QWL: how do you break the isolation of teleworking?

QWL: how do you break the isolation of teleworking?

Whether imposed or flexible, teleworking can be a difficult experience for employees. Teleworkers may feel isolated from their colleagues and superiors. This major risk has consequences for employees’ well-being and commitment to the company.


Facilitating communication

Isolated teleworking inevitably means poor communication. When teleworking, the communication tools deployed must be simple and easy to use, so that employees pick them up quickly. However, this is sometimes not enough.

A simple instant messenger is easy to use, but doesn’t allow you to recreate qualitative interactions. Generally, exchanges are short and limited to questions and answers. Communication is therefore insufficient. Over the long term, the links between employees become weaker.

Full remote: why are team buildind essential?


Making the most of videoconferencing

The deployment of videoconferencing tools in companies is now essential for teleworking teams. However, these solutions are still under-utilised. Many employees deactivate their webcams during online meetings and lose the opportunity to interact more effectively with the person they are speaking to. This type of practice leads to a feeling of isolation when teleworking.


The importance of non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication can provide information about a colleague’s emotional or physical state and enable the conversation to be adapted. Body language (facial expressions, movements, posture, etc.) can indicate agitation, apathy or dissatisfaction. The gaze may be shifty or fixed, indicating interest and attention. All these elements contribute to enriching communication and getting the most out of it.

6 questions to ask yourself before starting a videoconference

Setting up rituals

On the other hand, holding a series of videoconference meetings throughout the day can quickly become exhausting for employees and, above all, counter-productive. What’s more, these meetings generally leave little room for informal communication. This does nothing to reduce the feeling of isolation among employees.

To maintain a good team dynamic, certain rituals need to be put in place, such as weekly meetings or short “daily meetings”. These encourage exchanges without taking up too much of the working day. Other, more informal and fun activities can be devised to strengthen team cohesion (online games, challenges, video afterwork, etc.).

The aim is to strengthen links between teams while maintaining autonomy and productivity.



The virtual open-space to avoid feelings of isolation and strengthen team spirit

On a daily basis at Tixeo, the teams are continuously connected in real time in a virtual open-space, TixeoFusion.

Every morning, employees work together in the same space, working remotely without feeling isolated.

Everyone appears in a video bubble and can work in peace and quiet, surrounded by their colleagues. To exchange views, employees simply click on a colleague’s bubble to switch to a traditional videoconference. The other colleagues can see the bubbles coming closer together, creating a discussion group.

isolement télétravail

Each discussion group is represented by a different colour.

The teleworker is just like being in the office:

  • they can easily share their screen,
  • hold a meeting
  • have an informal chat with a colleague
  • or concentrate on their work while seeing their colleagues.

All this without feeling isolated.

Finally, TixeoFusion also facilitates the exchange of information between all participants, via the integrated instant chat module.

Thanks to the virtual open-space, teleworking employees can easily chat with different teams, which also strengthens cross-functional collaboration.



Integrating new teleworkers

In teleworking, the arrival of a new employee must be well prepared in order to facilitate their integration into the company.

On the first day, everything must be done to ensure that the newcomer feels welcome and can get to know the teams in place. Support during the first few weeks is crucial to help them take charge of their new role and their place in the organisation. Regular exchanges should be arranged to identify any difficulties at an early stage. A rapid and successful integration of a teleworking employee will limit the risks of isolation.


In a recent interview with French Tech Méditerranée, Renaud Ghia, CEO of Tixeo, gives his advice on how to welcome a new 100% teleworking employee.

Raising team awareness

Organisations need to react before a teleworker becomes truly isolated. There are various warning signs: loss of motivation, lack of involvement in meetings, fewer exchanges, etc.

Awareness-raising measures can be put in place within the organisation to prevent isolation while teleworking. In addition, managers need to be trained in these issues so that they can react quickly and support their staff. Regular feedback with their teams is also recommended to detect this type of malaise.



Monitoring workload and respecting the right to disconnect

Finally, the feeling of isolation when teleworking can also be felt when an employee is overloaded with work. When teleworking, it’s easier to stay at your desk for a few extra hours to finish a task. However, this hyper-connection can have harmful effects on the employee’s health and personal life, and can lead to a feeling of isolation.

Here again, the manager must ensure that the employee’s workload is consistent and that they can disconnect completely after their working day to devote themselves to their family life and leisure activities.


How do you encourage team cohesion when you work 100% from home?

white paper on teleworking security
Full remote: why are team buildind essential?

Full remote: why are team buildind essential?

Corporate seminars or team building allow teams to meet face-to-face in a new environment for one or more days, to revitalise the group.

Seminars strengthen team cohesion

Often spread over several cities or countries, fully remote teams only exchange information via videoconferencing and the vast majority of them never meet in person.

However, even if video collaboration tools have a multitude of features to facilitate teamwork, face-to-face meetings remain essential. Indeed, certain informal interactions or team meetings require the physical gathering of employees in order to encourage exchanges and create links.

During team building, certain team strategy games can even help to analyse group dynamics and identify improvements collectively. The result: a boost in individual motivation and collective energy.

