If the 2010’s become known for anything, it may just be as the decade of the remote workforce. Even 10 years ago, remote workers were few and far between but as we march towards the close of Q1 2018, 63% of employers in the US have remote workers. Shortage of talent is a key driver of the modern-day flexible workplace, but emerging technologies have played a key role in making remote work even possible.
Wireless internet, public wi-fi, laptops, smartphones, mobile technology, cloud computing, internet messaging, video conferencing, and VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) are all included in the bundle of technology that makes officing anywhere — at any time — a possibility.
These technologies are becoming ever more important, as talent is starting to seek out companies that offer remote and flexible work. A 2016 Gallup survey revealed that “flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job.” And 90% of remote workers say that they plan to continue working remotely for the rest of their career. The challenge for companies then becomes how to set up their operations not only in order to be able to offer that opportunity, but also to be able to maintain team effectiveness.
How VoIP impacts employers’ ability to offer flexible work
Communication can be difficult enough for teams that all office together, but how do you hold everyone together when you rarely meet face-to-face? And how do you present a united front to customers or clients, while still maintaining a professional quality, across a team of remote workers?
The difference between traditional office phone services and VoIP seems straightforward on paper: VoIP provides the ability to make voice calls over broadband Internet versus an analog, or traditional, phone line.
But VoIP opens up a whole world of flexibility and possibility just by virtue of being wired through the Internet.
- Appear and operate like a large enterprise, even on a small company budget
- Use an auto attendant to route calls to employees, no matter where they are or office from
- Customize call activity reports and graphs. This is especially useful if you oversee a team of inside and/or outside salespeople who operate remotely
- Listen live — again, especially useful for sales managers
- Send faxes and voicemails to email that will reach employees anywhere they happen to be
- Unify teams, including freelancers, with easy conference calling
- Set up vanity numbers and use call forwarding so that remote workers don’t have to give out their personal phone numbers
- Ensure voice quality