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.
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!