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How useful is videoconferencing for telecommuting?

There has been a lot of interest and discussion about this but not much action - yet. This will probably change as the software and hardware for true desktop videoconferencing becomes more widely available, and at lower costs, and as the quality improves. However, there are two potential obstacles for most videoconferencing for telecommuting: first, it generally requires access to an ISDN phone service, which isn't available everywhere yet. Second, some of the interest in videoconferencing is misguided, in the sense that managers want to use it to do the same kind of micro-management they practice in the office. The best use of video for telecommuting is for applications where there's a graphic or visual aspect that can't be conveyed with just voice or text, or for interactions where you really need to look someone in the eye.

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