Working from home, or ‘remote working’ is becoming increasingly common across the UK. Many businesses are opting to have employees work from home to reduce costs, and utilise a nationwide workforce.
Using VoIP can be a great way to improve your businesses communications without installing costly on-premise telephone systems and cabling. VoIP uses your existing internet connection to make and receive calls. This means that employees that are working remotely can use their home broadband connection to continue as though they were at the office.
Because more and more businesses are choosing remote working, especially using VoIP, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for how businesses can use VoIP to make full use of a remote workforce.
1. Configure your auto attendant
An auto attendant is an automatic answering machine that gives callers options when they call up. Auto attendants are most commonly used for directing callers to different departments within a business; for example, ‘press 1 for sales and 2 for support’.
If your business has users that are remotely working, you should configure your auto attendant to pass callers to these remote workers. For example, you may wish to announce that your employees are working from home, or direct calls to specific callers that are working remotely.
The beauty go a cloud-based VoIP telephone system is that you can manipulate these calls however you’d like. You are in total control of your call flow and how your business interacts with callers, and any changes—no matter how small—can be made in an instant without an engineer or programming changes.
2. Take your desk phone home
Another great way that your business can make use of VoIP for remote workers is by allowing them to take their deskphones home.
Because VoIP uses internet, rather than traditional landlines, your VoIP system is accessible from anywhere, giving employees the ability to work remotely or work from home. All they need is an internet connection.
By taking their VoIP phone home, employees can connect to their home network and continue as though they were sat at their office desk. No hassle, no installation, no faff.
3. Get a WiFi dongle
When users get their desk phone home, they may have questions about their connectivity. The simple solution to these are WiFi dongles. These small devices plug into the back of your desk phone and allow you to connect to your home WiFi network.
This is a great solution for many remote workers, as homes do not have the cabling necessary for plugging a VoIP phone into an ethernet connection.
Using a WiFi dongle is simple and easy. All you need to do is turn the phone on, and follow our guide to setting up WiFi on your Yealink deskphone.
4. Ensure you have a power adaptor
It seems obvious, but it is often an oversight when asking staff to work remotely. Often, offices use something caller power over ethernet (POE). This means that the deskphones are powered by their ethernet connection.
However, when a user takes their phone home for remote working, they won't have access to POE. Therefore, they need a power adaptor for their phone. When working from home, you should ensure that all users have a power adaptor (they’re only £10), so they can connect quickly and easily.
5. Install the Mobile app
If you have remote workers, then another option is to use the VoIP mobile app. The free mobile app connects you to your telephone system from your iOS or Android device.
Using the VoIP mobile app is one of the most cost effective ways of connecting your remote workers. It uses their mobile and home broadband to seamlessly connect them to colleagues, customers and prospects.
6. Set up group chats
Our VoIP telephone system comes with collaboration built-in. This means that remote workers can make use of instant messaging and group chats. Using our desktop or mobile app, users can chat with colleagues.
Along with regular instant messaging, comes file transfers, and group calling. This helps keep remote workers in the loop, providing them with vital information using instant messaging, and allowing your team to work coherently, even when they’re miles apart.
7. Utilise VoIP video conferencing
Something you may not know is that our VoIP telephone system has video conferencing built in. You can do video chats with colleagues using the mobile or desktop app, with no extra software or complicated setup.
Video conferencing is a great way to keep remote workers connected using VoIP. It also works with up to 8 individual users, which is an added bonus, especially for department meetings.
8. Configure hunt groups
Hunt groups are groups of users that the system can call in a pattern. For example, you may have a sales hunt group that directs calls to all the sales staff, so that the caller can get to a department quickly.
When utilising remote workers, it is important to configure these hunt groups to ensure that your telephone system still passes calls correctly. Luckily, with a VoIP system it’s a cinch. Just with auto attendants, they require no engineering visit, no complex programming or installation. We can make changes for you instantly and simply.
9. Get backup broadband
One concern that some businesses have is reliability. With staff working remotely, it is a good idea to implement some backup broadband, just in case. This is a particularly good idea for staff with poor broadband speeds or who are based in rural locations.
A backup broadband solution, such as 4G WiFi, for example; is a great way to ensure that your remote workers can stay connected using VoIP, no matter what.
10. Communicate with colleagues
Finally, our last tip is to ensure that your employees communicate with one another. Whether that’s by email, video calling, VoIP messaging or VoIP calling. Ensuring strong, robust communications are so important, especially if you have employees that aren’t in the office.
Keeping communication going while staff are working remotely is easy with VoIP. And you may see significant cost savings when you switch to a VoIP phone system.