Telecommuting, also called telework, teleworking, working from home, mobile work, remote work and flexible workplace, is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g by bus or car) to a central place of work, such as an office, building, warehouse or store.
As more companies open up to telecommuting opportunities for their employees the benefits are many and according to Forbes include:
- Improving productivity: From distractions like water cooler gossip to excessive commuting, health problems and more, workers are finding it harder than ever to hit maximum productivity in a traditional office work environment, the solution? Telecommuting. More than two thirds of managers have reported an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees. With none of the distractions of a traditional office setting, telecommuting drives up employee efficiency.
- Expanded talent pool: the quality of hires increases when jobs open up to prospects outside commuting distance.
- Lower salaries – 36% of people surveyed would choose working from home over a pay raise.
- Reduced employee turnover – 95% of businesses say working from home significantly improves employee retention. According to Deloitte the average cost of on-boarding an employee can be in the $4,000 range depending on the employment role. If your company experiences high-turnover you could introduce telecommuting as an option for your employees.
- Decreased costs: No matter what size business you run, keeping costs to a minimum is always important. Telecommuting helps reduce operating costs. Other costs that can be avoided or reduced include office supplies, furniture, equipment, coffee and janitor services.
The pros for employees are the following:
- Leave behind the daily commute and by doing so save hours and money every day.
- More focus, less stress – working from home can vastly reduce distractions and has proven to reduce stress and enhance overall mood.
- Better for your health and the environment. When the average person spends a minimum of 60 minutes getting to and from work allowing for more free time for telecommuters to lead more active and healthy lifestyles while reducing their carbon footprint.
Technologies that make teleworking more productive
Advances in technology can allow you to create virtual teams where employees can work together from the comfort of their home. Businesses need to leverage the technologies needed to make teleworking more effective, like cloud computing and updated phone systems. Most of these technologies bring benefits that far outweigh the costs associated with these technologies to begin with, which is nominal.
For telecommunication to work for employees they need to be provided with the right business telephone line so that they can carry out their role just as well and seamlessly as if they were at the office.
PBX – There are many benefits to using cloud hosted PBX – APBX(private branch exchange) is a telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between enterprise users on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines. The benefits of using a cloud hosted pbx are many:
- Remote access: With an Ios and android app, pc softphone app, and desktop handsets you can have geographical mobility and take your phone anywhere.
- Business continuity: Your business is always contactable in a disaster recovery situation.
- Financial savings and value: One solution for all your staff with competitive rates and enterprise features. No outsourced maintenance costs.
VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol (also voice over IP,VoIPor IP telephony) is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet.
VoIP is a must-have tool for telecommuting. For remote working to work, an effective and reliable system of communication is necessary. VoIP is a telephone system that uses the internet to transfer data. VoIP systems make telecommunicating viable. It allows remote workers to connect to one another in real time, at any time. Communications lines aren’t limited to audio, video calls bring remote workers face to face with one another. They can send files back and forth at the speed of a click, leave comments, or edit each other’s work with ease. VoIP systems are very affordable. Whether audio or video, so long as it’s sent through the internet it’s free. And because VoIP systems have flexible and changeable structures, it’s easy to expand or downsize as needed.
How to get the best out of hosted PBX and VoIP technologies
- Use a hosted system. The system is hosted in the cloud, usually maintained by a third party – provider. Being in the cloud means easier access for remote workers from different locations. Having an outsourced provider is more convenient because they have the experience and expertise to ensure the system is always in tip-top shape.
- Choose one with mobile – app – this allows for greater mobility for remote workers, as they do not always need to be in front of their desktops and the more mobile your workers, the more agile your company.
- Get one that uses a VPN connection. A virtual private network allows different computers to connect safely and securely via the internet. Remote workers can send and share data without fear of cyberattackers even when they are using public WiFI networks such as those in coffee shops, malls and hotels.
PBX and VoIP telephoney systems can be customised to your business and your telecommuters needs for your business’ ongoing success.