from Holger Hoffmann-Riem, Project Manager for Innovation WWF Switzerland
Video conferences have a positive influence on work-life balance
The employees first have to find out, how they can make the best possible use of the latest features of videoconferences and online collaboration. The point isn't to replace every personal discussion and every business trip with an online meeting, but to find the right mixture. And the point isn't to work from your home office five days a week either, but to find out whether you are suited to working from home and on which days it works best.
Companies can make working from home more attractive by making intensive use of modern technology, such as instant messaging and videoconferencing. Videoconferences can also increase productivity during working hours, as employees can concentrate on their work much better from the office than while travelling to their next appointment by car. However, this potential can only be fully tapped if videoconferencing becomes as natural as talking on the phone, in future allowing discussions between companies to take place online and in the best picture quality.
This is where telecommunications companies come in. Their social function is to provide important elements of the infrastructure for a sustainable national economy and to ensure that this infrastructure is actually used. It is not enough to simply install a communications system at a company and maybe provide a training session. Use of the new technology requires profound cultural transformation within the company. The telecommunications companies of the future will no longer earn their money with analog fixed-network telephony, but with services that promote this cultural transformation among customers. I hope that Swisscom will take up this challenge with determination!