While millions of people worldwide experienced the ups and downs of remote work for the first time last March, Michelle McBain was not one of those people. Though a staggering 44% of companies never allowed their employees to work from home pre-COVID, Michelle has spent the past 20 years of her career telecommuting.

What's made her so successful as a remote employee? In part, it's her innovative approach to communication. As the VP of Global Channel and Digital Strategy at the JS Group, communication runs in her veins. Her passion for helping others connect has fueled her career growth over the years and prepared her well to navigate the challenges of 2020. Hear how her unique perspective and experiences are helping her customers and colleagues stay connected while socially distanced.

Forget the new normal. Welcome to a digital normal.

Regardless of life stage, career level, industry, or location, we've all experienced some degree of difficulty due to COVID. And the channel community, in particular, has been turned upside down. For businesses that depend on face-to-face communication to operate, video has become critical.

Technology, like the 8x8 work app, has been a lifeline for Michelle, even before COVID, but especially over the last several months.

"We're really helping to save the channel, and we're really helping people become successful despite any of the obstacles they might be facing."

The "new" normal is no longer new. Welcome to a digital normal. In her mind, video is the most powerful way to communicate going forward.

"It works. It's dynamic; it's engaging, it's responsive; it allows us to feel connected."

From hosting virtual happy hours to conducting team-building events and one-to-one coaching sessions, Michelle says that video is no longer nice to have. It's mission-critical.

"It works. It's dynamic; it's engaging, it's responsive; it allows us to feel connected."

Build the way forward with tools that empower your team.

Besides video, what do employees need to do their jobs well while working apart? Tools that allow them to communicate openly, collaborate easily and share in real-time. Bringing the boardroom to the dining room table, poolside chair, or home office is easy with the right technology.

8x8's all-in-one communication platform enables that real-time sense of connection so easily. Whether employees are at their desk or in the car waiting to pick up groceries, they can hold their office in the palm of their hand with the 8x8 work app. What does a work-from-home veteran like Michelle think about the 8x8 app?

"I love the friendliness of the application, and I love that there's so much I can do with it."

We could all use an extra dose of friendliness, right? Building rapport, sustaining relationships, and finding meaningful ways to connect are key to business growth. Communication is at the heart of all, and we're proud to have built the tools that make it possible. Original thinkers like Michelle inspire us to continue innovating, and we’re proud to work with her. Please stay tuned for more profiles of 8x8 Original Thinkers in the coming weeks.