Two communication dynamics have taken hold in the 21st Century to address the needs of our burgeoning mobile society - VoIP and remote workers.
It's clear that remote working is a rising trend among today's corporations and startups. VoIP solutions allow companies to implement remote working policies, while ensuring that remote teams are productive. In this article, we're taking a look at the momentum of remote working, and how VoIP is playing a crucial part.
More People Are Working Remotely
In 2016, the number of workers telecommuting rose to 37 percent, as more and more employers tapped into the flexibility and productivity benefits of the new “work-from-anywhere” culture. The rise of the remote worker has prompted businesses to find solutions as to how best to communicate in this new milieu.
According to FlexJobs, we’re seeing nothing less than a rejection of the traditional office workspace.
A full 76 percent of respondents to a recent FlexJobs survey said that, when they need to get important work done, they avoid the office.
Out of 2,600 respondents, 50 percent reported that their home is their venue of choice for productivity. Another 12 percent said they would choose a coffee shop, coworking space, library, or other types of space, in place of the traditional office.
Of the 2,600 Respondents, 9 percent were entry level, 58 percent were experienced, and 33 percent were at the manager or senior level.
Remote Working as a Company Perk
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 Global Workplace Analytics, telecommuting increased 80 percent 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.
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 just a few of the benefits companies with remote work policies can gain:
- 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-office, and at-home employees.
VoIP Enables Remote Jobs
When companies are confronted with the choice of upgrading or replacing an outdated phone system (aka POT), they are gravitating to what is best for their business. And today, Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has not only become an accepted standard of business service, it’s become one that provides them the greatest productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and cost-savings.
Companies with remote teams opt for a cloud based phone solution to keep office employees and home offices on the same system.
Utilizing a VoIP service, businesses obtain access to a wealth of robust features that can make remote working possible, without investing in a major capital outlay. For example, you can use an automated attendant to route calls to different people in your organization — no matter if they’re in an office, at home or on the road.
Even if you only have a dozen members on staff and another dozen remote workers working remotely, your auto attendant can send callers to the person who has the required expertise to answer pertinent questions. This feature is also known as hunt groups.
You can even schedule call routing around work hours.
These features can work in conjunction with a remote call center team or receptionist, or possibly eliminate the need to hire one altogether.
VoIP for small businesses also provides other cost benefits. You incur minimal initial capital outlay for equipment. And, because your service provider performs all the heavy lifting of developing, installing and maintaining the VoIP system, you no longer have to maintain a physical office or incur costs to manage an in-house phone system.
Another important feature for all businesses, but especially those that are expanding, is access to call detail reports. With VoIP, you can gather and interpret information about your call traffic. Examples of useful information include calling patterns – what time, day and called parties received the most traffic volume. This data can assist with whether you staff up or down.
VoIP Features Enhance Flexibility
“Flexibility” is the new mantra of entrepreneurs and remote employees. Modern workers look for flexible work solutions that travel with them, and Telzio does exactly that.
Telzio travels with you and can send your work calls to your mobile device and/or computer. For those who work from home full time, desk phones are also an option.
There’s simply no reason to look anywhere else besides VoIP. Not only are VoIP phone calls reliable, but there’s no lack of features. While some people are accustomed to the work environment of a traditional office space, a remote or home office can offer all of the communication functionality and more.
The Telzio Mobile App is a virtual phone on your mobile device, which can be used for calling, texting, and conferencing. You can transfer calls, place calls on hold, and host 3-way conference calls just like you would with a traditional desk phone.
What’s more, there is a range of advanced calling features that you can utilize, such as:
- Conference Bridges,
- Hold Music,
- Call Recording,
- Phone Menus,
- Queues, and
- Toll Free Number Services.
With all of these features, today’s anywhere worker can satisfy their modern work habits, while maintaining productivity for the organization.
Remote working is here 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.
Ron is part of the marketing team at Telzio, covering everything from tips and tech for growing businesses to customer success stories for the Telzio blog.