VSee vs. Flash: Video Conferencing Considerations

Convenience The beauty of Flash for video conferencing is that it’s nearly ubiquitous.  Unless you happen to be working on student computer in a public school, Flash is probably already installed and running like a deer on your computer.  In fact, if you can watch videos on YouTube, Reuters.com, or…

VSee Retreat At Don Pedro Lake

One of the highlights of life at VSee is the annual wakeboarding trip at Don Pedro Lake, which was just this past weekend.  We rent a houseboat and pack as many people into it as is advisable and then set off with a whoop and a holler.  This year we…

VSee vs. Vidyo: Simplicity Is Key

Why It’s Important To See Your Coworkers

Summary:  Mirror neurons may be the key to explaining why it’s so important to see people for social interactions. With the remote work revolution seriously getting underway, a recent article from Knowledge @ Wharton Today reminds us that remote workers may be losing more knowledge than we know from the…

VSee’s No Vacation Policy

Summary:  Inspired by Hubspot, VSee is also implementing a policy of “no policy on vacations” as a company culture hack.  Let us know if you think it will work! Who’s The Nut With The Bright Idea Dharmesh Shah is a serial founder that I admire a lot for his scientific…

Team Building: A Lesson From Rugby

Someone had asked earlier what team building exercises VSee does.  My initial reaction was “we don’t,” because we don’t really do ropes courses or packaged team building retreats, but I realized that one of the most important team building exercises we do is the daily stand-up meeting.  Jason Yip of Thoughtworks…

Why Team Building Retreats Don’t Improve Team Work

In a study of virtual teams, Stanford management science professor Pamela Hinds found that 6 months after virtual team members participated in an intense week-long team building retreat there was zero correlation to their ability to work together.  Hinds believes that in order to increase a group’s relational coordination or ability to…

No Teleworker Left Behind

If a teleworker is fearing that he or she is less valued than an on-site worker I would say either 1) that person has a bad manager or 2) that manager doesn’t know how to manage a remote team.  It has been well-documented that remote workers lose a lot of…

Move Over Mini-me, Meet Virtual-me

Working remotely can feel like you’re always on the periphery of things, lost and forgotten by managers and coworkers who can’t see you.  So it’s great when people come up with better ways of giving remote workers more presence.  One fascinating idea that makes use of videoconferencing technology is the…

The Human Brain Isn’t Designed To Hold Thoughts

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently had an article by Professors Tsedal Neeley and Paul Leonardi titled “Effective Managers Say the Same Thing Twice (Or More).” We put this principle into action all the time in our personal lives, like repeatedly telling your child to look both ways before crossing…

Virtual Team Paradox #1: Physical Presence Is Necessary

It’s no big secret that virtual teams need to meet face-to-face.  As mentioned in an earlier post, a study completed by Dubé and Robey found that the most prevalent contradiction or tension in virtual teams is the necessity for face-to-face presence. There’s something important about corporeality that allows us to…

Virtual Team Paradox #2: More Structure Means More Flexibility

What’s So Special About Virtual Teams?

If we’re talking purely about their goals and functions…nothing, really. Like all other teams they are formed to solve a problem, do a project, perform a service, or come up with some answers.  What makes them so  special is that they are able to pool together talent and expertise from…

A New Mantra Of Boredom

“Boredom is necessary for creativity” —Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow

Seeing Eye To Eye

Smile For The Camera

One of the reasons we continue to be so gung ho about video calling is because studies in the field of communication have demonstrated the importance of nonverbal communication in interpersonal communications, many of which are expressed through the visual channel. For instance, one thing you can’t express very well…

A Videoconferencing Success Story

I know I’m going to sound cheesy when I say this, but I was really touched and impressed by Sonnenwald et al’s (2002) patience and determination to truly use videoconferencing technologies to increase collaboration.  Even though their action research project was with large groups (30-110 people) in academic institutions, they…

Technical Operation Considerations

Technical operation considerations are a part of videoconferencing that we’d all like to avoid thinking about.  Why can’t it be like a microwave where we just plug it in, push a button, and it works?  So, as promised earlier, let’s look at some of the technical details Sonnenwald, Solomon, Hara,…

The Dark Side of Video Conferencing

While video calling is great in  many ways (see Top 10 Reasons To Use Videoconferencing), it’s not a replacement for face-to-face meetings.  First impressions do count, and if you aren’t careful, you  could be headed for a video calling wipeout.  Just look at the effect of video (i.e.,  television) on…

Videoconferencing: The Kid On A Corner

With all the research and effort put into recreating Star Trek fantasies of communicating via life-like screen images, you’d think people would be more enthusiastic about actually using the amazing videoconferencing technologies out there today!  But surprisingly, as mentioned in an earlier post, videoconferencing tools have been painfully slow to…