Not so long ago, people worked in a designated physical location – in an office, or at least on site. Although remote work options existed, they were not widely used. And despite the existence of VoIP for remote workers, most people continued to work in traditional office settings during regular business hours.
However, remote work has become commonplace. And companies are now seeing the benefits of providing VoIP for their remote workers – using managed service providers and cloud computing to ensure continued operation.
This has made VoIP phone services the norm. Exchanging traditional phone calls for VoIP phone services – and all the great VoIP phone features this brings you – makes complete sense in today’s difficult economic climate.
If you haven’t taken that step yet, this is your complete guide to VoIP for remote workers, VoIP phone calls, and VoIP phone systems, so you know all the advantages, disadvantages, setup, and best practices.
- Using VoIP for Remote Workers
- What is VoIP and How Does It Work?
- Key Features and Benefits of VoIP for Remote Workers
- Differences Between Traditional Phone Systems and VoIP Services
- Advantages of VoIP for Remote Workers
- What Are the Challenges of VoIP for a Remote Workforce?
- Setting Up VoIP for Remote Workers
- Best Practices for Securing VoIP Connections for Remote Workers
Using VoIP for Remote Workers
Using VoIP for remote workers is a fantastic way to stay connected continuously.
With VoIP, remote employees can use their office phones and turn them into IP phones as long as they have internet access. This allows them to make and receive phone and conference calls.
It’s excellent for remote workers because it creates a sense of professionalism for your organization: You’re seen as being available for your client or customer wherever you are.
And as an employer, you can reach your employees anytime, regardless of location.
So what is VoIP, and how does it work? Let’s get into basics.
What is VoIP and How Does It Work?
1 What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.
VoIP technology allows you to place voice calls over an internet connection rather than over a conventional phone line.
Some VoIP phones limit calls to users of the same service, while others permit calls to anyone with a phone number, regardless of location.
Additionally, certain VoIP phone systems may only operate on a computer or specialized VoIP phone, while others allow you to use a regular phone with a VoIP adapter or app.
2 How Does VoIP Work?
To comprehend the workings of VoIP, let’s examine what happens when you make or receive a call on a VoIP phone.
When you initiate a VoIP call, your business phone number app or VoIP adapter converts the analog audio signal into a digital one. This digital voice data is transmitted to your business phone service provider via the internet and ultimately forwarded to the recipient’s phone.
The process is swift and accounts for why VoIP phones have superior sound quality over traditional phone calls.
However, VoIP phones need a stable internet connection to work well. Without internet or Wi-Fi, they won’t work. The internet is crucial for VoIP communication, although your provider may offer a rerouting service if the internet is down.
Overall, VoIP is a very flexible system with many key features and benefits.
Key Features and Benefits of VoIP for Remote Workers
Besides the flexibility of VoIP phones, VoIP for remote workers benefits your business and your employees.
These are a few of the advantageous features:
- It reduces your phone costs by up to 50%.
- VoIP phones can be scaled quickly.
- VoIP phones allow for remote work.
- They integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
- Metrics monitor employee activity.
- VoIP phones gather essential data for internal decision-making.
Let’s review those key features and benefits.
A VoIP phone system can save you up to 50% on telecommunication expenses by giving you hardware and software options.
2 Fast and scalable phone systems
VoIP solutions eliminate the cost and time burden of adding new employees to a traditional phone system. With just a click, cloud-based VoIP allows easy scaling for your business.
3 Allows for remote work
With a VoIP phone system, you can quickly retain your current phone equipment or create a remote office phone system.
A VoIP phone system enables your team to respond to video chats, voice-to-text emails, and other communications as long as they have internet connectivity.
VoIP phone services technology allows you to run a location-independent business that keeps your team connected.
4 CRM integration
Integrating VoIP with your CRM can improve customer experience and reduce human error. Your employees can access customer information before picking up the phone, and the correct number can be dialed automatically.
