Tag Archives: Phones

6 Ways to Reduce Background Noise in Office VOIP Calls

Smiling handsome customer support operator agent making VOIP calls on a nice headset with a good quality microphone with hands-free device working in call center

The quality and clarity of VoIP calls, along with the features available makes the service a viable solution compared to traditional phone lines.

The incredible sound quality provided by modern VOIP calls has been commented on many times. The internet is now capable of conveying sound at as high or higher quality than landline telephones with no loss in detail along the way. However, just as HD tv allows you to see the pores of actors, high-quality phone calls suddenly reveal just how noisy your office really is.

Surely, you’ve heard the hum of fans and the murmur of coworkers on a call when another caller opens their mic to speak. No doubt, that same kind of office background noise can be heard on many professional calls. The good news is that there are several ways to reduce the background noise in VOIP calls without making the office a ‘quiet zone’. Here’s how:

1) Hand Out Quality Headsets

First, get every employee who makes VOIP calls on a nice headset with a good quality microphone. The headsets will ensure two things. First, that employees aren’t using their speakers to hear calls, adding to the noise and potential for call-echo. Second, a good quality microphone will be better at picking up only the speaker’s voice without picking up every rustle of paper or keyboard clack in a shared office space.

2) Reduce Fan Noise

Fan noise is a serious problem in office, big or small. The sound of your HVAC or the box fans you use to keep cool in spite of the HVAC can have a hugely negative effect on your call audio quality. That hum and rattle can be heard on an open mic and can make an entire conference call less pleasant. Do everything you can to reduce the noise fans make in rooms where calls occur.

This might involve repairing or updating your HVAC fans, replacing or cleaning your floor fans, or replacing noisy fans with modern quieter versions of same. Loud printers fall under the same rule.

3) Make Use of Noise Reduction Panels

Noise reduction panels are attractive pieces of wall art or subtly integrated pieces of furniture designed for offices to soak up that ambient sound. noise reduction uses a combination of foam and fabric to ‘catch’ noises as they pass and muffle them so that they cannot be heard at a distance. They can be used to create privacy, quiet spots, and simply to reduce the amount of noise that travels from one section of the office to the other. The more you decorate or build with noise reduction panels, the quieter your office can potentially become.

4) Hold Calls in Quiet Offices

If calls are an occasional but not constant feature in your office, then providing quiet offices may be enough. Allow employees to book or borrow the spare quiet rooms available in your office so that they can hold their occasional calls and conferences in audio privacy. This way, the murmur of coworkers or the hum of big-room HVAC vents will not reduce the quality of their calls.

5) Provide ‘Cone of Silence’ Desk Hutches

If you have an open workspace full of employees who are constantly making calls (or don’t have spare quiet offices) then an interesting alternative is to build sound-privacy hutches out of noise reduction panels. These hutches can even fold away and then be brought out when it’s time to make a call. Essentially, these hutches act as portable ‘cones of silence’ so that when an employee pops their head into the hutch, suddenly office noise is reduced and they are audibly alone with the call.

6) Fluffy Plantlife

Finally, never discount the value of fluffy plants. Cubicle hedgerows, walls of flowering vines, and other office greenery are great ways to absorb sound. Plants not only make people happy and improve the air quality, the fluffy leaves also catch sound and prevent it from wandering too far across the room. In combination with noise reduction panels, you might be surprised how quiet an open workspace can become.

Improving the audio quality of VOIP calls is about much more than bandwidth. By mastering the ambient noise in your office, you can ensure that every employee can make crystal-clear calls with their new VOIP numbers without offending or deafening their contacts with background sounds. For more VOIP insights on how to optimize unified communications for your business, 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!

The Primary Reasons to Choose VoIP Services for Your Business

IP Telephony cloud pbx concept, telephone device with illustration icon of voip services

Is it time for an upgrade of your phone system?

Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP as it is more commonly known) is a telephony system that allows users to make and receive calls using a broadband internet connection rather than a conventional analog phone system. VoIP works by recording audio and converting it into a digital signal that can be transmitted over an internet connection. Recent years have seen a vast expansion of VoIP both amongst residential and commercial users, as VoIP phone systems tend to provide a higher level of service than traditional phone systems at a much lower cost. However, if your business still uses a traditional phone system, you may be unaware of the benefits VoIP can provide, and you may be wondering why there is so much talk about VoIP. If your company still utilizes an analog phone system, here are just a few of the reasons you should consider switching to VoIP.

VoIP Can Save You Money

One of the primary reasons that so many businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems is due to the substantial financial savings that doing so can represent. The fact is that traditional phone systems are expensive to set up, alter, and maintain. Not only are most set up and maintenance costs averted with VoIP, but also, placing calls is much more affordable using a VoIP system. Many VoIP phone systems include unlimited domestic calling for free, and many even include all of North America. When international calls are placed, it is at a much more affordable rate than offered by the mainstream phone companies, which can mean significant savings if you do a lot of international business. The great thing about VoIP is that you do not have to sacrifice call quality for these cost savings. VoIP systems provide clear sound quality that rivals traditional phone lines in most instances, depending on your internet connection.

