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Teleworking & Remote Language Lessons

These days people in Tokyo are getting tired of the rush hour commutes in and out of downtown Tokyo. In fact, the Founder of our company has often commented on this uncomfortable time on the crowded trains, and how wonderful it would be if more workers could telework. To this end, he has instituted a progressive policy for permitting staff to telework once or twice a week whenever possible.

As an extension of this we have made some changes in language lessons, too. So, several departments in the company, while already using video calls for special occasions, now have begun trials using video conferencing more regularly for daily business, to measure its effectiveness.

Clearly, communicating with our International offices using visual aids is preferred, and while we had done some meetings and conferencing for certain matters, now we are moving forward boldly into a future where its use is more common.

I have some comments regarding the use of video conferencing for English language lessons and Teleworking.

I have been using it for about 3 weeks now under a trial period, and I have found that the clarity of the screen and the clarity of the voice are quite good. When teaching it is important to see the facial expressions and hear the nuances in the voice for intonation and stress on certain words or phrases. This is a key factor when I am listening to students speak. And vice versa, when they hear my voice, they can understand me more clearly, what I mean and the intention of my communication.

However, one downside is about signing on to the app and getting the chat room set up for each class. Each class has its own special complications and unique requirements, such as listening exercises or viewing attachments. Through practice I think we can adapt our lessons and our needs to fit in with the parameters of this system.

In addition, soon, our staff will complete a manual in English for us to use in language lessons and perhaps get rid of any bugs about the operation of video communication.
Some of my students are looking forward to doing telework from home once or twice a week, and they will rely on video conferencing heavily to keep up with their jobs.

So, from the point of view of an English teacher, my use of video conferencing has been positive and convenient. I hope we can develop its use even further in the company as a resource and a tool for effectively communicating in our multicultural multi-location environment.

Perhaps in the future here, we may become a leading member of progressive thinking companies who use video conferencing to the advantage of their business. Reducing the volume of commuters and increasing the comfort and energy in our working environment, while reducing our carbon footprints.

By John Owens

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