Business VoIP Featured Article

Why Business VoIP is Key for the Virtual Employee

August 08, 2013

By Susan J. Campbell, Business VoIP Contributing Editor

Once upon a time, the traditional office was full of desks, multiple rooms, office equipment, telephones and people. If someone needed something from a colleague, he or she walked down the hall to retrieve it. With the arrival of mobile communications and business VoIP, this traditional office is rapidly being replaced with cloud computing, Internet communications and virtual employees.

A recent Nextiva blog highlighted this shift in the traditional workforce. Companies are increasingly hiring virtual employees to round out the workforce, creating a demand for a new approach to management. These isolated employees still need direction and managers need to know how to effectively manage from afar. Nextiva offers a few tips.

Define and Track Goals

It’s great to have goals, but they must be clear and easily tracked to make sense for the organization and the employee. It’s important to identify the metrics that should be put in place to define success. When these two elements are made a priority, the employee is better positioned to excel.

Provide the Right Tools

Employees working from home may need access to tools that aren’t standard in the typical work environment. These may include a video camera, smartphone and even remote access via business VoIP that is both reliable and secure.

Check in – Often

Even the most reliable of employees need a check in every once in a while. This not only helps to provide the support the employee needs, it also helps to build relationships. When video is used, it forces the manager to focus on the employee for extra attention.

Still Meet in Person

While this may be difficult for the offshore employee, in-person meetings should be made a priority at least once a year. It’s easier to work together if you’ve had the opportunity to make that connection.

Communication is Key

Virtual employees need and deserve feedback just like those in the office. And, because non-verbal cues are unavailable, they need a connection more often than the employee in-house. This also provides an opportunity to build a strong report so information can flow more freely. 

The Team is Important

Even the virtual employee wants to feel like a part of the team. It’s the manager’s job to ensure this is a priority and may include the use of business VoIP to connect via video conferencing or virtual events. The point is to make the team the priority.

When management takes the right approach to the virtual workforce, great things can happen, including business growth. The key is to understand how the culture varies and embrace it for the better.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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