Working from home has many advantages, but it can make it harder to feel connected to what your colleagues are up to. Online chat and video-conferencing can make that easier, but to convey a sense of the workplace, consider doing what we did and setting up a permanent camera in the office.
As many Lifehacker readers will already know, our beloved and award-winning night editor Elly Hart is now working from Canada. We set up an online chat system for day-to-day stuff and we plan to use Skype for regular meetings, but neither of those could quite convey the sense of who was in the office on a given day.
So we set up an AXIS monitoring camera above Elly's old desk. This is a model designed for use in security applications, so it can pan and zoom and keeps an ongoing recording. We don't need that last feature, but the ability to view the camera via a password-protected web address means Elly can instantly see who is in the office, what they're wearing and what changes have taken place. (The shot here is zoomed in on the permanently messy desk of Kotaku editor Mark Serrels.)
There was a bit of fiddly network work to get the camera working and a few people were initially a bit freaked out by the thought of potentially being on camera, but it's taken for granted now. If you regularly work away from the office, a similar solution could help create a sense of team cohesion.