Why “remote team” term is confusing

If you google “remote team” you’ll find many articles with contradicting explanations…
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If you google “remote team” you’ll find many articles explaining the term. Some of these articles explain that a remote team has a physical office, others explain that it doesn’t, some articles explain that it may have an office.

Such differences in explanations mean the term is not self-explanatory.

Hearing the phrase “remote team” for the first time, I would have thought that we are talking about the team that works together in the remote office.

You have to research to learn what Remote Team means. And, as I mentioned before, explanations around the web are different and complex. That’s why you have to research. Making one Google query is not enough.

When researching you’ll immediately run into terms like Distributed Team, Dispersed Team, Virtual Team, etc.

It is like going into the forest. The deeper you go, the more you surrounded by trees. The deeper you research, the more different terms you have to study.

I think it is much easier to say “team of remote workers” instead. It is clear and doesn’t need explanation or research.

I assume, one of the reasons the remote work community introduced the term “remote team” because “team of remote workers” sounds too long.

Because of everything I mentioned above, I decided not to use “remote team” on this website but use “team of remote workers” instead.

It sounds long, but it is much easier to understand for people who are not familiar with complex remote work jargon.

P.S.

Feeling lonely when working remotely?

Read how VideoWorkLink (VWL) saves you from loneliness by connecting you with remote teammates via live video with an individual sense of privacy.

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Why most knowledge workers still work in the office

It guarantees that teammates will communicate face-to-face…
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This is a Captain Obvious post, but after some talking with the remote work community I felt that I need to write a few thoughts about that.

So, let’s begin.

Most knowledge workers still work in the office, because teammates’ close proximity to each other forces them to have a face-to-face as the primary way of communication.

When teammates are close to each other they will communicate face-to-face. It makes no sense for them to resort to texting or video-calling.

Face-to-face communication guarantees the basic team integrity and high speed of information exchange. It fosters socialization and generation of ideas.

What about remote work?

When teammates are working remotely it is easy to resort to texting. It’s not just easy, it’s what eventually happens most of the time.

As water flows where there’s less resistance, communication flows over the easiest channel. If it is easier to write text then texting becomes the main way of communication.

Frequent video chatting

Some people say that frequent video calling solves this problem. But making a video call is harder than writing a text message. That’s why text chatting eventually beats video calling.

It’s easier to talk than to write a text message when you’re in the same room. That’s why in this case face-to-face beats every other channel of communication.

What about introverts?

Some people say that frequent video chatting can be enforced with a work policy.

It might work, but the desire to text chat instead of video calling will be overwhelming for introverts.

It is highly likely that they will break the work policy because it is not comfortable for them to get out of their zone of comfort.

When inside the same room with others, he doesn’t have a choice but to communicate and he’s ready for that.

Conclusion

Communication is like water. Water flows where there is less resistance. The easiest way to communicate inside a single room is to talk. That is why being inside a single room guarantees that the team members will talk to each other.

When team members are working remotely the easiest way for them is to text chat. Video calling is difficult because you have to break through a wall of disconnection – to make a video call to establish a connection. Video calls are often followed with fine-tuning of equipment which makes it even more difficult.

By having an onsite team company has a guarantee that the team members will communicate face to face. It guarantees the basic team interaction. It guarantees the exchange of information, fast work coordination which affects the speed of work. It creates a basis for further team integration and cohesion.

Remote work might seem risky because it doesn’t guarantee such a high level of communication and interaction. With the current communication tools, it is highly likely that the communication will be mostly text-based.

The bottom line is: knowledge workers still work in the office just because it guarantees that they are going to communicate face-to-face.

P.S.

I encourage you to try VideoWorkLink (VWL). It’s a product that allows remote working based on face-to-face communication.

With this product, your team has a wonderful opportunity to get the combined benefits of working remotely and of face-to-face based communication.

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Why Remote Work Is Still a Difficult Thing To Do

Today’s remote work requires special management skills and management practices…
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Today’s remote work requires special management skills and management practices. Read blogs by leading remote companies. You’ll find out that many of them developed unusual and sometimes even odd management practices to keep their teams together.

