Category Archives: VOIP

How VoIP Helps You Manage Remote Employees

Business people using VOIP to manage remote employees

Having a phone service that works whether you’re in the office or on the road is key in today’s work anywhere workforce

Remote work is not just a fad or a way to draw in new talent, it’s a new way of doing business. Many businesses who already had remote workers are now celebrating the mobile technology that is making remote work so much easier and more efficient. Many more businesses are taking advantage of mobile technology to offer new remote positions or offer once office-bound jobs to remote candidates. But managing remote employees can still be a challenge for the supervisors and team leaders set to the task. Fortunately, there are tools for that, too.

VoIP is one of the best tools any remote-team manager can have, uniting the entire team through a shared communication system that works no matter where or how your team members are connecting. Let’s take a look at how VoIP solves classic remote management challenges and makes remote work management easier than ever.

Find Me, Follow Me

Nearly every modern VoIP system comes with a feature known as “Find me, follow me”. This sounds like something a pet dog might do, but it’s really a highly useful way to keep in touch in the multi-device world we live in. Once, a manager trying to get in touch with a remote employee would have to call three or four different numbers, send an email, and leave voicemails if the employee isn’t at their desk. Not anymore.

With VoIP, you call one number and the find/follow feature does all that extra checking. The VoIP number then rings the employee’s desk phone. If they don’t pick up, it rings their home office phone, then their cell phone, then their home phone. It can then call the VOIP app on their laptop, then their tablet, then leave a message in email about a missed all. VoIP does all the tedious phone-tag of chasing down someone on the device or phone closest to the remote employee in question.

Scheduled Availability

VOIP can also know where your remote employees should be during the day and which device they are most likely to answer. Let’s say a remote employee works at home but also takes lunch, meets clients, or occasionally takes their children to after-school activities. By filling out their calendar and schedule properly, they can ensure the closest device to them is always the one that rings first.

As the manager, you simply call their VoIP number and the system does the rest. If the schedule says your employee is scheduled to be at lunch, it rings their cell. If they’re working, it rings their desk phone. If they’re traveling, it rings their laptop app phone instead. The schedule can save hours of time each year by calling the right device first.

Call Forwarding To/From Anywhere

VoIP’s device flexibility also makes it easier for managers and remote employees to connect from anywhere on either end. It doesn’t matter if you’re calling from your cell, computer, or desk phone. It doesn’t matter if your remote employee is on their laptop, cell, in a hotel, or at their home office. The VoIP number can connect to any device or computer running the app and to any phone number that has been connected. This enables the ultimate in mobile workforce so that managers and employees can both be remote, office-bound, traveling, or any combination at all.

Pings, Alarms, and Messages

VoIP an also enable managers to send small pings, alerts, alarms, and messages to their remote employees without a complicated hassle. Many VoIP systems connect to SMS messaging, allowing managers and employees to trade texts and live chat messages as well as audio phone calls. The VoIP app installed on any computer or mobile device can also be used as a cloud management platform, allowing managers to build schedules for their employees including alarms, alerts, and messages. You can even call your employee’s voicemail directly to use the voicemail-to-email feature as a way to dictate memos to team members.

Emergency Device Flexibility

Finally, VoIP is not bound specifically to the devices and numbers that the team sets up on purpose. Let’s say a remote employee’s laptop dies, their toddler drops their cell in the toilet, and their dog chews their home internet lines. They can still be reached via their VoIP number on a borrowed, public, or emergency device simply by installing and logging into the platform app. At home, on the road, or on business trips your team will can always get back in contact no matter how many of their own devices are out of commission because VoIP is cloud, not network.

As the manager, even you can take advantage of this flexibility. If the office power goes out, if you’re away on a business trip, or if you suddenly need to connect while on a no-phones vacation: any computer or borrowed device can become an extension of your VoIP number by installing the app.

VoIP is one of the best things that has ever happened to remote work and managing remote employees. If you need to be a communication hub between team members who do not always share an office, VoIP is the best possible way to keep track of your team and provide a universal way to stay in touch. For more information about how VoIP can improve your business’ communication efficiency, contact us today!

5 Employment Perks You Can Offer After Integrating VOIP Phones – Part 2 of 2

Integrating VOIP Phones

Integrating VoIP Phones into your business makes communication seamless.

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on what VOIP can do for your employment benefits. By using the versatility and unified communications system of VOIP, it suddenly becomes possible to offer your employees a lot more freedom as well. Being in and out of the office matters less, and you can reliably use one phone number no matter where your team is working from.

Last time, we talked about work from home days and flexible sick days. Join us again as we pick up where we left off with remote positions, travel, and multi-location jobs.

