Striking a balance between mobility and productivity
Voice call infrastructure for remote working
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the rates of Australians working from home, and after recent lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, this is only expected to continue. A review by the Productivity Commission found “the percentage of Australians working from home had jumped from 8 per cent to about 40 per cent over the past two years, staying high even when previous lockdowns have ended.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 41 per cent of Australian workers worked from home at least once a week in February 2021, compared with 24 per cent at least once a week before March 2020. Research by workplace strategy firm, Dexus, in May 2021 suggested that 73 per cent of employees would like to work from home at least one day a week and 24 per cent would like to work two or more days a week from home.
The predicted hybrid approach to working, with some time in the office and some time working remotely, raises important questions about the infrastructure required to keep employees productive. Of course, tools like laptops are important, but what about voice calls? How can calls be streamlined for colleagues and customers, who may not know where an employee is working on any given day? How can workplaces provide employees with the flexibility they want without giving up information like private mobile phone numbers to clients?
Giving employees the tools they need to be productive
The Productivity Commission found that productivity was likely to remain consistent with more people working from home, which is good news for both employees and businesses. But it’s important to set your employees up for success to help ensure your business doesn’t experience a drop in productivity. Tools like laptops and various collaboration platforms like Asana, Slack and Teams to manage tasks and keep people informed are all part of the mix, but voice calls are an often-overlooked requirement.
Too many businesses are reliant on employees using their personal mobile phones for work-related voice calls when working from home. For various reasons, this is less than ideal. As an example, some employees might be reluctant to provide their personal mobile phone number to clients. Out-of-hours calls can also reduce the boundaries between work time and personal time, especially when the lines between home and work are already blurred. Not to mention problems when employees change companies and clients may be contacting them on a personal number – a particular issue if people move to a competitor.
There can also be problems with missed calls if clients and colleagues call the office number and leave messages that may only be infrequently checked while your team is away from the office. Remembering to check the office phone and its messages can be just one more thing among the juggle of remote work.
The right system for voice calls can help streamline the experience for your team, your clients and your partner organisations.
As specialists in providing voice network solutions for our customers, we’ve developed a range of options for businesses. The most robust system incorporates voice into a Wider Area Network, and there are huge benefits from options like integrating Microsoft Teams for your phone system.
Integrating voice into your workplace’s Teams environment means:
- Your people can answer phone calls from anywhere, enabling hybrid work between the home, client sites and the office
- Calls can be monitored, logged and recorded, including integration into CRM systems for better customer records
- Reduced costs, particularly on employee mobile phones
- No need to organise phone number redirects – staff can keep a single phone number and make or receive calls from any device or handset.
Of course, Teams can also replace a lot of other systems in your business, like text-based chat between your team members. Having one environment helps to streamline the employee experience and creates a single destination to enable productive work from anywhere.
Cloud-based voice systems provide the right mix of functionality and flexibility
Using an internet connected platform like Teams for your voice calling gives your team the functionality they need, together with flexibility – both for different ways of working and for adjusting to your business’s changing needs.
This includes benefits like:
- The potential to scale up and down as needed – great for businesses with seasonal needs or in rapid growth phases, as you can pay only for what you need as and when you need it
- Open architecture to interface with other platforms and technologies your business uses
- Voicemail to email capabilities so messages don’t get lost
- Time-based call routing, so team members can better manage their work-life boundaries
- On-hold music and messages
- Real-time reporting.
Do you need help ensuring your voice network is up to the challenge of remote work?
If you want to give your business the flexibility it needs to support hybrid working and reduce your call costs, we’re here to help find the right system for you. We provide mobility-focused, internet-based systems or hybrid solutions that leverage private IP connectivity to deliver key site customised solutions with ultimate call quality and network reliability. We’ll help you choose the option that helps you strike a balance between flexibility, scalability and control.
Ready to start? Contact us to find out more.