Isolation and communication based on text chat force every company to develop its own recipes for remote work. A single standard doesn’t exist. Every company has to reinvent a wheel.

Today’s state of remote work is that:

  • Every company that introduces full-time remote work has to experiment. Established practices don’t exist. Every company is a remote-work lab.
  • Sophisticated and often peculiar practices are needed.
  • Annual semi-annual or quarterly get-togethers are needed. This is expensive. Only well funded/profitable companies can afford that.

That is why many managers unconsciously are careful about going remote. They intuitively sense that remote work is not as simple as it seems.

What is the main reason for difficulties?

Every remote employee works in isolation. He contacts fellow remote co-workers in a transactional fashion. A transaction can be text-based – a message in text chat. It can be live video transaction – a video call.

Anyway, it is a transaction, that has a beginning and an end.

In the case of text, you can wait for a response for a long time. Such communication can be slow. Moreover, tools like Slack are known to be distracting because of lots and lots of text messages and threads a user has to pay attention to.

Video calls may seem a better alternative, but they often need to be scheduled. It is hard to know if a remote employee is available and ready for a call if you want to make an unscheduled call. More often than not, every video call begins with equipment adjust with questions like “Can you hear me? Can you see me?” like on the funny video below:


More often than not, every video call begins with equipment adjust with questions like “Can you hear me? Can you see me?”

Compare such communication with communication inside an open office plan or cubicle farm. Everyone is available, visible, hearable. Even inside the cubicle farm you can just stand up, look around and see who is available and ready to talk. Then you can approach a specific person or shout out to him.

Which one is faster? Of course inside the office! In which one is quicker to get into contact with another employee? You know the answer.

Inside the office, you are continuously connected together face to face. It takes almost no effort to engage the other employee. The cost (time and effort) of making a contact is very low.

The cost of engaging a remote employee is high. The response time on a text message is unknown. Video calls often need to be scheduled. Making them also takes time since the other participant may be unavailable. Moreover, video calls often start with equipment adjustments.

The higher cost of communication means the slower speed of work. Collaboration becomes more and more difficult over time.

Is there any solution?

How can remote employees continuously stay in face to face contact?

The obvious answer might seem to launch a Skype/Zoom/Hangout/Whatever, make a group video call and leave it running all workday or most of the workday.

It seems easy, but it has a lot of hidden issues.

First, these products are technically not designed to be used that way. Video calls are usually in HD. And that will eat away your bandwidth and CPU. Some of these tools have restrictions on call duration. A connection can become unstable over time.

Second, their user interfaces are not designed for that purpose too. You can make a person’s face full screen at any time without him knowing that. Would you feel good if someone could stare right into your face from a breathing distance without you knowing that? Within such circumstances, the desire to turn the camera off or point it at the wall can be overwhelming.

When someone can see you and you don’t know that.

What king of solution we need

We need a tool that satisfies the following requirements:

  1. Provides a continuous live video connection between remote team members.
  2. Low bandwidth and CPU consumption when working 24 hours a day.
  3. Stable reliable connection without quality loss.
  4. Respects privacy by design and by default.
  5. Provides a quick and easy way to make close contact with another user.
  6. Gives clear prior notifications before privacy change when making a close contact.
  7. Gives a reasonable time to prepare before a close contact followed by privacy change.
  8. Provides the same video availability and the same video-rules for every user without regards for his status and position.

1 and 2 are self-explanatory. Let’s talk about the other points.

Continuous live video communication

Members of the remote team should be continuously connected via live video. This way it will create office-like visibility of each other (although with privacy as described below). It will provide the possibility to overhear conversations and ask the whole team quick spontaneous questions.

It will eliminate the need for extra scheduling, the need for establishing a connection before talking.

Communication will be natural and free-floating, without unnecessary technical barriers.

Privacy by design and by default

Since working remotely in most cases means working from home, privacy should be a default mode.