A new environment conducive to exchange

Company seminars should be held in a neutral location that is unknown to everyone. Without their usual points of reference, employees will be placed on an equal footing and will feel freer to discuss their tasks and their well-being. They will also be more likely to participate in group activities.

Company seminars teleworking

The choice of venue must also be guided by practicality criteria: it is recommended to choose a place close to all amenities and to facilitate the organisation of the team as much as possible (carpooling, various reservations…), especially if the team building is an adventure.

Team building enhance the company’s culture

By definition, team building must create an event and therefore be rich in activities. It is in the company’s interest to choose them carefully as they will also enhance its internal culture.

Sports activities will work on team spirit and perseverance, while fun activities will encourage employees to let go and encourage moments of exchange. Cultural or creative activities will boost the creativity of the teams and the spirit of innovation.

Diversity of activities

It is highly recommended to alternate between work moments, such as brainstorming and general meetings, and moments of relaxation. The seminar should not be a simple extension of the daily work routine, nor should it be a simple event where teams have fun. There are many benefits to the company culture if the balance between the type of activities offered and the moments of free exchange and work is well maintained.

full remote team building

Team building for the onboarding of employees

When a new employee joins a 100% teleworking team, integration can be long and difficult. Company seminars, organised regularly throughout the year, are a way of introducing newcomers and ensuring that they can meet and talk to each other.


Establishing rituals and building loyalty among employees

Team building is a good way of valuing employees by placing them at the heart of the event. It can be interesting to set up rituals such as welcoming newcomers, celebrating the seniority of an employee or the implementation of a project.

Tixeo has been in full remote for 7 years now and organises quarterly seminars for its teams. As Renaud Ghia, President of Tixeo, explains in his interview on the HelloworkPlace website: “We make sure that the date of taking up the post [of newcomers] is close to the next team building event so that they don’t have to wait three months before physically seeing their colleagues! For us, video is for work, face-to-face is for having a good time.”

Company seminars therefore have many benefits for 100% telework collaboration: they maximise the knowledge of the teams, renew the collective dynamic and increase employee loyalty.

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How to facilitate collaboration in a flex office?

How to facilitate collaboration in a flex office?

The standardised office is no longer the norm, but the workspace can now change from one day to the next. This is the principle of the flex office, which has become widespread in companies in recent years with teleworking and hybrid working. Video collaboration tools are a way of guaranteeing the performance and reliability of this new way of working.

The flex office, a new corporate culture

With the development of teleworking, office space is shrinking. Employees are no longer all in the office at the same time, and even less in the same office every day.

The flex office is one response to this. It consists of changing the workspace according to daily tasks and professional or personal constraints.

An employee can thus choose to work from home on Monday, in the company’s coworking room on Tuesday or in a café on Wednesday. The principle is simple: to encourage mobility in order to decompartmentalise employees and make them more responsible. In addition, the flex office, like hybrid working methods, improves work-life balance. A free and happy employee?

A working method favoured by employees

In 2021, a Deskeo survey of nearly 4,000 workers (41% employees, 37% managers and 22% executives) revealed that 55% of them were considering the flex office. These statistics echo the growing need for mobility among employees. Some even push the boundaries by becoming digital nomads.

But flex office, like nomadism, cannot be improvised. These hybrid working methods require support and a certain agility. To facilitate collaboration in the flex office, it is first and foremost necessary to be equipped with video collaboration tools.

Facilitating exchanges

A computer and an Internet connection are enough to go and work by the coffee machine, on a terrace or in a meeting room. However, it is important not to forget to maintain the link with your colleagues. It is this team cohesion that will enable the benefits of the flex office to be reaped. Supporting employees in the good practices of the flex office (working hours and places, installation, equipment, etc.) is therefore necessary, as is maintaining excellent communication.

This is why the deployment of video collaboration tools is essential. The video collaboration solution must be easy to use and bring fluidity in the exchanges. Tixeo offers a video conferencing solution with many collaboration modes (virtual open-space, meeting, conference…). The video adapts to the quality of the user’s network, to guarantee an optimal quality of the discussions.


Secure communications

Although they offer the possibility of communicating quickly and efficiently, video collaboration tools must not expose the company to cyber attacks. In fact, in a flex office, employees work in various locations. They exchange company data via video conference which can be listened in on. This tool must therefore have a high level of security to protect these communications.

But today, most video collaboration solutions do not include cybersecurity in their commitments. Their data protection is generally insufficient and many publishers host their data abroad. Companies that use such software can then be confronted with cyber espionage.

Tixeo’s European video collaboration solution is the most secure on the market: it offers end-to-end encryption of communications which eliminates any risk of eavesdropping. No need to censor a sensitive topic during an online meeting, no backdoor can give access to communications.


Tixeo is the only video conferencing solution to be certified and qualified by the ANSSI

video collaboration

Accessible to all flex office employees, regardless of where they are located, the chosen video collaboration tool must be the subject of training. This avoids the multiplication of other software that could hinder collaboration.