Remote Positions

The primary cause of the current War for Talent is that skilled professionals realized they didn’t have to move for work or come into the office every day. Many modern jobs don’t actually require a physical presence in the office to deliver results, which is where the remote job trend is coming from. Before VOIP, your office may have been limited to hiring only in-office employees in order to give employees access to their work number and internal network access.

But with VOIP numbers for the entire company, you will become infinitely more competitive with the ability to offer modern professionals remote or partly-remote positions. Whether you’re looking for software programmers, accountants, digital artists, or content marketing specialists, VOIP allows you to hook them directly into the company communication system without requiring them to step into the physical office even once. And that is something young talented professionals value very highly in an employer.

More Travel Opportunities

Business trips, meeting clients, and training across multiple facilities has always been something of a logistical nightmare. Any time an employee has to travel, there is a certain amount of risk and chaos. An employee usually has to fall back on secondary mobile equipment or their own personal mobile devices in order to stay in touch and to get any work done on the road. But VOIP offers a variety of solutions that can significantly simplify employee travel.

VOIP makes it possible for your traveling staff members to stay in touch on the same number no matter what device they currently have charged and active. In fact –unlike smartphones with SIM cards– employees can even reconnect to their VOIP number on a borrowed device if their phone is lost or dropped in the pool. This means your team members are almost always in-touch, even if it’s on a borrowed device or hotel lobby computers.

Dual-Location and Circuit Positions

Finally, there are those unique positions where an employee actually has an office in more than one facility or location. Technicians and managers who serve two locations and fly between them alternatingly are surprisingly common in some industries. While other industries frequently have circuit managers who cycle between offices in several different facilities in order to provide regional oversight.

Both dual-location and circuit positions are also a pain in the neck for keeping track of phone numbers. These professionals usually wind up living on their personal cells because their office phone number changes every few weeks. But VOIP can give constantly moving professionals a single work number that will ring to their current desk no matter what office they happen to be sitting in. A circuit office, their temporary office, or even a guest cube in a shared working space. VOIP provides ultimate location flexibility for your mobile employees.

If your business has been considering making the switch to VOIP, it is important to think about all the technical details. But don’t forget that VOIP has benefits far beyond the upgrade process. Internet phones aren’t just more affordable, scalable, and software-friendly than traditional phone lines. VOIP also opens up a world of employee perks through mobile flexibility. With VOIP, employees can now be ‘at their desks’ and ready to work from anywhere with an internet connection. For more about the right VOIP upgrade for your business,  contact us today!

5 Employment Perks You Can Offer After Integrating VOIP Phones – Part 1 of 2

Multitasking mom working from home with the employment perks of offering integrating VOIP phones

Having a VoIP solution for your business provides the capability of working from almost anywhere.

When most businesses start to consider making the switch to VOIP phones from their traditional TelCo plans, the first considerations are usually pretty technical. You assess your internal bandwidth and network capabilities, talk about cost and implementation logistics. But the true power of VOIP isn’t in how it works. It’s what the freedom of unified communication does for your employees. This is a realization that dawns on some companies slowly, while others are integrating VOIP precisely because they have realized just how valuable a go-anywhere work number can be for a modern mobile workforce.

Believe it or not, what VOIP has to offer opens up the doors not only to employees working on the road and more affordable phone lines. It also reveals the possibility of flexible benefits and employment perks that will give you an edge in today’s War for Talent. Whether you are a trendy startup with a dog-friendly office or an established corporation looking to offer more options to your employees, VOIP is exactly the tool you need to offer the flexible employment perks that modern professionals are looking for.

Here’s a quick look at five of the leading employment benefits that VOIP unlocks for any business that makes the transition.

Work From Home Days

One of the incredibly convenient features of VOIP is that your employees can ‘log into’ their work phone number from their home office. In the TelCo-ruled days, this was absolutely impossible. Clients and colleagues would have to try a second or even third alternate phone number to reach someone out of the office, making work from home days impractical for most desk-bound positions. But not anymore.

With numbers that can ‘follow’ employees, home, you can offer your most reliable team members the option to do their work from home for a few days out of every month. You might be surprised just how much your team members will appreciate even a small number of work from home days to add flexibility to their schedule. These could, for example, be used on days when employees can’t find childcare or need to supervise home repairs but are still able to remain at their home desk getting good work done. And if there are no emergencies at home, then it’s an opportunity to spend the occasional day in one’s pajamas while still officially at work. An incredible luxury for a hard-working office professional.

Flexible Sick Days

Along the same lines, VOIP number following also makes it possible to be more lenient with employees when they are under the weather. There are many types of illness where you would feel compelled to send an employee home if they came in sick, but technically they can still perform their work tasks with a cup of tea at their desk. Professionals often push themselves to come in sick in order to not fall behind on work or pay. And employers are often tempted to let them because a sick day would hurt the whole team’s productivity.