For example, in an experimental tool that I developed, for privacy, I decided to use partial visibility. As you can see on the image below, the guy (it’s me, actually) is visible but details are blurred. It is hard to understand what he’s doing. (hint: I am drinking coffee)

Quick way to make close contact

There should be a way to reduce privacy to enter into close contact with a teammate. The same as approaching a teammate’s table for a talk.

For example, as shown below:

A teammate makes a close contact with you.
Making a close contact with a teammate

As you can see, a teammate gets gradually unblurred. On his side, you get gradually unblurred too. The window that popped up can be resized in any way because a close contact means close visibility of the teammate.

Clearly visible notifications before privacy change

A user should be notified before his privacy changed. Nobody wants his visibility changed without knowing that.

In VideoWorkLink (VWL), he gets a small notification window in a tray area of desktop saying that he’ll be unblurred within a few seconds, as shown below:

Unblur Notification

A reasonable time to prepare before contact

Close contact is a delicate thing.

To not disrupt users’ calm, he should be given time to prepare for close contact. Because who knows what he is doing at the moment. If he’s picking his nose, he’d like to stop doing that before a close contact.

In VideoWorkLink (VWL) a close contact happens gradually within several seconds (3 seconds minimum). It gives time to get yourself ready for close contact, as shown below:

Ease of gaining additional awareness (in one click).

Same video-availability and the same video-rules for every user

The communication tool should avoid a pitfall described by the quote from George Orwell: “Some animals are equal, and some are more equal than others.”

Every user regardless of his position inside a team should be equally visible as others. Same video-rules should be applied to him and to others.

In VWL, there are several types of live video connections as shown on the following image:

As you can see, each type is pretty much self-explanatory.

Every user operates the same under the type’s rules.

For example, in Reciprocal type, a user can see others only if he has started his video. He can’t see others if he hasn’t started his video, because others can’t see him.

In Required type, a user can see and hear others only if he has started his video and vice versa.

Conclusion

The main reason for the difficulty of remote work is the absence of a continuous live video connection between remote team members.

Although there are video conferencing tools, they can’t solve this problem because they are not designed to do that.

We need a new solution that is designed especially for that purpose.

As an example of such a solution, I propose the experimental tool that I developed- VideoWorkLink (VWL).

P.S.

Guys, I encourage you to try VideoWorkLink (VWL).

It is a tool that allows remaining connected with remote teammates via live video with privacy. Its design enables remote teammates to remain connected via live video. It saves bandwidth and CPU resources.

Let me know what you think about the product. Let’s improve remote work together!

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Is startup with remote founders possible?

The frequent complaint from startups is that remote work is too slow…
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The frequent complaint from startups is that remote work is too slow. Since it’s a startup, communication should be blazing fast and close. Too much is at stake. Too many questions should be answered, too many problems should be solved. Co-founders should work hand by hand, form as close bond as possible.

Nobody wants to be ghosted. I’ve heard a story of a team recruited a remote tech co-founder. He agreed to create a web application, then after some time stopped answering calls and messages. Nobody still knows why. The guy was somewhere there suppose to be working by himself, but he disappeared. The rest of the team realized that, only after some time until it became clear that he is not responding.

But, if someone stops coming to the office it immediately becomes clear that something is wrong. Moreover, it is quite rare that someone would just stop coming to the office without giving some explanation.

So, is a remote startup possible?

The remote startup is possible only if you have communication like the one when co-founders are sitting behind the same or nearby desks.

I mean, they should see and hear each other all the time. That allows them to immediately respond to each other, share ideas, discuss immediate issues, joke and have fun together.

Such continuous communication is the most efficient way to form a bond. Without such communication, it’s much harder if not impossible.

Co-founders need a bond. They need to become a team. They can’t have their own tasks and not to see each other in days. In this case, they will little by little go sideways. The focus will be getting weaker. There will be a lack of mutual reinforcement.

Continuous face-to-face communication allows founders to stay on the same track, to be a single unit.

Can such communication be arranged remotely?

Well, you could leave Skype video call running “forever”, right? It may seem like an option, but in fact, it will consume most of your bandwidth and overload your CPU. Moreover, the connection could be unstable.

