The Future of Work can be summed up with the mindset that “work is no longer a place you go; it’s what you do.” As the economy continues to become more distributed, mobile and globalized, the days of the traditional in-office, cubicle-dwelling, at-desk worker are waning in favor of an always connected, collaborate-from-anywhere remote workforce.
This change in attitude is requiring businesses to evolve everything from their management styles to recruiting practices to office spaces to technologies. One of the biggest changes is that more and more employees are splitting their time between cubicles and remote work, which requires a more flexible mode of communication than can be provided by analog phone lines tied to desk phones.
That’s where VoIP comes in: Voice over Internet Protocol technology allows you to make digital voice calls using a Broadband Internet connection. Because VoIP is in the cloud, it can provide seamless usage between desk phones and mobile phones, freeing your employees from their cubicles.
The benefits of VoIP phone systems are much-heralded: from the simplicity of equipment and maintenance as compared to premise-based voice services, to improved affordability due to reduced long distance costs and maintenance fees, to the scalability and flexibility to easily add phones and stations as needed, cloud-based phone technology can be a major boon to small businesses aiming to evolve with the times. This is especially true when you consider the increased functionality and features of VoIP service over more traditional phone systems, which can lead to greater productivity from your increasingly mobile workforce.
With that in mind, here are 6 VoIP features that support a more mobile, flexible style of work.
1. Find Me-Follow Me
This feature allows users to choose a sequence of devices and numbers on which incoming calls ring. For example, you could set it up to have incoming calls ring your desk phone for the first 4 rings, then ring your cell phone for the next 3 rings (if there’s no answer), then finally move to voicemail as a last resort. This way, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the office or on the road, you’ll never miss a call.
This feature sends voicemails as .WAV audio files to your e-mail address. This is a much more convenient and fast way to access new voicemails than signing into your phone’s voicemail box – and it ensures voicemails are archived in an easy-to-search central location in your inbox.
3. N-Way Calling
Traditional analog phone lines can only connect 2 people at once on a regular call. VoIP can allow you to initiate a call of three or more parties in an ad-hoc “conference call” (no bridges or access codes required) via your handset. This allows for less schedule, more of-the-moment collaboration.
4. Remote Office
If there’s a snow day this winter and your employees all stay home to work? The Remote Office feature will let them receive and place calls from their home or cell phone using their business number, so that the caller ID will appear to the person at the other end of the line as if they were in the office.
For workers who are primarily remote, but may come into the office once or twice a week or month for face-to-face meetings, shared unassigned desk areas can provide a home for them to “touch down” temporarily. The hoteling feature lets employees sign into any workstation phone with their business number to use for the day.
6. Unified Communications
VoIP “soft phones” provide a phone and Unified Communications interface via desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. Soft phones allow users to chat with and see the presence status of other users in the group, as well as managing call settings and placing and receiving business calls.
Interested in VoIP service for your business? Allied has a full suite of cloud-based voice services available tailored to meet the varying needs of your modern workforce.