The Tixeo video collaboration solution is secure by design: security is part of its foundations. Its deployment has no impact on the company’s network security policy. Indeed, only one port needs to be opened to install the solution. This saves time and provides unparalleled reliability.

Return to teleworking: how to get back on a good footing?

Return to teleworking: how to get back on a good footing?

Return to teleworking by Tixeo

FORUM – by Renaud Ghia, Tixeo CEO

By announcing a reconfinement during his speech on Wednesday 28 October, Emmanuel Macron has, in fact, relaunched the massive use of teleworking to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. It is once again compulsory for workers, whether employees or self-employed, who can carry out their activities remotely.

While for some companies the rapid introduction of telework last March was a crash test that they would prefer not to repeat, for others it was a revelation.

At the beginning of the autumn, some companies have indeed decided to extend the experience, on a one-off or regular basis, while 70% of employees preferred or were encouraged to return to the office 5 days out of 5, as shown by the Dares survey published on 26 October 2020, which questioned companies with 10 or more employees in the non-agricultural private sector between 30 September and 13 October 2020, on their situation and the employment conditions of the workforce in September.

For companies that had never teleworked before, this organisation could have been complicated and difficult to set up: equipping employees with remote collaboration tools, organising video conferences, maintaining team cohesion, managing to trust, not controlling too much… so many parameters to take into account for managers who wanted everything to go as smoothly as possible. The priority for the companies was to dematerialise the workspace and make remote collaboration solutions available. Most of them managed to do this with varying degrees of agility, which now allows them to concentrate on managing their teams.

However, the main element that most managers have tended to neglect is that adopting a teleworking organisation requires them to maintain their habits and the daily links that unite the members of a team.

In order to telework effectively without employees losing their bearings, it is essential to continue to apply the rules and habits of the office, especially those related to working hours by inviting them to join and leave a virtual open-space for example, or to connect to their computer at set times as they would do at the office. In this way, the boundary between personal and professional life is respected, while formalising the right to disconnection.

Staying connected to avoid isolation and strengthen team cohesion…

According to an Ifop perception study on the impact of the crisis on all dimensions of occupational health carried out on a representative sample of 3,504 employees of private sector companies from 19 June to 15 July 2020 by Malakoff Humanis’ Comptoir de la nouvelle entreprise, one employee in five declared feeling more isolated during the crisis.

Indeed, many people felt abandoned, demotivated and alone in front of their computers. A single meeting in the morning or evening to take stock of the situation with their team is not enough to maintain team cohesion and only isolates employees the rest of the time; this is the main mistake that most companies have made in the sudden deployment of their teleworking organisation. It is important to maintain continuous contact throughout the day to avoid this feeling of loneliness and maintain a sense of belonging to the group. The company is a place of exchange and social relations that must be preserved in this new organisation, all the more so if teleworking is to be used in the long term.

Just like the coffee break, employees need informal and convivial moments of discussion to motivate and support each other and to maintain a team spirit. A virtual open-space where employees can stay connected and exchange ideas throughout the day is one example of solutions to enable employees to be together, even if they are far away.

…thanks to an adapted and secure video collaboration solution

For some companies, the choice of collaboration tools during containment had to be made in a hurry and without really taking the time to identify their needs and problems. This may, for example, explain the problems of isolation or the computer attacks that have been amplified during this critical period.

In order to regain a feeling close to that provided by a real work environment, it is essential to choose a videoconferencing tool that is reliable, easy to use, simple to deploy, and equipped with numerous collaboration functionalities, such as office and document sharing, file transfer or instant messaging.

The exponential increase in attacks and the bad practices observed in teleworking during containment took most French IT managers by surprise, according to the study “When the World stayed Home” published by Tanium and conducted among more than a thousand managers (CEO, CIO/DSI, CTO) of medium and large companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France (250 people) during the weeks of containment at the height of the global pandemic.

The implementation of telework must not hide the risks that this type of collaboration can pose to companies, such as industrial espionage. It is essential to be regularly informed about the protection of one’s information system. When employees are spread out in different locations, security must be optimal and be the subject of particular attention. A secure VPN is essential, as well as a company-specific cloud.

Both for reasons of compliance with the RGPD and for the security of the company and that of its customers, it is advisable to deploy the most reliable and secure solutions on the market, particularly those labelled by the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI).  Such a strategy offers protection for sensitive data, which represent a prime target for hackers because of their economic value.

Similarly, the confidentiality of communications must not be neglected. Solutions that offer end-to-end encryption of communications (video, audio and data) regardless of the number of employees connected are to be favoured, as they only allow the sender and receiver(s) to decrypt the data without any decryption phase between the correspondents. It must prevent any electronic eavesdropping, including by telecommunications and Internet access providers and even by the publisher of videoconferencing solutions. Thus, no one is able to access the encryption keys needed to decrypt the conversation.

The spring confinement period was an initial test for companies, allowing them to take a step back from the good practices to adopt in such circumstances. Given this experience, they will be able to face the difficult period ahead with more expertise and mastery in the organisation of telework. Once the days are better, it would not be surprising if some of them adopt this model permanently.