Other similar tools may work better in details, but the core issue with bandwidth and CPU overload will remain.

We need a tool that allows to remain connected via live video and still feel good about that. Bandwidth and CPU consumption should be low. A user should feel good about being seen and heard by others.

Can that be achieved with Skype and similar tools?

No.

Using standard video conferencing software, you can view another user in full screen without him knowing that. It is the same as if someone looks at you straight in the face from breathing distance, with you actually not feeling and knowing that.

That’s, to say the least, weird.

A tool is needed that:

  • respects privacy
  • creates the same rules of visibility for every participant
  • notifies beforehand about changes of visibility
  • changes visibility not suddenly, but gradually allowing to make necessary preparations

Respecting privacy

Working remotely means working from home in most of the cases. That’s why the communication tool must preserve privacy by default and by design.

For example, in the experimental tool that I’ve developed, every user is blurred by default, as shown below:

A user is visible but not in detail. If the user is picking his nose or drinking coffee, etc. – others won’t recognize that.

Such blurring provides a balance between visibility and privacy.

Beforehand notification on visibility changes

You should be prepared for someone seeing you. In the office, everyone is ready to be seen. Everyone is dressed up, women are wearing makeup. Everybody is mentally ready for interaction with others.

Working from home is a totally different situation. Everyone is in his/her zone of comfort. Contact with others should be done in a way that allows preparing beforehand.

That is why my product gives a prior notification that says “A user will unblur you in a few seconds”, as shown in the image below:

Unblur Notification
Unblur notification

This gives the user a few seconds to prepare for the contact. 7 seconds by default with the ability to increase or decrease the interval. 3 seconds is the minimum. Combined with being blurred by default it gives the user enough time to prepare to be seen.

Gradual visibility change

A change of visibility shouldn’t occur instantly. Nobody likes suddenness/abruptness especially when it comes to privacy.

That is why a change of visibility should be gradual and smooth, as shown in the image below:

Ease of gaining additional awareness (in one click).
Gradual unblur

As you can see on the image above, unblurring happens gradually not instantly.

Same rules of visibility

Imagine the situation that within the same communication tool you are visible and your manager/boss is not. Wouldn’t it feel awkward and unfair in general?

A live video communication tool in which one participant is more visible than the other becomes a surveillance tool. It gives some people the power to invade other’s privacy.

The live video communication tool must be the opposite – it must provide the same rules of visibility for everyone.

After all, in the office you cannot wear an invisibility coat – you are present and visible the same as everyone else.

You should be able to see others only when your live video is up and vice versa.

Such reciprocity is implemented in my experimental product. In one type of video connection, you can see other users only when your video is running. In the other type of connection, you can see and hear other users only when your video is running, as shown in the image below:

Types of video connections

Conclusion

A remote startup is possible, but it is a difficult thing to do. A lack of communication tools that provide a continuous live video connection between founders is the main reason for that.

P.S.

I encourage you to try VideoWorkLink (VWL). This is an experimental tool for live video communication with remote employees. It provides an individual sense of privacy that makes it easy to remain connected via live video without feeling discomfort.

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Ditch time tracking (and other remote employee monitoring) in favor of team building

Ask yourself – would you like to be monitored while working? I bet every one of you will answer – hell no…
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Ask yourself – would you like to be monitored while working? For example, via taking screenshots, mouse movements or camera shots? I bet every one of you will answer – hell no.

So, why many companies still use time tracking as monitoring for remote employees?

It’s money, stupid, you’ll say. An employer wants to be sure that he pays for the real work. A time tracking makes sure that a remote employee/contractor is not slacking off over a paid time.

Why the same approach is seldom used for in-office employees, then? The answer is they are physically close which allows a manager:

  1. To monitor them indirectly: through non-verbal signals.
  2. They are a part of the team – not isolated outsiders.

A remote employee is often an isolated outsider. He is given tasks that are clearly described and have a determined output. He has to work as autonomous as possible without many interactions with the onsite team.

Isolation of remote employees buts them into conditions that they must work under time tracking. They are not an integral part of the team. That is why it seems better to give them well-determined tasks. And control their execution through such straightforward mechanism as time tracking.

