WHEN Ms Low Mei Lin holds video conferences with her colleagues, two cheeky faces often pop up on screen.
They are her children, 21/2-year-old Lauren and nine-month-old Julian, who are often on mum's lap during her work discussions.
Ms Low, 36, a business functions solutions and market development director, has been working from home every day for the past five months. "We continue with our discussions even with the children there. But after our meetings end, my colleagues will start fussing over the kids," she said with a laugh.
The video conferencing technology Ms Low uses almost every day to communicate with colleagues in Singapore and overseas was developed by her company Polycom. "With video calls, I don't feel that I am away from my colleagues. At the same time, I get to spend time with my children," she said.
Like her, all of the more than 100 Polycom employees in Singapore can choose to work from home or other locations.
They also can decide when to work. For instance, they can go to the gym or run errands in the afternoon and finish their work at night.
The employees are given this freedom as their bosses do not believe in keeping them in the office to get work done, said company spokesman Tan Wei Leng. She said staff are appraised on how well they meet work goals rather than face time.
Targets are set by employees together with their bosses at the start of the year, and are reviewed after six months. During the year, staff will also meet their bosses regularly to get feedback.
"There should be clear, measurable outcomes for the work day or week, so that employees are empowered to decide how and where they should work," said Ms Tan.
Employees said that they were worried initially about creating a bad impression by working from home permanently.
Ms Low, for one, said these worries were unfounded. "I got promoted in the past year during which I gave birth and also worked from home. I had quite a good pay raise too," she said.