5 Metrics monitor employee activity
Evaluate remote worker performance with VoIP metrics for valuable insights on productivity – no need to force them back into the office.
Some metrics included in a VoIP phone system include:
- Missed calls
- Volume of calls
- Availability status
A VoIP system records all calls, and the relevant data is reported back to you for effortless analysis.
5 Essential data collecting
A VoIP system provides essential data. This helps your leadership team make informed decisions about employees, expenses, and other critical factors.
Although these key benefits are fantastic, let’s directly compare traditional phone systems in a remote work environment.
Differences Between Traditional Phone Systems and VoIP Services for Remote Work
Significant differences exist between traditional phone systems, landlines, cell phones, and VoIP for remote workers.
Cell phones, for instance, rely on cell phone towers. VoIP phones work by transmitting your audio through the internet as a digital signal.
Unlike an interconnected office phone system, VoIP uses any device to make a call, as long as it’s connected to the internet. This includes devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Considering that a VoIP phone service is often used through an app, your service has features that may differ from regular phone services.
Some features include:
- Call forwarding
- Email voice-to-text
- Call queuing
- Hosting group voice calls
- Routing calls to the right person automatically and easily
- Incorporating chat with your telephone service
Using the internet over cell phone towers (for example, 4G, 5G) allows VoIP phone service to reach areas with little to no cell service.
Overall, VoIP provides a more affordable way to use phone systems for businesses while providing your organization with great flexibility.
In addition, if you’re on a budget, VoIP allows your employees to pick their device of choice, as long as it can connect to the internet, which saves you money.
VoIP services can also mask your personal phone number for business calls.
That’s all about VoIP in general, so now let’s get into some advantages and disadvantages for your remote workforce.
Advantages of VoIP for Remote Workers
VoIP phones save on costs and boost remote staff communication. But there are so many other advantages to using VoIP solutions.
VoIP services can drastically decrease communication expenses, particularly for companies with many remote employees or those who frequently make long-distance calls. VoIP solutions practically eliminate long-distance charges and international fees.
They combine voice and data over a single network
Integrating VoIP with other communication and collaboration tools can create a unified communication platform for your business. This integration is simple and user-friendly.
VoIP phones work anywhere there’s an internet connection, however remote
Virtual phone numbers allow your employees to be contacted from any location using a single number.
Increased productivity and collaboration with advanced features of a VoIP phone system
VoIP solutions give your remote workers advanced communication features, including call forwarding, SMS/email integration, and video conferencing – making productivity and connectivity easier.
Other advantages include:
- Efficient communication with other employees
- Allowing your business to continue functioning without an office space
- Assigning one phone multiple numbers and departments
- Reducing the need for more physical infrastructure, which is great for the environment
- Scaling up and down quickly
What Are the Challenges of VoIP for a Remote Workforce?
To provide you with a complete and well-rounded picture of VoIP services, we must review the challenges or disadvantages.
Here is a list of disadvantages to be aware of:
Good internet (whether Wi-Fi, 5G, or 4G) is crucial for VoIP calls. Interruptions or slow speeds can cause call quality issues and disconnections.
No power, no service
Unlike traditional phone lines, VoIP services may not work without a backup power source during a power outage.
Issues with sound quality
VoIP calls can still have sound issues like lag, jitter, or echo.
VoIP calls are vulnerable to cyber threats if not appropriately secured.
Cannot make emergency calls
Using an IP phone registered to the office can make it difficult for emergency services to locate the caller.
High setup costs
VoIP saves money in the long run, but initial setup costs for equipment and configuration vary per organization and may be high.
VoIP may not always be compatible with certain hardware or software, leading to added costs and complications.
Employee learning curve
Some employees may need help using VoIP systems if they’re not tech-savvy.
Businesses should know and comply with regulations or restrictions on VoIP services in different countries.
Setting Up VoIP for Remote Workers
Now that we understand the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP phones, let’s get into the setting up process and best practices to ensure a smooth and trouble-free transition for your VoIP services.
