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November 11, 2013
Why Remote Workers Want IP Phones
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

For a number of years now, companies have been installing IP phones to streamline communications and reduce the cost of staying in touch. Now that an increasing number of professionals are working from home, there’s no better time to focus on updating that phone system.

According to a recent WhaTech report, a large number of Australians are working from home or a remote location. Research completed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that this number has topped 5.6 million and is expected to continue to grow. Many of these remote workers don’t need to be remote to complete their jobs, but have been granted the flexibility by their employers.

As part of this research, the ACMA created a research snapshot of what it refers to as digital workers in Australia. The group includes teleworkers who are allowed to work away from the office for part or all of the day, as well as those who rely on the Internet to work away from the office and outside of standard working hours.

Of the 5.6 million mobile workers counted by the ACMA, 4.6 million work from home, while the remainder works while on the road. For those who are in both groups, the view of the experience is very positive. More flexibility was cited by 55 percent, while 30 percent enjoy more productivity. Access to comforts is enjoyed by 28 percent and 23 percent appreciate the better balance between work and life.

Fifty-three percent reported no disadvantages to the flexible work approach, although 24 percent did cite reduced access to communications as the biggest disadvantage. This is where the application of IP phones can fill that gap and leverage a virtual PBX to grant the same communications capabilities to all workers, regardless of their location.

The main goal when using remote employees is to provide the flexibility and access they need to fulfill their needs from a professional and personal standpoint. Many employees who choose to work from home do so in an effort to have more time with family, while still focusing on a satisfying career. If the fit is right with the company and the employee’s personality, it can also significantly reduce the overhead costs associated with maintaining enough office space and infrastructure to keep all employees in-house.

The key to making the at-home and remote worker strategy payoff is to put the right technologies in place that enable them to do what they need to accomplish according to their role in the company. This includes the provision of IP phones and easy access to the network, processes and applications. If these things are in place, this alternative method can produce considerable gains for the company and its employees.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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