The 4-Hour Workweek: the book that sent thousands of office workers running for remote-work freedom back in 2007. Newly cubicle-less folks turned to online services like Elance after going all “office-space” on their 10-year-old desktops. That may or may not be an exaggeration…
But it isn’t all cupcakes and roses for remote workers. Sure they’re not required to put on the monkey suit every morning, but there’s also no proverbial water cooler to hang around with colleagues. Just a few days ago GigaOM posted Self-knowledge: The secret ingredient for successful remote work. GigaOM cited one lonely freelancer who decided they preferred the hours in commute in exchange for the human interaction of office life.
Lucky enough, our newest App of the Week, the Elance Virtual Workroom, is now bringing human interaction to the remote work experience via OpenTok. Now freelancers have the best of both worlds. The company of Champ the dog, the comfort of sweatpants, and the face-to-face communication they want with employers and colleagues.
The new Elance Virtual Workrooms replicate a more natural work and communication flow. For one, it doesn’t require the user to load up an entirely separate video chat program outside of the platform. Within the Workroom, all users can see who is online (working on that project), and begin face-to-face collaboration in just seconds.
Intimidated by the idea of live video communication after working out of your home office for four years? That “fallen right out of bed look” may need some work. We recommend you just start slow when it comes to attire. Go for the classic business meeting on top, PJ party on the bottom look. Your employer will be none the wiser. Go on, give it a whirl.