1 Choose the right VoIP service provider
You need a VoIP service provider to equip you with the necessary infrastructure to set up your VoIP phones. Uprite is a VoIP provider in the Dallas area, and we’re happy to walk you through it all.
2 Provide the right equipment and software for remote VoIP
VoIP providers can supply you with the necessary hardware.
For instance, a top-of-the-line VoIP desk phone is crucial for crisp audio and video calls. However, less expensive desk phone options are available if you only require the ability to make and receive calls.
VoIP headsets are a great addition to your business phone, allowing you to walk around on calls. This frees agents’ hands to look up customer information, chat with their team, or add notes to a CRM.
3 Ensure a reliable internet connection
To ensure good call quality, it’s essential to have a stable internet connection. Two metrics to consider are jitter and packet loss. A reliable, wired internet connection such as fiber or cable is preferred over other options, which can be too unstable.
A general guideline is that each line uses about 100 kbps for uploading and downloading. However, your current connection is likely sufficient for a VoIP phone system.
Another potential bottleneck is your network hardware. If your router or network can’t handle peak traffic, you may experience problems like choppy audio or dropped calls. While Wi-Fi can work well in most cases, a wired connection is always preferable.
Conduct a VoIP speed and stress test to identify potential network issues. This will provide valuable information about whether your connection can handle a VoIP installation.
Best Practices for Securing VoIP Connections for Remote Workers
Keeping your network secure from hackers is vital to securing your VoIP connection. How do you keep it safe for all your remote workers?
We’ve compiled a list of best practices to protect your staff and organization.
1 Strong passwords are key
Strong and unique passwords are necessary for secure VoIP networks. Consider adding PIN codes or other authentication measures for linked devices.
2 Continually update all devices
Regularly install updates and patches to protect against hackers and malicious actors. Check for updates frequently and install them promptly. A VoIP provider can do it for you if you’re too busy.
3 Use encrypted Wi-Fi
Secure your VoIP networks by connecting them to an encrypted Wi-Fi network using WPA2 or another secure protocol to prevent hackers from accessing it through the Wi-Fi connection.
4 Get a virtual private network (VPN)
Use a VPN for secure VoIP communication. Choose an enterprise-grade solution for the best protection against hackers.
5 Incorporate remote device management
Remotely managing VoIP devices helps you monitor usage and detect security risks from anywhere. Ideal for remote teams or employees who need to stay connected while on the go.
6 Review all call logs
VoIP call records should be reviewed regularly for suspicious activity and anomalies, such as unusual call durations or high traffic.
7 Remove all unnecessary calling features
Disable unnecessary features on your VoIP system to minimize security risks. Some features, like conference calling or international calling, may not be necessary for your business.
8 Remove inactive accounts
Deactivate the VoIP account of departing employees to prevent unauthorized access and security breaches.
9 Report unusual activities
Report any abnormalities immediately to the IT team or administration staff for investigation and necessary action.
10 Review best security practices often
Train your staff to identify potential threats and take necessary precautions when using VoIP.
Regularly covering the above-mentioned points will help educate your employees on protecting themselves and your business.
Future Trends of VoIP for Remote Work
VoIP has revolutionized communication by allowing us to make phone calls over the internet. It’s widely used in business, and new advancements are expected as technology improves rapidly.
However, AI integration is chief among future benefits for your remote workforce, leading to features such as:
- Enhanced call routing
- Real-time transcription and analysis
- Virtual assistants
- Sentiment analysis
- Historical call analysis
- Call summaries and follow-up
- Language translation
- Fraud detection and prevention
- Call quality enhancement
Being able to use these AI-led features wherever your workers find themselves will be a game-changer. Don’t miss out!
Uprite Can Help with Seamless VoIP for Remote Workers
Ready to answer your phone from any device, anywhere with Uprite’s VoIP service for remote workers?
Call one of our experts today and get the VoIP service your organization needs. Let’s talk!