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Official statistics claim that after the Covid-19 pandemic, 16% of all companies worldwide are working 100% remotely and much more – partly remotely.
According to remote workers, they feel more productive working from the comfort of their own homes, and their number adds up to 77% of all remote workers. And these numbers are only going to grow from now on.
While remote jobs have many perks, there also comes the question of potential risks and threats to businesses. The biggest challenges companies and remote workers face are loneliness, inability to unplug after work hours and deteriorating collaboration. The good news is that technology offers a solution to all these problems.
VoIP phone systems are not new but are increasingly popular and used in remote positions. They offer many different features such as video calls, screen sharing, use of the Internet and more, helping them outshine traditional telephone networks.
These features help remote workers improve their processes, productivity and motivation while businesses save money on phone bills and get better results. But let’s discuss in detail what is VoIP and how can it help remote workers.
What are VoIP services and how do they work?
A VoIP system (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) transmit audio signals in the form of voice calls over the Internet. The technology is not very new, and businesses of all sizes prefer it over a traditional phone system.
You can use VoIP systems to work remotely from any device you want – a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet; you name it. You only need a reliable Internet connection and a desktop or a mobile app to make or receive calls.
VoIP technology is characterized by its absence of dedicated infrastructure and hardware equipment, also referred to as Private Branch Exchange (PBX), necessary for public telephone networks. It is a less expensive communications system with advanced calling features, and it’s easy to configure and maintain.
VoIP solutions do not necessarily require you to invest in and purchase specialized hardware. You can use the device’s built-in speakers and microphone. However, there is some dedicated equipment that you can use to improve call and connection quality further.
Some of it includes VoIP phones, wireless headsets, cameras and others. But how does all this help remote employees in their business-related tasks?
Group audio and video calls for clear communication
VoIP technology utilizes group audio and video calls to enhance communication between remote workforces. Few remote jobs do not require communicating with other team members.
Still, even then, employees working from home and not having a partner or a colleague nearby might feel lonely or discouraged. That’s when VoIP group audio and video calls become a very convenient solution.
Most VoIP software and providers ensure a user-friendly interface and ease of use for their clients by making the transition from a chat to a call or a video call seamless.
Not only you can video call someone with VoIP, but you can also create entire groups of multiple team members to connect with. These features help employees communicate effectively and increase the team’s morale.
With group audio and video calling options, remote employees can attend online meetings and collaborate with their teammates without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Commuting to the office just to participate in a meeting requires commuting time and may be a financial burden considering vehicle maintenance or public transportation. No one will be late for the discussions, but it will be just as (or even more) productive than a face-to-face meeting.
Virtual meetings for collaboration and teamwork
Business meetings are an unavoidable part of any company, regardless of the niche. They are an essential driver of business processes to achieve the preset goals and are the place where employees share their experiences, ideas are born, and progress is made.
And while for remote workers, physical meetings at the office are not always possible, VoIP technology offers a fantastic solution.
With VoIP, companies and employees can use virtual meetings and video conferencing if they’re working remotely to enhance collaboration and teamwork. Managers can schedule regular (weekly) meetings to check on project progress or quickly gather everyone in a video conference to discuss a newly born idea.
Another way to take advantage of VoIP virtual meetings is to train and educate new employees who will miss in-office training and introduce them to the whole team so they get to know each other better.
VoIP technology features improve collaboration between employees, clients and teams with the help of several tools such as screen sharing, online chat for comments, presentation mode and more. And all of that with crystal clear audio and HD video.
Integrate different communications systems
VoIP phone systems offer various business tools to enable several different communication methods for remote teams. Thanks to VoIP, large, medium and small businesses help their workers collaborate via mobile communications, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing and many more features that allow them to work from their home offices.
VoIP is especially beneficial for its lack of hardware, making it a reliable choice for remote working when there’s no access to office equipment.
VoIP’s integration of different communication systems is also beneficial for business and project managers. You get all communication records stored in one place, easing the access and follow up of projects and operations.
Various file types, including text messages, emails, voicemail recordings and entire calls, are at your fingertips, ready to be analyzed and contribute to future improvements. Better management means employees will gain more confidence, and the company will get better results.
Switch between multiple devices for calls
Thanks to VoIP service providers, employees are not limited to the use of traditional hardware phones to connect to public phone lines. Today, they can use any device at their disposal or the one that makes them more comfortable.
Of course, they can use VoIP handsets if they prefer to, but also their computers, laptops, tablets or even smartphones.
The flexibility VoIP technology gives remote workers is irreplaceable. They can use auto-attendant, route calls or transfer calls if necessary. If they need to go out to catch the working hours of specific institutions, they can just grab their phone with them and still be available for a meeting.
The same goes for remote workers who have to go on a business trip or travel for leisure but don’t want to skip an important update. This flexibility creates a better work-life balance, results in fewer sick days and significantly improves overall productivity.
The ability to switch devices is also beneficial for business owners and managers since they won’t have to invest in buying additional hardware to send to their remote teams.
Presence information and management
When working remotely, it’s essential to have some familiar processes resembling the well-known office operations. One of the things everyone knows when working in an office is that you have specific times of the day when you can talk to a colleague without interrupting his work.
Maybe you want to speak to them about a project you have in common or just have a friendly chat. Maybe some administrative work needs to be done. Whatever the reason, you always need to check if they are available first.
The same goes for remote job positions. Everyone is busy throughout the day, but VoIP offers a feature that gives you information about another employee’s availability and presence. Everyone can set their status either as available, sick leave, away, on holiday, on a trip or other custom statuses.
This feature gives everyone a clear idea if their coworkers are currently available and, if not, when can they be expected to return to their business-related tasks.
Except for clarity, availability statuses prevent communication gaps such as missing an important message and consequently failing to meet a deadline. Managers and coworkers can seamlessly communicate without interrupting their workflow and improve their internal processes and productivity.