As you are surely aware, working from home (WFH) has been the primary way that many office-based jobs are being handled during stay-at-home rules. As everything began to shut down with the virus, WFH–what used to be called “telecommuting,” became the only safe option for work to be conducted. Even as businesses return to the office, the “new normal” demands adaptability and flexibility to work from any location.
One of the simplest and most significant changes you can make to facilitate off-site collaboration and improve productivity is the adoption of the VoIP telephony model. It is time to abandon that on-site PBX and move ahead to internet-based voice communication and the array of new collaborative tools that accompany this communications model.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol takes us away from the traditional office PBX, the on-location physical equipment that provides voice telephony using physical wires or fiber to transmit analog signals. PBX technology allows for some audio conferencing (though it can be a bit clumsy to set up) as well as voicemail, call forwarding, and some other call sorting features. However, a PBX has some serious limitations on available collaboration features and requires a trained technician to configure any changes.
VoIP pulls us away from the physical limitations created by the PBX. VoIP turns analog signals (basically your voice) into digital packets that can then be sent via the internet to any destination supported by broadband internet service. Once free to send digital signals via the internet, a whole host of new collaboration tools suddenly become possible.
VoIP matters to working from home because once you are freed from the physical, wired connection of your phone to the world, not only can you take advantage of the features your PBX traditionally offered, a whole new range of communication tools become possible. And all of those tools can be accessed on a single platform.
Advantages of VoIP:
- Mobility – Wherever the worker is, that is where their “phone” is. The idea of a handset physically wired into the wall goes away. This is the most straightforward of the advantages of VoIP. This means workers are no longer tied to the physical location of their office phone.
- Increased user productivity and satisfaction – Once you adopt VoIP and move towards a unified communications model, you increase user productivity. The movement from a voice call to an audio call or a chat can be “seamless”–not requiring moving from one platform to another. Organizational success hinges heavily today on communication and collaboration. The more your employees and clients can interact on whichever communication tool is most convenient at any specific time, the more productive they can become.
- Change in the role of IT – Technology is important to your organization. You cannot do without it. With the adoption of VoIP, all your technologies are under one roof and your IT support can become more strategic. You can look at your managed service provider, who also offers VoIP services, as a part of your team. Now that all of your technology is handled by one entity, they can bring strategic value to your business and allow technology to not be an afterthought, but an integral part of the organization’s present success and its planning for the future.
VoIP technology will enable your organization to maintain and improve productivity and collaboration no matter where your workers are stationed. Adopting VoIP makes it easier to integrate all of your technologies under one roof while meeting the demands of Work From Home.