About 20% of employees work remotely. And the number is expected to grow following the pandemic. Upwork projects that nearly 75% of employers will have at least one remote team by 2028. Companies should, therefore, set up processes and systems to facilitate effective and efficient remote working. An effective remote office phone system to help teams communicate and collaborate from anywhere, anytime, would be a great start in this situation.
With a remote phone system, you don’t have to issue desk phones or worry about setting up landlines. Your VoIP service provider will handle the infrastructure and security for your system: freeing your internal IT staff to focus on core business activities.
This post dives deeper into these systems, uncovering their features, compelling benefits, and more.
What Is a Remote Office Phone System?
A remote office phone system is a cloud phone system. Or a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone system that allows teams to make and receive phone calls over the internet, using a laptop, desktop, or smartphone.
Seeing that calls are cloud-based, teams can take and receive calls from anywhere. There’s no need for landline connections, as required in some traditional phone systems.
Virtual phone systems eliminate the need for employees to issue their cell numbers to receive calls. Instead, they receive calls via the virtual business cell number app on their mobile.
A VoIP phone system provides your business with numerous options in terms of flexibility and mobility – enhancing communication and collaboration between internal and external teams.
The lack of hardware, equipment, or phone lines to worry about makes the system relatively affordable than a traditional phone system. The quality of the calls is never compromised. And the subscription-based pricing makes for easy budgeting.
Related: Is VoIP the Best Phone System for Your Small Business?
How Remote Office Phone System Works (or Facilitates Remote Working)
Remote office phone systems work the same way as those in the office. Employees working from home only need a:
- Reliable internet connection
- Laptop or desktop computer
- Headset (o minimize background noise
Setting up a cloud-based phone system is easy. Your VoIP provider will carry out a simple online installation and other software integrations. After which, your remote workers can make and receive business calls in the comfort of their homes. They can also collaborate with others. And if you have omnichannel communication software, they will be able to chat, message, and email each other.
The only other requirement is to train employees to use the system and all integrated software applications, including CRM, sales software, and support apps.
Essential Features in a Virtual Office Phone System
Remote phone systems boast functionality and capabilities that were once only found in advanced call centers. Most modern phone systems feature:
- Auto-attendant: a virtual assistant that greets callers, providing a menu to help decipher their issues and route them to a relevant local number or extension.
- Caller ID: lets remote workers see who is calling them
- Call routing: anyone can receive the call from anywhere, thanks to the built-in automatic call distribution.
- Call forwarding: employees can forward business calls to their mobiles, enabling them to receive calls even when away from their business phone.
- Call queueing: helps put callers automatically on hold when there’s no one available to receive the call. Call queueing reduces the chances of hang-ups.
- Voicemail to email: the ability to transcribe voicemail and send the transcribes to email helps boost your teams’ response time.
- Visual voicemail: a robust remote office phone system helps workers listen to voicemail on their devices, play them back if necessary, and respond to them quickly.
- Voicemail forwarding: this feature helps employees forward voicemails to their teammates, allowing them time to focus on the project.
- Call analytics: this feature aggregates large amounts of data, helping you track performance and improve the callers’ experience. Call analytics provide reports in an easy-to-read format. It also makes it easy to display success metrics and performance indicators with the team.
- Advanced call management: helps managers (or employers) manage their teams more effectively, thanks to customizable calling features like conference bridges and N-Way calling.
- Call recording: on-demand and automatic call recording features help coach sales and support teams. They are also handy when writing ad copies.
- Mobile app: a full-featured mobile app connected to the business phone system ensures that remote workers never miss a beat.
Traditional vs. Virtual Office Phone System Cost?
The remote phone system is more affordable than a traditional landline for several reasons.
One, it eliminates the need for expensive hardware, equipment, and phone lines. In their stead, remote workers need to download a softphone app or a program for their Windows or Mac computers, and have a reliable internet connection.
Moreover, the remote system provides more features than a traditional landline. Better still, the said features are included in a flat subscription rate, eliminating any surprise fees. Note, you can save more if you opt for annual instead of monthly subscriptions.
The system is also easier and faster to scale, as per your business needs.
Related: 6 Benefits of a Multi-Line Business Phone System
Benefits of a Cloud-Based Phone System
Remote office phone systems provide many compelling benefits, as discussed below.
#1: Staying connected with co-workers and customers
The virtual phone system makes you accessible to your team (and clients) wherever you work.
#2: On-the-go availability (which translates to reliable remote workers)
The system provides your employees with control over their schedules, even when they travel. With the reliable mobile app, workers can access their calls from any device. That eliminates the risk of remote employees missing calls when on the go.
#3: Voice and video conferencing
Communication is critical to successful teamwork. Virtual phone systems take them a notch higher by enabling live conversation through video and audio conferencing.
There’s no denying the value of live conversations. It not only strengthens the team but also allows for tone and nuance expressions and quick clarifications.
Better still, the system unifies communication, eliminating the need for employees to hop onto different communication tools to complete simple presentations, product demos, or sales pitches. Being able to switch between video, voice, email, and chat ensures your employees are covered no matter what.
One-on-one video chats and screen sharing capabilities also supplement your employee’s daily routines.
#4: Maintain a productive working environment
The phone system helps your remote team remain organized and productive.
With an updated organization directory, workers can find each other and solve problems promptly.
The phone system can also alert others when an employee is focused on a project or meeting, helping minimize distractions.
#5: Phone system security
Much as your VoIP is responsible for the security of the phone system, familiarize yourself with how the said provider maintains and controls the system’s security protocols.
Fortunately, a robust cloud-based system allows you to activate enhanced phone call security between users. The lack of extra latency also makes it hard for other people to eavesdrop on employees’ conversations.
Such systems also boast call encryption capabilities thanks to their Transport Layer Security and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol.
For additional benefits, please read What Can a VoIP Business Phone Service Do for Your Business?
How to Find a Remote Office Phone System Provider?
When selecting your system provider, consider the following:
While VoIP pricing may seem straightforward, sometimes it’s not as simple as stated. So, evaluate the price relative to the volume of business numbers you need.
Network performance is critical, as a poor connection can lower call quality – affecting communications between teams. Consider downtime, network latency, and such factors that may affect the reliability of the system. While at it, consider whether the provider owns the carrier’s network or provision it from a third-party operator. Seeing that it’s hard to troubleshoot or control a network a provider doesn’t own, strive to work with a provider that owns their VoIP network.
Security is paramount for any cloud-based system, especially with the increasing cases of data breaches and ransomware attacks. It’s more critical if you have special requirements like HIPAA compliance. Ensure your provider encrypts your calls whenever the call data is in their network to prevent data breaches.
The connection quality must be on point to prevent audio jitters or awkward pauses in conversations.
In summary, look for a provider who owns and operates their VoIP network for secure, reliable, and quality phone calls.
Moving to a Remote Office Phone System
As workers become location agnostic, companies must adapt their phone systems. Adopting a cloud-based phone system will help your company innovate and withstand changes in the work arrangements. Sign up for Phone.com and discover how to move to a remote office phone system stress-free.