VoIP is Easy to Install and Maintain

One of the greatest hassles of traditional phone systems is that they are difficult, costly, and time-consuming to set up as someone has to come and run wiring throughout your facility and set up the necessary hardware. Alternatively, setting up a VoIP phone system is often as easy as connecting them to your computer or internet connection, making it easy for you to set these systems up yourself. No hardware or software needs to be installed before you can start using your IP phone system.

It Scales Up and Down Easily

Another problem with traditional phone systems is that they can be difficult and costly to scale up and down. The fact is that it is not always easy to predict how many phone lines you will need to add in the coming year, or where you will need these lines in your facility. This can lead to costly changes if you need to add or move a line. With a VoIP phone system, adding a new line can be done instantly, wherever you need it, as soon as you bring on a new employee, and the phone line can just as easily be removed if they leave. Additionally, moving a phone line with VoIP is as simple as placing it where you need it to go, without the need for any rewiring.

VoIP Supports a Variety of Features

Another benefit of VoIP phone systems is they often come standard with a variety of features that are either extra, or not available, in a traditional phone system. Features that are included or available on many VoIP phone systems include: call holding, call transfers, caller ID, voicemail, visual voicemail, and conference calling. VoIP phone systems also allow for video conferencing, allowing you to conduct business meetings remotely, which can reduce travel expenses.

VoIP phone systems are truly transforming the way in which companies conduct business by providing a variety of useful benefits, only a few of which we have been able to highlight here. Contact us to learn more about VoIP and the reasons why you should consider converting your business to a VoIP phone system.

Why VOIP Is the Perfect ‘Out-of-Office’ Phone Solution

Business woman using VOIP in a mobile phone out outdoors

How easy is it for your customers find you?

Email, chat, texting, and social media have brought us a long way, but in business you always need to have a phone number. For whole industries and tiers of your supply chain, the phone is the primary form of contact. For many businesses, certain things can only be confirmed on the phone or in person. And, of course, there must be a way for you to be contacted by clients or your boss.

Multiple Business Numbers

This means that you need a business number: A line of contact you can put on your website and business cards. A number you will almost always pick up during business hours. But this is easier for some professionals than for others. People who work at the same desk all day long have it easy, they can pick up their desk phone at any time during the regular work day. However, if you are a field service professional, visit clients, or travel often, you rack up a lot of ‘out of office’ hours where everyone must reach you at a second–personal cell–number instead.

Providing a Unified Company Number

Professional phone lines aren’t free. Businesses buy package deals but must still install the hard lines one by one to connect desk and office phones. On top of this, professionals who travel for business are often provided with company cell phones. In part to provide them the privacy of also having a personal cell if they choose to. This means that any professional with both a desk and a company cell carries the cost of two unique phone lines.

In the age of wireless technology, this is no longer necessary. VOIP, also known as internet phone, allows a business to provide each employee with exactly one phone number. A number that will follow them around on any device with internet access. Because you log into it like an app instead of needing a line or SIM card. This one little change from wired and cellular phones to internet phone simplifies so much about business communication.

Now, professionals who travel often or work in the field can give their clients and colleagues one number that can reach them any time during business hours. You can set it to ring through to your current device on a schedule or even schedule off-hours that go straight to voicemail. But it gets better.

Connecting In the Field

Staying connected while traveling is a constant search for signal coverage areas. Based on how 2-5G cell networks and wireless internet work these days, connectivity is almost identical between when a cell phone and a wireless hotspot can connect enough to make a call. But VOIP can do even better.

There are a great many places that have a wired and local wifi internet connection but do not have cell signal, and in these places, VOIP is always superior. No matter where on-the-go professionals find themselves, any device with an internet connection can make and receive calls, keeping you in touch almost everywhere.

Staying Connected in Emergencies

When traveling for work, equipment emergencies are the worst kind. If your laptop or cell phone break down on the trip, it could mean disaster. But accidents happen anyway. Your cell phone could fall out of your pocket, get soaked, or sat on and you would be left out of touch. Unless you have a VOIP number.

Most VOIP providers work like an app, where you can install and log into the VOIP platform then access your number from any capable device connected to the internet. Unlike a cell phone with a unique SIM card, VOIP numbers can be answered from your office desktop computer, your laptop, a tablet, your phone, or even borrowed device or hotel lobby computer. VOIP is the ideal phone number solution for emergencies in the field.

Traveling for work and working in the field both require you to be away from your office much of the time. But that doesn’t mean you have to give out your personal cell number or be tethered to a company cell. VOIP allows on-the-go professionals to answer one number from any device on any available network. For more information about how VOIP can improve your workflow, contact us today!