Remote Control: How a Phone System Can Harm Remote Employee Productivity
Remote and hybrid working environments are commonplace in today's workforce thanks to the pandemic. Having a reliable communications system is essential in keeping your business up and running without the headache of an outdated phone system. A lot of work happens over the phone, and a unified system helps keep your employees connected.
Imagine for a moment that you’re a sales manager at a growing company and you’ve just been tasked with building a remote team of 40 sales reps. Your company’s headquarters is in Boston, but these reps will primarily work out of their home offices and much of their time will be spent on the phone — either initiating conversations with prospective clients or engaging existing customers.
While most of your sales reps have personal smartphones they can use on the go and from their home office, you know that business calls are better conducted on a private line that provides more reliable call quality. Your sales reps will appear more professional, while the features of a business phone system also allows them to be more productive.
But here’s the issue: How exactly are you going to set up each of those sales reps with their own phone lines and all the tools they need to be as productive as possible?
The challenges with remote workers and on-premise phone systems
With traditional onsite phone systems, business owners or in-house IT experts would need to take several laborious steps to get remote workers’ phones connected to the company’s internal network.
First, they’d have to purchase an expensive phone for each employee — typically through their TelCo provider. Next, they’d need to do some circuit work to ensure that the company’s on-premise system could manage the additional call load. And lastly, they’d have to perform regular monitoring and maintenance of the onsite equipment to ensure its ongoing reliability.
Then there’s the issue of system features and functionality.
Generally, the benefits of legacy onsite phone systems are limited to reliability, caller identification, and voicemail functionality. Modern VoIP systems, however, allow employees (including remote workers) to easily link their phone to CRM and ERP applications, leverage click-to-dial technology, and unleash powerful call analytics.
If your business can’t provide those tools to remote employees, then it’s likely limiting your remote staff’s efficiency and productivity.
Is a cloud-based phone system the answer?
The emergence of cloud-based VoIP technology has largely rendered each of the challenges and obstacles listed above moot. With a cloud-based phone system, getting a remote employee up and running with a phone system is as simple as purchasing a phone, connecting it to the Internet, and downloading some software.
There’s no added setup, maintenance, management costs, or headaches, and your remote employees can immediately tap into the same functionality that in-house employees have access to. Even better, cloud-based phone service providers ensure the system is constantly upgraded and protected, which improves uptime, call reliability, and customer experience.
In a word, a cloud-based phone system just makes things easier.
If your business has a legacy onsite phone system that’s failing to deliver that kind of connectivity to your remote staff, or if you just think there’s a more effective way to sync remote workers to your company’s network, then you may want to consider moving to the cloud. Your remote employees — and their customers — will thank you for it.
Joe has been part of the Loffler IT leadership team since 2015 and has a deep background in enterprise software with experience spanning the areas of Unified Communications, Workflow Automation, Contact Center, Collaboration and ERP/SCM/WFM. A little known fact? Joe used to be the drummer in a blues band called the Electric Trane.