Momentum Telecom Emphasizes the Benefits of Telecommuting

Editorial Series

Momentum Telecom Emphasizes the Benefits of Telecommuting

Managing a team that is nearly 3,000 miles away was viewed as impractical before the Millennial generation. Modern day technology has changed that mindset.

Telecommuting has evolved into a fully sustainable work model, leaving the days of water cooler conversations and punching the time clock in the past. Organizations debating the benefits of on-site vs. off-site work most recently sparked by Yahoo!’s and Best Buy’s (News - Alert) new remote work policies are wasting energy, because the home-based workforce is part of the now, and an even bigger part of the future.

The real discussion management should be having is how to create or expand their company’s telecommuting policy. It takes planning and careful execution to implement a mobile work program and the proper communication tools to make it successful.

INTERNET TELEPHONY recently spoke with Sarah Brown, director of sales and marketing for Momentum (News - Alert), about how to manage an entire sales and marketing team remotely. Working from her Seattle home and managing a team of 10 employees in Alabama, Brown has learned the benefits and challenges of telework first hand. Here she shares her management mantra.

You say that flexible work schedules can help drive team motivation and self-starter attitudes. Describe how.

Brown: Up-and-coming professionals don’t understand the 8 to 5 set schedule – especially creative types, who develop some of their best ideas outside of the office and after business hours. The bottom line is that a structured and social professional environment is not the way everyone thrives. Without the constraints of office hours, people stop watching the clock, get more accomplished and take greater responsibility for the work they deliver. 

You say even the definition of work has changed. Explain.

Brown: Work is no longer a place; it is an activity. Work is work and should be done when and where an employee can do it best. Clearly defining workload expectations, responsibilities, deadlines and quotas is key to an efficient workflow. Every day should start with identifying priorities for individual and team assignments and making a to-do list of action items that need to be finished by the end of the business day. What really matters is the final product. Managerial success can then be measured in terms of the output and innovation the team delivers. It is critical to find dependable employees who will perform well and can be trusted to complete assignments without being monitored, even when management is halfway across the country.

How can remote work maximize efficiency and improve productivity?

Brown: The office environment is just as often the culprit of breaking concentration as it is the source of generating the next big idea. Many executives cite impromptu office visits from colleagues as the biggest distraction to their workdays. From a home office, the diversion of co-workers stopping by to chat is avoided, enabling teleworkers to stay focused on their own responsibilities. Additionally, it eliminates commute time, carbon emissions and wasted money on fuel and business attire.

What are some of the other benefits of telecommuting for both employee and employer?

Brown: The truth is that those who have the privilege to work from home are willing to work longer hours in exchange for the freedom and convenience of this job perk. This privilege increases personal investment and loyalty to the company and works in everyone’s best interest. Some weeks I work 50-plus hours, but the agile time schedule enables me the convenience to work full-time, raise two kids, oversee construction projects for my current and future home and to eat lunch with my husband on his off days. The telecommuting model is a true win-win situation.

So building a collaborative culture doesn’t hinge on side-by-side cubicle communications.

Brown: Right. Technology makes it easy to foster an interactive remote workforce and helps remote directors to be more accessible. Because I work for a cloud-based communications company, my employees and I have access to and leverage a full suite of innovative tools that keep us connected to the rest of the business world and enable the quick exchange of information on a day-to-day basis.

Which applications do you depend on the most?

Brown: IM with Presence: Chat helps me communicate with my team and other Momentum employees the most. Momentum Messenger is a UC tool that also allows me to see when someone is on a call so I do not interrupt. I am able to get the quickest answers to time-sensitive questions using a casual communication style that is more in-line with my personality. 

Web Collaboration: Web conferencing is used weekly for our senior management meeting. I am not the only senior manager working remotely. Momentum has team leaders in Atlanta, Cape Cod, Denver, Los Angeles and New York. Screen share features enable Momentum’s dispersed staff to bring presentations to the central location of the conference room at our headquarters.

Video Conferencing: Face-to-face virtual brainstorming sessions are great for project development and bouncing ideas off one another. The challenge here is making sure I am dressed in office attire (think Zuckerberg vs. Gates), so these are few and far between. I’m still working on getting that office attire thing changed once and for all.

Google (News - Alert) Drive: Documents can be accessed from anywhere, shared for multiple users to work together on the same file in real time and will sync automatically. Navigating through an already cluttered e-mail box and trying to find the latest version of a document is a complete waste of time that is no longer necessary thanks to Drive.

Business Phone (News - Alert): VoIP service is more reliable and higher quality than a cell, so when I am making or expecting calls I get situated in my home office space and put my enterprise-grade Polycom (News - Alert) on speakerphone.

Momentum invites you to join the Better Enterprise, Better Earth initiative and make the pledge to work from home at least 1 day this year. Learn more about the telecommuting challenge and remote worker solutions at 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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