For quite some time now, modern employees have not been required to work in an office. This shift to a mobile work environment is mostly due to fast network speeds and improved cloud technologies. It’s easy for small businesses to telecommute with their dispersed staff.
Then, the frequency of employees working from home is constantly increasing. Small businesses realized that working remotely offers a lot of benefits like cost-efficiency in terms of office space expenses, improved retention, wider talent pools, reduced overhead costs and improved productivity.
In today’s decentralized work environment, many small businesses are letting go of the traditional office setup and choosing to work remotely, with personnel in various locations.
There are obviously many advantages to this setup but also challenges to consider. The most important one is how to keep communication within the team and with clients smooth and centralized.
Let’s delve deeper into some of the features, advantages, and reasons why you should get a virtual business phone system for your office.
Videoconferencing is perfect for small businesses. It allows you to host virtual meetings, stay in touch with international clients and keep a consistent collaboration with team members and employees across different locations.
The best thing about it is that you can have a meeting any time, any place, regardless of the distance.
Most videoconferencing systems offer additional tools and screen share features to make collaboration with coworkers and team members even easier by pointing to additional presentation materials on preferred communication channels and devices.
In case you need to evaluate or rewind the meeting, there’s an option to record the whole thing.
2. Online chat system
Online chat systems or Voice over Internet Protocol phone systems offer many useful features you can use to monitor the activities and status of your employees. You can see which employee is available, on hold, or busy and all that in real-time.
Since small businesses with a dispersed workforce have to operate on varied schedules, online chat system allows them to effectively manage their operations.
That aside, an online chat system also offers an effective way to send instant messages to employees during meetings, or when they aren’t available. It’s an excellent way to reach your employees any time you need them, regardless of how occupied they are.
3. Synchronized phone system
Any remote small business needs to make sure that remote workers get all the access they need to the main office phone network and data applications.
By allowing your remote workers to sync their devices with the office network, they can make calls and send messages absolutely free of charge while being always available online through multiple communication channels.
That way, your small business, and all your employees form a unified network and synchronized phone system that will appear seamless to any outside caller or client.
This system also allows you to connect all your numbers, and link your email contacts by giving them their own extension numbers that can be displayed on your CRM application. Make sure every employee is synched with interaction logs.
4. Toll-free phone numbers
When clients are dealing with small businesses, they are mostly concerned with two major things – a sense of security and the level of professionalism. They’re used to it when dealing with well-established, larger organizations.
So, to make the right impression, you can use your virtual phone system for remote small business to assign a toll-free number to each of your remote employees. There are two good things that come from this:
- a) Business lines look more professional and show up on caller ID which eliminates the need for providing personal numbers
- b) Toll-free numbers help boost credibility with clients
It’s exemplified here how toll-free internet phone numbers work.
IP telephony includes two extremely useful features that come with every assigned virtual phone number – find me and follow me. The “find me” feature makes a remote employee available regardless of their location.
They can receive a call anywhere, any time. The “follow me” service makes a distant worker reachable across several different phone numbers. A virtual phone line is programmable any way you need it.
Set your virtual line to ring in sequential order to avoid missed calls, getting put on hold or voice mail, covering multiple locations at the same time. Go here to read more about how useful this feature can be for your office.
This is a great way for remote small businesses to keep constant communication with their employees and clients and make use of every potential business opportunity that falls into their lap.
Regardless of your workers working from home or being remote, these great and useful services allow them to receive calls on the go. This greatly increases their productivity and effectiveness.