Perhaps many of you have been Skype-ing for a while, but I’m a recent convert. I mentioned in one of my first posts that I’m a big fan of technology and often an early adopter. Skype’s been around for a while in the UK, but only recently began advertising in the US. I’d heard about it a couple of years ago, but didn’t get serious about trying it until my daughter went to London for the semester and the reality of long distance phone call bills drove us to this VOIP wonder.
Skype allows you to make free (yes, that’s right, free) telephone calls via the Internet. You download Skype to your computer and can connect for free with anyone else who’s got Skype installed on his/her computer. You can also make competitively priced calls to cell phone or landlines from your computer via Skype. If your computer doesn’t have a built in microphone, you need to add that, but otherwise you’re good to go with no big investment. The best part of all – add video! With a cheap webcam attached to your computer, you get a pretty good real time video of the person you’re talking to.
Why now more than ever?
- Whether you’ve got kids living abroad or not, pinching pennies is becoming second nature for all of us whose savings may be shrinking as a result of the current turmoil in the world markets.
- In tough times, it’s more important than ever to stay connected to those we care about – and Skype makes that easy to do.
- As more and more workers are working remotely from their management, this could be a great tool to forge and sustain a more personal relationship with co-workers than the phone alone permits.
Are any of you using Skype (or similar VOIP) technologies at work to support remote workers?