VOIP makes it possible to offer a much more flexible answer to sick days. Because employees can effectively work at “their desk” from home, you can encourage sick employees to stay home and allow them to clock in at least a few work hours. With flexible VOIP sick days, employees can more easily take a half-day and clock a half-day without making the commute or even work a whole shift without risking getting their colleagues sick. This saves sick days, team productivity, and the risk contagions in one tidy solution.

Join us next time for part two where we’ll continue talking about more employment benefits VOIP can unlock. For more great insights on VOIP or a consultation on the right VOIP solutions for your company, contact us today!

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5 Types of Mobile Workforce That VOIP Supports

Project manager in a protective helmet using a phone with VOIP Support

If you have a mobile workforce, VoIP systems provide the flexibility to effectively communicate with customers and staff.

The mobile workforce is a truly incredible innovation for traditionally office-bound jobs. It used to be that computer work required employees to come in and use the office’s workstations on the office’s internal network. But now, with everything secured on the cloud, it’s possible to log in and get your work done from almost everywhere. But this still created the problem of having to switch between ‘in-office’ and out-of-office phone numbers. This confused clients and blurred the lines between work and personal life.

Until VOIP. If your office is embracing the mobile workforce mentality, then VOIP is the solution to all those little complications that we’ve been tackling in an effort to become truly mobile. If your office has been considering upgrading to VOIP for the mobile advantage, it may help to understand the many different types of mobile workforce that VOIP can support. Let’s take a closer look.

1) In and Out of the Office: Client Liaisons and Project Managers

Some professionals really need the freedom of a mobile workforce because their job constantly takes them in and out of the office. Circuit managers, client liaisons and some types of project manager are incredibly difficult to catch at their desk because they always have another task to deal with, a lunch meeting to make, or a metaphorical fire to put out. And this can make them hard to get ahold of for clients and employees alike.

But VOIP changes all that. With VOIP, your on-the-go employees can go back to putting exactly one number on their business cards, trusting that they will be able to catch important calls no matter where they are. In the office, out to lunch, or driving between destinations.

2) Always On the Road: Field Service Team Communication

On the complete opposite end of business, but still with a lot of driving, are field service teams. From roofers to in-home massage therapists, it’s important to keep your field service teams coordinated and in the communication loop at all times. VOIP actually allows you to separate phone numbers from exact team members. Instead, you can assign a number to a truck, a team, or a team lead so that your teams are always in-touch.

VOIP also makes it possible for your teams to check in even if their usual communication device is damaged or lost. All they need to do is log into the VOIP software on another device and the phone number will forward correctly.

3) All Over the Country: Coordinating a Remote Team

Another great innovation of the mobile workforce is teams made up of all-remote members. Companies no longer need to relocate hired talent because you can simply coordinate work between remote employees. While this was possible with a few professions before, VOIP makes it possible to put together remote teams even for tasks that used to require everyone to be in the office.

Help desk support, for example, no longer needs to take place in the same building as a phone PBX. Instead, VOIP can smartly assign support calls from a pool to your team no matter where each individual team member is located.

4) Jetsetting Professionals: Working While On Business Trips

VOIP has also been an invaluable tool for professionals who take business trips, whether those trips are once a year or twice a month. Staying in touch while traveling for business has always been challenging. But with VOIP, professionals don’t even have to switch to their personal cell number to keep working on the road.

VOIP makes it much easier to keep traveling employees in the loop and to get more work done while away on a business trip. VOIL also makes it possible to recover from seemingly fatal accidents like dropping one’s phone in the hotel pool. Because your traveling professionals can still answer their VOIP number from a laptop or even a borrowed hotel computer.

5) Work From Home Days: Clocking In on Sick Days or Home With Kids

Finally, VOIP allows workplaces to provide much more flexible scheduling without actually losing any productive work hours. In fact, it allows you to get more productive hours in situations where employees would normally have to go home. Not only can VOIP forward an employee’s work number and calls to their computer at home, allowing some relaxing work-from-home days, it also creates the possibility of productivity on sick days.

Let’s say an employee has a cold that is contagious. They can still get a reasonable amount of work done, but not without sneezing all over office coworkers. Instead of taking a whole day off, they call in a work-from-home day and forward their VOIP number to the home office. This is even more effective in situations where an employee’s child is sick, but the employee themselves is still at full mental function. They can stay home with the child AND get their work done with a unified VOIP number and access to documents from home.

Is VOIP the right mobile workforce solution for you? With its affordability, scalability, and work style flexibility… chances are that the answer is “Yes”. For more insights into how VOIP can benefit your business, contact us today!