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3 Ways Telepresence Robots Are Changing the Game for Virtual Employees

People who work remotely are becoming more and more commonplace; in fact, a recent Gallup poll reported that in 2016, 43% of employed Americans worked from home at least some of the time.

And the happiest among them worked 60% to 80% from home, with only a day or two in the office.

Video conferencing has in large part made this workforce shift a reality, allowing for real-time, face-to-face communication. Still, those interactions are relatively impersonal, and for the most part, you need a scheduled meeting to make those connections happen.

So how can you have a more personal, organic working relationship with on-site colleagues when you’re a virtual employee?

Enter, the Beam Smart Presence System – a robotic avatar that gives a remote worker an actual physical presence, dramatically increasing the possibilities for collaboration, creativity and enhanced productivity.

Here are three ways that Beam boosts teamwork and camaraderie:

1) Spontaneous, informal connections happen: In any given work day, much of what gets accomplished is not done in a formal setting but instead in those casual moments where people naturally exchange ideas: walking down the hall together, chatting in the company kitchen or popping over to a coworker’s desk. Telepresence robots allow you to show up wherever and whenever you need to in a given day.

2) It’s more of a human experience: Beam allows you to literally see eye-to-eye with others; standing about human height, and with the ability to maneuver around, a person-controlled (piloted) robot provides a more immersive, face-to-face experience. This makes it much easier for your co-workers to think about you as a person, and not an abstract idea on a video screen, far, far away.

For example, Evite CEO Victor Cho uses the Beam to make meaningful connections with the people he manages. From greeting a new employee in the New York office from the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles to dropping in on a Thanksgiving potluck lunch when he was working from home one day, Cho says, “The amazing thing is that it’s just like I’m there in person. It’s more personal.”

3) No more FOMO: With the ability to go where the action is, if there’s a spur of the moment meeting or even drinks after work, your Beam can easily tag along.

And this doesn’t just apply to in-house gatherings; Beams are showing up more and more at conferences (i.e. Robotics Alley, SingularityU India Summit) and gatherings where travel is time or cost prohibitive. Now, instead of missing out, you can join your co-workers and colleagues at far flung events and be the life of the party; everyone loves interacting with Beams — and their pilots.

Thanks to telepresence robots, working remotely is no longer the same as working from a distance. For the record number of employees working from home instead of commuting every day, being a physical part of the workplace allows them to foster stronger connections, expand collaboration opportunities and strengthen bonds with co-workers.