TMCnet Feature
November 05, 2019

The top 5 reasons why VoIP phone systems are disrupting how we work from home

Did you know that a third of Brits work from home at least once a week? Whether it’s to look after the kids, or simply to put on the radio without the fear of an office backlash, working from home is a welcome break from the daily grind. 

But what makes working from home just as plausible as working in the office? Well, thanks to VoIP phone systems, a mobile phone can behave in exactly the same way as a deskphone. It’ll display the same contacts, store all the same call data, and best of all, it’ll use exactly the same number to make and receive calls.

It’s no surprise, then, that VoIP has grown exponentially since it first reared its head back in the 90s. In fact, it’s predicted that there will be 3 billion VoIP users worldwide by 2021 – and that figure is only set to rise once BT (News - Alert) starts switching off the landline network in 2025.

So how is VoIP disrupting the way we work? Read on to discover the top five reasons why VoIP phone systems are changing the way we work from home.

1. Turn mobiles and tablets into a VoIP phone

With every VoIP phone system investment, there’s a software application that comes with it. The software stores and displays data such as received and missed calls, call times, and recorded calls on a work computer.

The software application can be downloaded in app form onto a mobile phone or tablet, giving the device the same phone call data and the same functionality that it would have if it were a deskphone.

This means people can make and receive calls using their work number, reject calls, hold calls, and forward calls.

This kind of app is called a softphone app, and there are lots of them around. Most phone system suppliers have developed an app that is compatible with its system. But there are options if a business doesn’t already have VoIP phones installed.

Skype for Business is one of them. We’re all familiar with the way Skype (News - Alert) works – it enables people to make and receive phone calls over the internet. Skype for Business is a bit like regular Skype, but with a few additional paid-for features that make it better suited to the office.

If a business is not quite ready to upgrade to a VoIP phone system, it can use Skype for Business alongside a standard phone system, keeping those who work from home in the loop.

2. Just take a deskphone home

Some phone system suppliers have developed VoIP products that literally allow employees to take their deskphone home with them. One of them is called 4Com (News - Alert)

4Com has developed a telephone/tablet hybrid product called the HiHi (pictured right). It gives employees complete freedom to personalise their phone interface with their favourite apps, while allowing them to talk to people using an actual phone.

The tablet slots into a detachable docking station, and even when it is removed from the docking station, it still retains all personal phone call data. This means that when employees take the tablet home with them, they’ll have all the data they need to continue as if they were in the office.

Similarly to a softphone, this transportable phone also provides employees with a transportable number, which means clients and contacts can get hold of them, wherever they happen to be.

3. Be in the office, even when you’re not

VoIP makes it seem like employees are in the office even when they’re not. How? Through a number of different ways.

First up is its instant messaging feature. VoIP software allows people to send and receive instant messages, keeping all external and internal comms on one platform. Colleagues will be able to converse with each other as quickly as they would as if they were sitting in the same room.

Secondly, colleagues can still see if someone is sat at their desk even when they’re not in the same room. With an online/offline icon next to everyone’s name in the contacts list, they’ll be able to see if someone’s available before they forward them a call.

Thirdly, as phone systems are part of the unified communications network, employees will be able to access all the other software that’s integrated with the phone system. This is really handy for contact centre employees, who’ll need access to the likes of CRM (customer relationship management) software to keep customer details up to date.

4. Easily join video calls

What happens if something unexpected comes up and someone has to take a sudden work from home day, but they have an important meeting scheduled? Doesn’t matter. With VoIP, they can call into a meeting wherever they happen to be. All they need to do is set up a video call as they would a FaceTime (News - Alert) call.

And if they don’t have the office phone system software installed on their computer, they can easily use other internet-enabled communication tools like Google Hangouts Meet or Skype for Business to set up video calls in a flash.

5. Who says it needs to stop at working from home?

With VoIP, employees can literally work from anywhere in the world. So whether they’re working from their main home in London or their winter sun home in Florida, they’ll still be able to access the system, and the same number, as if they were in the same country.

Best of all, if they’re looking to call other countries from their Florida home, VoIP packages can include unlimited calls to various countries around the world – for no extra cost. This means businesses know exactly how much they’re spending on phone calls each month.

In conclusion…

Thanks to VoIP, phone systems are no longer a limiting factor when it comes to remote working. Employees can carry their office phone around with them in their pocket, and that means they can work not just from home, but from anywhere in the world.

Author bio:

Aimee Bradshaw

Aimee is a writer at Expert Market, a leading B2B comparison site. She is the resident telephone systems, point of sale, and field service software go-to. When she’s not writing about the intricacies of VoIP and EPOS, she's usually wishing that she could teleport herself to her favourite ski resort. 

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