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Is Your Business Phone System Ready for Long Term Remote Work?

A women on the phone while working on her laptop in a coffee shop

Businesses all over the world have made adjustments this year in order to deal with COVID-19 and have learned a lot in the process. For one thing, research has found that for the most part employees are just as productive, if not more so, when they’re working remotely. This information suggests an obsolescence of the office space and has a lot of people wondering whether remote work is the way to go for the long term.

Another appealing factor to remote work is the option to decrease a business’s footprint. No matter the size of a company, cutting back on the cost of physical space is always a welcome option.

When employees can work from home, they tend to have higher morale, which often translates to a stronger commitment to the company, the brand, and their work. Wouldn’t you be in a better mood if you could skip the traffic and stay in the comfort of your own home for the workday?

Remote work is a great option to have. Perhaps the only thing standing in the way of your business now and your business in this remote future is your phone system.

Major concerns with remote work

Transitioning into remote work can definitely be daunting, as there are several major concerns that many business owners might have. Most of these have to do with communication. A lot of business managers are concerned with a drop in communication when employees are out of office, between both team members and clients. It’s not necessarily a concern with the employee availability, but one with the telecommunications gear itself. The last thing you want is a phone system that drops calls, messes up extensions, or leaves a customer waiting on the line.

You also want to avoid a system that’s difficult to use. There’s no way to have an IT person handle equipment issues across a remote setup. You need something that you and your employees can operate reliably.

A Man yelling into his mobile phone while sitting infront of a laptop

What to look for in a phone system

If you have any doubts about your current phone system’s ability to provide reliable, remote connectivity, it’s time to upgrade. A good phone system for long-term remote work will be one that’s easy to set up. You should be aiming for a quick, simple transition, one that won’t cost you time, energy, or clients.

Look for a phone system that is ready for collaboration, with options to bring the team together remotely for regular virtual meetings. You want to find a way to reach your employees from anywhere, no matter where they are, as well as a reliable way for your clients to get ahold of your team.

Benefits of a VoIP system for remote work

When it comes to remote versatility, VoIP systems really take the cake in their ability to keep people connected in one company unit from anywhere in the world

Not limited to on-site hardware - If your business relies on a traditional landline system for the majority of communications, you and your employees will continue to be tied to one place. Landlines are created by using physical wires that travel over a distance to deliver the soundwaves of your voice from one place to another. In other words, landlines provide zero options for remote connectivity within the system. Of course, you can still contact remote employees on their personal phones or through email, but this dispersal of communications can get messy, especially for clients who are trying to reach employees outside of the office.

A headset resting on a laptop keyboard with a office phone behind it in the background

A VoIP system does not rely on physical hardware. This opens up many additional and more convenient ways of staying connected with your team.

Total mobility - Maybe the best and most obvious benefit of VoIP for remote work is its incredible mobility. VoIP systems are based in the cloud and send signals through data and internet rather than by physical lines. Although you can connect a VoIP line to an office phone, you can also connect to the lines from any data-driven device, whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop. You can set up your system to send employee extensions to their personal devices, so they can take calls from home without any hassle. In fact, they’ll be able to take calls from anywhere in the world, as long as there is a data or internet signal.

Easy conference calls - When some of all of your business is working remotely, you’ll need a way to keep the team connected and on the same page. With in-person work, this might mean daily conference meetings or check-ins, but for remote work it often means one big call. VoIP systems offer an easy way to do this with a call forwarding option. With this feature, you can set up your system to send a call to multiple extensions at the same time. It’s a quick, simple way to bring multiple people together for a conference call.

No long-distance fees - When your team is working remotely, there’s a good chance that one or more employee will be outside of the local exchange, meaning they’ll be a long distance call away. With landlines, there are expensive fees associated with long distance calls, so financing a remote operation could get very expensive for this reason alone. VoIP systems, on the other hand, have no additional charges for long-distance calls, so it’s definitely a better financial choice for remote work.

Enhanced communication with clients - No receptionist is no problem with a VoIP system, which includes an automated attendant option. This allows you to set up a custom message that will answer a call for you and direct your caller to the correct extension. Alternatively, your employees can create their own message to let clients know they’re out of office or in a meeting, and when they’ll be able to return the call.