Wouldn’t it be better if a remote employee was a full-fledged team member? In this case, there would be no need to control him. He could have been an integral part of the creative process instead of just completing tasks.

In this case, a team could save time on describing tasks in details, which can be overwhelmingly time-consuming. Instead of that the team could hire a remote employee and work with him as the team member fully including him into the creative process.

Some of you would say, that it’s impossible, because the remote employee is out of sight, and pretty much out of mind. You’d better give him a detailed task then wait for the result. It’s just simpler.

The primary reason for that is the lack of ways to communicate with them as close as with local employees.

Communication with remote employees is transactional. A manager sends a message, waits for the reply. Video calls often have to be scheduled because there is no way to see if a remote employee is available for the call. Communication with the remote employee if a set of online meetings with smaller text transactions.

Continuous communication is the key

How much money is wasted on the miscommunication with remote contractors? A lot. You schedule an online meeting. Finally, you meet online, quickly discuss things, and he goes back to work offline. Then after some time, it appears that the guy has misunderstood many things and did his job not exactly as you expected. You schedule another meeting and go through everything again. Then again and again.

Imagine if your remote employee was sitting behind the nearby desk inside your office. Wouldn’t it be convenient and easy to give him directions, discuss problems? It would be much faster, communication would be clear and easy. You could guide the direction of work more precisely, could correct mistakes sooner than later.

Why all that would be possible? Because he is nearby. He is present – visible, hearable. He is ready to be approached. He instantly can hear what you say.

Having such instant free-flowing communication allows you to treat a remote employee, not like just a tool, but more like a teammate. There won’t be necessary to demand him working under time tracking. You’d rather just work with him as with a team member.

It would be more convenient for the employee himself. He’d feel more involved and connected rather than being used as a tool. The system that also doesn’t take into consideration time he spends on thinking the work through.

Both parties win from such communication.

How can we have a continuous communication while working remotely

Live video communication is the obvious alternative for in-office communication.

I think we can have a live video communication only when the privacy of each user is respected. Such communication should respect privacy by design and by default.

Nobody wants to be watched, that is why standard video conferencing tools like Skype or Zoom wouldn’t fit that purpose. Because these tools don’t have any protection embedded in their designs to protect from such behavior.

Among all tools present on the market, unfortunately, there are no tools aimed for live video communication.

That is why I created an experimental tool that provides live video communication with an individual sense of privacy.

The privacy is achieved by having every user blurred by default:

And that’s not all. The design allows to control privacy, be fully aware of your visibility for others and have time to prepare for closer contact with another user.

I won’t go into details about my design. You can check it out here.

Conclusion

Time tracking is a necessary evil for working with remote contractors, because of their isolation from the rest of the team.

Such isolation makes communication difficult. It is difficult because it is transactional. Scheduling each communication transaction takes time and effort. That is why the employer wants to minimize the number of such transactions.

An employer gives remote employee tasks that are well-defined. Tasks are detailed and well-defined to minimize the number of communication transactions. In the case of a contractor, since there is a detailed job description, it is easy also to attach a fixed budget with time estimation.

To make sure that such a detailed task is executed on time and on the budget it is easier for the employer to take a straightforward approach – to use time tracking.

There would not be a need for time tracking if there was a possibility for the employer to communicate with a remote employee in an ad hoc fashion. He would just ask informally and periodically how things are going and get feedback.

P.S.

I encourage you to try VideoWorkLink (VWL). This is an experimental tool for live video communication with remote employees. It provides an individual sense of privacy that makes it easy to remain connected via live video without feeling discomfort.

Make your remote employees a favor – let them communicate their progress via live video instead of controlling them!

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Stop being a remote recluse. Why remote work needs real-time communication by default.

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I often see a hyped up pitch of remote work that asynchronous communication (text chat + video calling from time to time) is enough, you just have to adapt to it.

I don’t agree with that.

Asynchronous communication is great when a teammate has complete and clearly defined tasks. He can get himself secluded to stay focused to complete the tasks. It is better for him not to interact with fellow teammates to avoid unnecessary interruptions, stay in the state of the flow and get things done.

