Remote work is rapidly becoming more common. After all, the ability to hire outside of the immediate geographic area gives businesses a wider pool of qualified candidates and having the ability to work at home or on the road is appealing people who want or need more flexible work schedules. It can be a win-win situation, but it can also introduce some challenges when it comes to staying connected. These three remote communication tools can help keep your employees plugged in and productive — which is essential for your workplace culture as well as your bottom line.
Great phone service
Nothing quite beats the ease of being able to pick up a phone and immediately get answers. In fact, having to wait for clarification or approval can slow employees down and cost you money. When your employees don’t occupy a central location, though, managing phone service can be a challenge. A virtual phone system can help solve that problem.
One of the best options for a company with remote employees is a flexible VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution such as Business VoiceEdge Select, which offers perks you won’t find in a traditional wired system. These perks include:
- The ability to forward a number to multiple phones and reach employees whether they’re on their cell phone, a home landline, or an office phone.
- The option to ring multiple employees, one by one, until someone answers. This is great for sales teams who work together to bring in new clients.
- In-app controls that allow the phone administrator to make changes to options, calling groups, and other features on the fly. If team members are out sick or out of reach, their absence won’t negatively impact the rest of the team or your business.
- Call management and routing, which acts as a virtual receptionist answering calls and helping callers connect to the right person. If your business isn’t ready for a real receptionist, this allows you to route your calls without taking up another employee’s time.
Web-based video conferencing
Face-to-face interaction is vital for building teams and enhancing communication. If you aren’t in the same physical location, using video conferencing and chatting face-to-face can deepen relationships and help you avoid the misunderstandings that sometimes come with online interactions. This brings in two primary requirements from the office perspective:
- A Web conferencing system – In addition to allowing participants to see each other as they speak, Web conferencing systems provide tools to share slideshow presentations and documents, easily schedule or change meeting times, and record meetings and presentations for future viewing.
- Strong and stable in-house Internet – Your employees will need a reliable Internet connection with enough bandwidth to handle streaming connections for multiple people.
Additionally, you should work with both your remote employees and your clients to make sure they can easily access the Web conferencing system.
Internet wherever you go
Just as your office needs strong Internet service to support your in-house employees, your remote employees will need excellent service as well.
- Consider supplying or supplementing remote employees’ home or office Internet to ensure they have top speeds and can stay connected.
- Add in reliable mobile service for connecting with their devices.
- Identify safe and secure WiFi hotspot options for on-the-go employees through the Comcast Business WiFi network. You can also set up a virtual private network (VPN) that allows for a stable and secure connection.
- Make sure your employees understand how to keep their devices (and by extension, your network) safe by avoiding unsecured websites, using virus protection, and refraining from downloading unapproved apps and software on company devices.
While managing remote employees comes with a unique set of challenges, you have access to plenty of tools to make the process easier. Make sure employees have the tools they need to get their jobs done and stay connected with their co-workers, and you’ll end up with a stronger team — no matter where they are.