Marissa Mayer’s decision to curb the telecommuting privileges of Yahoo employees was met with mixed reactions, with some praising the move as an excellent business strategy and others lambasting it as a last-ditch effort to breathe life into a floundering venture. However, despite a large and established company’s choice to do away with telecommuting, more and more small to medium-sized organizations are still trying their hand at allowing employees to work from home. According to a 27-page white paper from Global Workplace Analytics published in 2013, telecommuting increased 79.7% from 2005 to 2012.
One of the major forces behind the telecommuting movement is mobile communications but these days, communication is aided by Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, and it is this very technology that has made telecommuting as popular as it is. While most users take advantage of VoIP on their computers, it is now common to have supplementary applications for mobile devices, allowing VoIP systems to be accessed from most anywhere.
Working from home poses its own set of challenges but with a well-placed VoIP phone system, employers that already, or want to, permit telecommuting can overcome them.
Here are some of the benefits your SMB can reap with the mobility of VoIP.
- A small business VoIP service provider will allow employees to receive and make calls from their personal mobile devices while using the company’s business number. This will better the company’s image while protecting the company’s relationships with their clients should an employee decide to leave.
- Allowing employees to telecommute promotes better work-life balance and this leads to increased employee retention. Happy employees with high job satisfaction are less likely to find “greener pastures”. Satisfied employees are also less likely to experience the physical manifestations of stress, leading to fewer sick days.
- If circumstances that might mean downtime for your business should arise, you can rest easy knowing that your company doesn’t have to waste precious time. If your employees can’t make it to the office due to bad weather or lack of transportation, work can still be done by way of your VoIP system coupled with other collaboration tools.
- No matter where your employees are — at home or on the road, clients will be able to reach them without the added burden of having to remember which number to call. Traditional phone systems require employees to be at their desks but with VoIP, workers can be within reach wherever they are for as long as they have an internet connection. This will mean increased productivity for both in-house and work at home employees, positively affecting the company’s bottom line.
Telecommuting seems to be the way of the future and whether companies decide to utilize it due to necessity or strategy, forward-thinking businesses will find that they have an edge over their competitors. While it does take a bit of planning and management, using the appropriate technology is sure to lead SMBs to the right path. There is no doubt that the mobility of VoIP services will be of tremendous value to any business venture that employs remote workers and might even encourage others who have yet to embrace telecommuting to do the same.
Diana is the Chief Customer Officer at Telzio and enjoys helping customers get the most out of their Telzio services.