Content Strategist Dani Plicka
Not long ago, very few people had the “work from home” experience - but since 2020, it’s become increasingly common. And for as many people that love it, there’s an equal amount that can really struggle with it. But how many of your work from home problems are truly a product of working remotely itself? How many of them are simply a result of the wrong video conferencing platform and a lack of focus on remote work culture? SignalWire Work is all about working from anywhere, a concept distinct from working from home. What does this mean, and how does SignalWire Work function differently than other platforms to make leaving the office behind a breeze?
If one thing is certain, it’s that remote work is here to stay. The flexibility is attractive to lots of employees and employers alike. 52% of employers surveyed post-COVID believed their teams were more productive working from anywhere in 2021. Even if it isn’t for everybody, a great number of people benefit from controlling their work environments. Costs are cut for employees by removing the commute, or reduced for the employer by not having to pay for office space. And top talent candidates are simply attracted to the idea of working from home at least part of the time - over half of surveyed employees want to work remotely three days a week or more.
It’s understandable that not many employers were fully prepared to become remote so suddenly, and there were plenty of unforeseen problems that came with such a shift. With the wrong video conferencing tools, it can be difficult to foster company culture in the same way as an in-person environment. ‘Virtual fatigue’ is a massive problem for a lot of people who struggle with the unnatural communication styles when work life exists entirely in a virtual conferencing platform. When the workday consists only of scheduled meetings and being stuck staring at yourself for several hours, other issues follow: difficulties cross-collaborating and otherwise bonding, feeling disconnected from the team, and no time for company-wide celebrations and camaraderie. A lack of impromptu conversations or any kind of relaxed space to hang out casually while working can really affect morale and burn people out quickly.
Working from anywhere takes working from home a step further - it’s a commitment to a company culture that is designed to support dispersed teams. This is achieved through maintaining connection by more than just scheduled meetings, fostering natural collaborative environments to battle virtual fatigue, encouraging employees to work how they would in real life, and otherwise managing time and boundaries appropriately so that nobody “lives” at work.
SignalWire Work was built by a team experienced in working remotely for over 15 years. From the beginning, SignalWire has been a dispersed team, with every employee working from anywhere spread across the globe. This perspective prepared SignalWire uniquely for a sudden boom in remote work environments, and now we’re here to share the collaboration tools we’ve been using from the company’s inception.
With the help of the right platform, creating a dispersed company culture comes easier. SignalWire Work is designed to prevent unnatural communication styles, like awkwardly talking over each other. Always-open meeting rooms within a virtual office allow people to come and go during the workday outside of long-form, scheduled meetings - after such a meeting you might see another team hanging out in the office below you, so you go to hang out and work together, or have a chat at the watercooler (yes, the watercooler itself could be its own room, or it could be a cafe, lounge, or whatever best suits your company!) Customizable rooms allow for a fun environment that’s personal to whoever makes it - office names, descriptions, and customizable images allow for a mixture of spaces to suit whatever the company needs. Whether it be casual office working rooms, professional meeting spaces designed for external clients to come visit, or fun company-wide party spaces like karaoke rooms, gamerooms, or watch party rooms, SignalWire Work makes all these activities possible.
Reimagining the virtual office as the physical office is easier when you have a platform that encourages you to think of it that way. To learn more about some specific examples on improving remote work culture, check out the newest LiveWIRE.