popularity with its own set of pros and cons. How do employers and employees alike get the best out of telework?

In today’s digital age, it has never been easier to work collaboratively with others who are based in different offices or who work remotely, all thanks to technology.

It’s not uncommon to exchange emails, hop on a Skype call, chat instantly using Slack, and video conference via GoToMeeting with someone hundreds of kilometres away.

Considering how easy and convenient it can be, it’s no wonder telecommuting, hiring remote freelancers, and opening satellite offices is on the rise.

In the US, at least 34 million people work from home, and that number is expected to increase to a massive 63 million by the end of this year (or 43% of the workforce).

With the digital divide narrowing globally, especially in Australia, the growing teleworking trend is also taking place in most other countries today. Additionally, 30% of Australians are now undertaking some form of flexible freelance work, often from remote locations.

The world is much more interconnected and feels smaller than before, so you can essentially connect with anyone from any office, no matter where you are. I can think of few business organisations that don’t have more than one office, and I’m not just talking about big global companies - today’s small companies quite often have multiple offices too.

But while it is easy to communicate with colleagues in different locations, working across multiple locations has a few drawbacks.

Coordination. It can be hard enough to coordinate effectively with coworkers in the same office, let alone in a different location that might be very far away from you or even in a different time zone. Sometimes it’s hard to schedule meetings or make sure you’re on the same page about something you’re working on together.

Culture. It can be difficult to foster a sense of workplace culture in a remote working environment. When you don’t see your colleagues every day in the same setting, often times it is difficult to feel like part of the whole, and your shared vision for the company could be lost.

Training. As a manager, you may struggle with training efficiently and cost-effectively because you’re not sure if someone in another location is comprehending your training material or even seeing it in the first place. Maybe you have to fly people in from different offices to do in-person training or onboarding, which can be expensive so as a result it happens too infrequently.

There are ways to combat these issues, and they all come down to how you communicate.

You need to be able to articulate your message in a clear and effective way, distribute it efficiently across your network, and make sure people hear it, digest it, and retain it.

In addition to all this, ideally you want this message to be able to be easily repurposed and re-shared if new employees start so you don’t need to start from scratch to repeat the process each time.

Velpic offers an effective and adaptable way to communicate across your organisation, no matter where you or your colleagues are based.

  • Using Velpic’s cloud-based app, you can share knowledge with your colleagues easily by producing video learning modules within the platform, then assigning it to your coworkers to watch before a certain date.
  • You have the flexibility to upload your existing Word, PowerPoint, or PDF documents; obtain ready-made content from our experts marketplace; or create content from scratch, then combine or edit them to suit different groups. 
  • You can put quizzes or tests within learning modules to capture how well people are actually comprehending the training content.
  • People can watch these videos on a computer or on the go using the mobile companion Velpic Learn app.
  • This way, you can be sure that consistent messages are shared quickly across your whole network.
This not only helps fill the communication gaps between offices, but can also help with your bottom line. After all, better internal communication makes your organisation more competitive because you can respond better to market changes as a unified group with shared purpose.

Learn more about how Velpic can help you easily train employees in multiple locations.