But how often does a team member have complete and clearly defined tasks? Not often. Usually, tasks are not complete. They often need clarifications, more brainstorming, advice from other teammates. Work is usually a boiling pot with discussions, questions, helping others and getting help from others. Staying in the state of flow is often mixed with interaction with others.

That’s when real-time synchronous communication is needed. That’s why in the long term, asynchronous communication makes a remote worker a hermit. It separates people.

Have you ever worked in a company where people sit in the same room with their headsets on, preferring to talk via text chat instead of face to face? I have. You can feel the air of isolation and separation in teams like that. You’d think a couple of times before approaching someone to talk face to face. Why? Well, because you think he is super busy, and he doesn’t want to be interrupted. At least he looks busy. And it is the norm that everyone prefers text chat and async communication in general. Separation only grows over time.

Having real-time face to face as a default mode of communication, allows teammates to interact in a more creative and diverse way. People know each other better. They can socialize and have fun. Over time the team forms some kind of a collective mind. The ability to communicate face to face by default means that the relationships within the team are staying healthy.

That is why many companies prefer open office plans because it forces teammates to have a real-time face to face communication as a default. It also prevents team members from isolating themselves and resorting to async communication as a primary mode.

What about remote workers? 

The bad news is that remote work forces to communicate asynchronously. The usual configuration is text chat + video (or even only audio) calling. Remote teammates are isolated. In such a situation it is difficult to create the same real-time face to face communication environment that you have in an open office.

You can make a Skype call and leave it always-on. Somebody does that, actually. It can work but it feels unnatural.

First, working remotely usually means working from home, often “in pants.” Nobody wants to be seen the same way as you are seen in the office wearing office clothes.

Second, software like Skype allows others to look you straight in the face in full screen. They can see every little tiny wrinkle on your face without you knowing that. Isn’t it big brother-ish? It feels awkward and weird.

Third, anyone can turn the camera off unless a team manager forces everyone to remain live-streaming. Considering the awkwardness, it can be tiresome for the team members.

So, what kind of solution could be for the mentioned problems?

Live video communication with privacy

First, everyone should feel comfortable while remaining connected via live video. One solution to implement that – to be blurred by default:

You can see that the guy is there but it is not clear what he’s doing and how he’s dressed up.

Second, a remote teammate should be aware of how others can see him, to avoid cases when others can see something, that he doesn’t expect them to see.

Third, there should be no unexpected things happening. Like when it takes only a second to unblur a teammate. It’s not cool to be suddenly unblurred when you’re picking your nose.

Every change of privacy should be notified upon and should be gradual. So, the teammate could prepare himself (get a finger out of his nose).

Is there any tool that does the mentioned things? Well, now there is one – VideoWorkLink (VWL).

It’s an experimental tool that has all the features described above. VWL allows remote teammates to remain connected via live video without feeling discomfort. The one that they’d feel in an always-on Skype video call.

Conclusion

In this article, I want to make a point that remote work needs real time face to face communication by default in order to continue winning the minds of team managers. Having only async communication is not enough for successful collaboration over the long term.

P.S.

To solve the problems mentioned in this article I’ve created the product – VideoWorkLink (VWL). I encourage you to try it out (it is in free beta) and let me know what you think! You can download it by clicking the button below.

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How can a team of 5 communicate 20 times faster

VideoWorkLink (VWL) boosts the speed of remote work by speeding up your communication with remote teammates.

Below you can find info-graphic illustrating how VWL can speed up communication up to 20 times for the team of 5.

The left column (Old Way) illustrates how most remote teams communicate today – asynchronously using video-calling.

The right column illustrates the new way of communication – continuous live video communication through VWL.

As you can see below, video-calling is awkward and has lots of barriers. Such awkwardness increases dramatically with a number of people in the team.

VWL eliminates barriers and boost the speed of communication 4x times, where X is a number of remote teammates.

That means that a team of 5 can communicate 20 times faster.

