There’s been a seismic shift in how the world works.
Stanford research shows that in the United States alone, some 42% of the labor force is now working from home. The trend has created concern for some. But the reality is: with the right phone set up, your business can enjoy a degree of BAU. This starts with you deploying VoIP services — or Voice over Internet Protocol — to help your employees adapt.
With VoIP services, you can bring an office phone line into the home, which immediately unlocks three big benefits:
- Your business gets to keep the same number
- Your phone system has all the same functionality
- Your team is only a call transfer away
You can learn all about VoIP in our beginner’s guide. Or continue reading this article to see how internet-based calls keep remote workers in easy each.
VoIP And Working From Home
The best feature of VoIP systems is they work from anywhere.
Even with your team working from home, these internet-enabled devices will function as expected.
To set up your business with VoIP, employees just need to take their device home, plug it into their internet router, and they’re good-to-go. That means clients and customers can dial the same number to reach the right department — or an auto-attendant can redirect incoming calls to the relevant phone.
Given that only one employee will ever be using the service, the connection doesn’t even have to be that fast. And if a router sits somewhere that isn’t the employee’s desk, that’s no issue. A device called a DECT phone enables people to enjoy VoIP functionality via a wireless connection.
Or they can download an app to turn their smartphone into a VoIP-enabled ‘softphone’ — but this final feature raises an important point. If you’re looking for a VoIP service provider, check the ones you consider offer an app. This ensures that each employee can enjoy the same features as if they were using their desk phone.
That said, if you choose a VoIP service provider without an app, then that’s OK. You’ll just need to set up ‘call-forwarding’ from each VoIP phone so that it re-routes to the relevant mobile when a call starts to ring.
Why Traditional Landlines Won’t Cut It
Some companies might try to avoid VoIP altogether by using a workaround: a simple redirect of calls from a business line to a mobile phone. The limiting factor in doing this is: a mobile can only handle one call at a time. As a result, this so-called ‘workaround’ can only really work for the smallest of businesses.
If you have any phone traffic volume at all, you’ll likely benefit from installing a VoIP service — if you do, you’ll get access to a robust feature set, including:
- Call forwarding: allows businesses to create a ‘call chain’ that transfers an incoming caller from phone-to-phone until somebody picks up.
- Voicemail-to-email: sends a recording of every voicemail to a selection of email addresses, meaning anyone can listen to (or read a transcript of) any voicemail on any phone.
- Auto-attendant: lets callers use keypad numbers 1-9 to transfer the call to the department they want to reach.
When employees work from home, there’s the concern that customers will be the ones who lose out. If you install a VoIP phone system, not only will the features help ensure every incoming call gets answered.
They’ll deliver five more essential benefits.
5 Benefits Of VoIP Services When Working From Home
Let’s round up the benefits we’ve covered here today. That way, you can quickly weigh up the pros and cons of using a VoIP service in your business.
1. VoIP Phones Work Anywhere
Your employees can literally come into the office on their own, pick up their desk phone, and take it home. When they plug it into their home router, the phone will work as if they were sitting at their desk.
2. Mobiles Can Become Portable Desk Phones
If employees like to roam, they can download an application to turn a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop into a portable ‘softphone.’ Then, wherever they go, they can make and receive calls on the same business number.
3. Call Diverts Keep Everyone In Reach
VoIP systems let you transfer calls at the click of a button. If you want to step away from your desk, one click, and you’re free to stand. If a colleague can better handle an inquiry, you can reach them in seconds.
4. Advanced Features Make Life Simple
Call-forwarding, voicemail-to-email, auto-attendant: these are three powerful features. But so are functions like ‘Follow Me,’ which makes calls ring on a desk phone and softphone simultaneously — or schedule different phones to ring depending on the time of day.
5. Virtual Numbers Mean The Sky’s The Limit
What if you want to expand into a new region while working from home? Most VoIP service providers let you set up numbers with different area codes. So if you’re based in NYC but want a satellite office in San Fran, a virtual number can make that happen.
How To Find The Right VoIP Services When Working From Home?
There’s a VoIP service provider to cater to every need. If you’re thinking about finding one for your business, we suggest you check our fourteen favorite VoIP phone services for SMEs — once you’ve given it a look, feel free to get in touch with Mid-Coast Tech at 207-236-0021.
We’d be delighted to help you find the right one for your business.