How We Do Remote Presence


At Suitable Technologies, most of our employees sit in our Palo Alto headquarters or our satellite office in San Francisco.  We also have employees working remotely in other states and even other countries.  If you go into our Palo Alto office, you’ll see rows of developers working at their desks and and a bunch of Beams interspersed among them.

Remote presence isn’t just about talking to someone for a specific meeting.  We use Beams for a full day’s work.   It’s about being there and aware of all the subtleties of being present.  When I work remotely, I Beam into the office for the regular hours to be available and accessible.  That way, my coworkers can still pop their heads over and ask me an impromptu question the way they normally would if I were there.

Remote presence gives you mobility and independence.  Think about everything you can see, hear, observe, and do, simply by being there.

Remote presence uniquely enables:

  1. Knowledge transfer.  The most productive communication or collaboration often occurs outside of scheduled calls and conference room meetings.  It happens in the impromptu meetings when you’re all gathered around someone’s computer discussing tweaks to the latest UI, or when you’re walking to the kitchen to get coffee and you bump into your product manager.
  2. Culture transfer.  I actually enjoy hearing the office chatter in the background, feeling the energy of those working around me, and participating in the random office jokes and hijinks that come up.  This is especially important for team members that work in other states and countries.  It helps us to build a more cohesive culture despite the distance.
  3. The ROI of being there.  Companies wouldn’t make their employees go on business trips if there were no ROI or case for being there.  However, it’s not always feasible because of the time and cost involved.  Beam is the next best thing to being there in person.  On both ends, it really feels as if you’re there.  Communication and interaction is natural, comfortable, and effective.

The business environment is global.  You can’t always be there in person, but you can still have instant, personal communication and interaction.  Beam makes it possible and Beam makes it more frequent.  This is how we work at Suitable.