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We have updated our desktop application

The update includes several bugfixes and minor issues.

If you have VideoWorkLink (VWL) already installed after launching the application you will see the following window:

Just press Install button and everything will be working as good as before. This window appears because we have re-signed application’s executable files.

If you have any issues, questions or ideas please do write us!

What problem does VideoWorkLink solve?

Slack Technologies’ office in San Francisco. Many startups, including Slack, love open office plan like the one shown on the photo above. Do you know why? Because of the possibility for spontaneous communication.

Lack of spontaneous communication in teams scattered over different locations (rooms, offices, cities, countries) is the problem that you need to solve in order for your team to be a single cohesive unit.

A scattered team is like a network of isolated autonomous individuals rather than a connected whole. It is like being in the office where teammates are in separate rooms with doors locked from the inside.

If you want to make a close contact you have to “knock” – make a video-conference call. The other party, of course, must answer it.

It makes spontaneous communication impossible.

Text chat helps, but typing is much slower than talking. Moreover, it is asynchronous – you might not get an immediate answer after you’ve sent a message. Another delay. Chat gets overloaded with messages quite fast and it is hard to keep track.

You could make a video-conference call and leave it always on forever, you would say.

Yes, but video calls are not meant to be left forever. The odds are that you will have high Internet bandwidth consumption, high CPU load. Moreover, anyone will be able to watch you (in High Definition) without you knowing about that. It is like if someone could stare right at your face at a breadth distance without you knowing that.

Would you like to be watched that way? I don’t think so. That is why nobody does that always on video-conferencing thing.

Without spontaneous communication, your process of working together slows down dramatically.

Because the opportunities for spontaneous communication don’t exist, a scattered team have to rely on ad-hoc online meetings or on more formal, scheduled online meetings to get their work done.

However, because organizing meetings takes effort, a lower overall frequency of meetings results. This lower frequency of meetings, in turn, results in less work being done by the collaborators on their joint problems, particularly the problem of refining and coordinating their work plan.

Thus the collaborators are not as timely in giving each other feedback on the directions their joint work should go, and hence they take longer to construct and select among the alternatives that guided the course of their work.

This problem never becomes clear to the participants in the remote collaboration because each meeting seemed productive and useful, and they did not have other, spontaneous contacts that they can use to supplement these meetings.

There are several products on the market for a continuous audio communication, like TeamSpeak, Mumble, Ventrilo, Discord. But having only audio is not enough because it is impossible to know beforehand if a person is present and available.

Also, there are products like Sneek and Nowbridge. Despite possible privacy problems, such products provide a sense of presence and provide a possibility for an instant contact. But they still do not provide the possibility for spontaneous communication, because you still have to make a contact in order to communicate with a teammate via audio.

To this date, VideoWorkLink is the only fully-fledged software on the market created to solve the problem of a lack of spontaneous communication in distributed teams.

It links you up with remote teammates by the means of video for the whole working day. Yet, it does that with respect to your privacy.

Blurred view of a teammate

By default, you are blurred for your teammates. You know when someone unblurs you. You see when someone enters into a close contact with you, and it is done in a smooth slow way, in order for you to prepare for a contact.

A teammate makes a close contact with you.

Spontaneous communication is a key component required for communication in a creative team. For a successful creative process, a team has to have a possibility to instantly exchange ideas and coordinate work.

Among all products present on the market, VideoWorkLink is the only product that has all means necessary for providing a possibility for spontaneous communication to a distributed team.

You can see who is present and available, enter into a close contact with a teammate, talk to all team.

With VideoWorkLink your team will be together no matter the distance between each and every one of you.

VideoWorkLink is available for download

After many months of hard work, the product is finally available for download.

Here how it looks like:

Dear friends, I encourage you to try it out!

Since it is a test release, the product will collect a usage statistics and record audio & video feeds. Since your audio feed will be recorded, you can say what you think about the product right into the microphone. You will be heard, and your words will be taken into consideration. Your thoughts and ideas are very welcomed!

Please, feel free to check out the product that is absolutely unique on the market!

In all sincerity,
Oleg I. Galkin