5 Ways VoIP Can Benefit People Who Work From Home
For employees who work from home, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can make life a lot easier. For starters, a VoIP service plan carries rates up to 90% cheaper than what traditional service providers charge.
Furthermore, with the help of VoIP, telecommuting employees have access to features that will benefit their unique work environments. Employees have access to the tools necessary of a big office, but can work from the comfort of their homes.
Cheap Long Distance
A long distance call for an employee living out of state is likely to cost a hefty sum. With VoIP, however, the telecommuting employee doesn’t need to worry about expensive long distance rates, as most providers offer free calling within the US.
Discuss important business procedures with your boss, or even talk about the big game. It doesn’t matter how long the call is when using VoIP.
A hosted PBX is a great VoIP option for businesses with a large number of telecommuting employees. A PBX, or private branch exchange, refers to a business’s complex communications network. In the case of a traditional, non-hosted PBX, the necessary equipment must be handled and maintained by the business.
On the other hand, a hosted PBX is maintained by the business VoIP provider, and is maintained off-site. That means lower overheads, and no need for an on-site PBX support staff.
For telecommuting employees a hosted PBX is great because it lets employees access their extension from practically anywhere. For those employees that might spend some time in the office and some at home, this lets them maintain a business presence no matter where they are.
One of the added benefits of a hosted PBX solution is the expanded voicemail features the service offers. Checking voicemails is an essential part of the business process, and with a hosted PBX, employees can access their voicemail account from any Internet-connected device. Moreover, employees that work at home can be alerted to any calls they might have missed while out.
Some providers also offer a feature called voicemail-to-email, which lets employees receive notifications anytime they receive a voicemail message. In some cases, a VoIP provider will also offer the ability to attach an audio file to the email. That way an employee can listen to their voicemail straight from the email.
A feature like conference calling allows employees to participate in large-scale meetings without the need for a conference room. Conference calls can accommodate large numbers of employees, in some cases up to 100 at a time. It doesn’t matter if they are at home or travelling, all employees can participate in the meeting.
In addition to standard conference calling, some VoIP providers also offer an option for video calling. In a video call, employees can both see and hear their boss, as well as any important presentation materials. There are certain limits to the amount of users that can be on camera at a given time (depending on the provider), but any number of “viewers” can participate in the video conference.
Smaller groups within the company can also hold their own private meetings to discuss topics that focus on their specific area. Once again, they have the option of a video or audio call, and the groups can coordinate their meetings with a little more flexibility. That way, telecommuting employees in the same departments can keep on the same page.
For an employee that deals with a lot of legal documents, a service like IP faxing is almost essential. Sending a fax the traditional way is still available, but IP faxing is much cheaper.
Like standard VoIP service, IP faxing uses the Internet rather than traditional phone lines. In this case, however, the important document is sent over the Internet. There’s no concern about busy signals or having to print every fax either. IP faxing allows the document to be sent straight to an email for easy reading.
And because the employee is using the Internet and not a telephone line, they are saving their business money. The importance of sending a fax is still there, but the reliance on traditional telephone lines is gone.
Rachel Greenberg writes about VoIP, tech, and telecom interests. She’s a guest writer for Ringio.