Supporting the Remote Workforce
Posted on: September 11, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski
Companies are actively seeking out technological advances to meet the needs of their employees. Trends in the workforce come and go; but the growing remote workforce is no fad. Over the last decade, telecommuting has grown 115% according to the 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Study.
Being able to support and supervise remote workers as well as manage remotely has become a hot topic for most management teams; including ours. We have found having a strong and customizable communications platform that allows for everyone to connect easily and quickly in the method they are most comfortable in to be a game changer; enter Broadvoice b-hive.
And our partners have found being able to talk knowledgably to their customers about specific needs and challenges is a sales advantage. Knowing how to support a remote workforce speaks directly to the future of many companies.
Understanding the remote workforce needs.
Although there is a portion of the population that works from home 100% of the time, most of the remote workforce is part time. Meaning, they fluctuate between a home office and an office at the workplace. For communications, specifically phones, this can be especially challenging to the IT department.
According to the same Telecommuting Study, most people who fluctuate between a home and workplace office are better educated, make more money and are senior staff. Understanding the dynamics of an IT department that is trying to make a seamless communications experience for a senior manager can make the difference.
For example, a common question we hear is: How do you make a phone ring at two places, but not at once? Our answer: Have you heard of hot desking? Our channel managers and solutions architects, many of whom are remote workers themselves, are intimately aware of the challenge a remote workforce places on an IT department; partnering with them is the advantage you have been looking for.
In the same scenario, that senior manager is also looking to promote cultural continuity. They spend time thinking about how to make their remote workers part of the everyday team. Partners can address this concern by talking about how an internal IM, like Communicator, could take the place of the traditional break room banter. Not only can this platform be used to discuss vital work information, but also the scores of yesterday’s game – in one on one or group conversations. Chat brings a sense of belonging and can continue relationship building for teams that are states and even countries apart.
Understanding the who, how and why of the remote workforce can make the difference during an introduction call. Knowing how a cloud PBX meets those needs can move a discovery call into a solution call.
The benefits of a remote workforce.
Moving communications to the cloud is not always a quick process. We have all had the discussions about how moving to the cloud can future proof your business, has a lower upfront cost to purchase and allows a company to right size their communications platform.
Do you know how the cloud addresses and supports the remote workforce as well? Here are 3 quick examples that will help you out in any meeting:
- Cost savings. That’s the easy one, we already talk about how cloud saves money for the company at the time of purchase. And according to that same study, having someone work from home part time, saves a company $11,000 per year. But it doesn’t just save the company money. People who work partially from home get on average 11 days back in their year from not having to commute.
- Customizable to the company’s (and individual employee) needs. How each person communicates is unique. Having a system that helps support our individualized business communication needs is vital; especially for a remote worker. Cloud PBX offers soft phones and internal IM for people who prefer to communicate via computer as well as the ability to hot desk for people who have hardware sitting on two desks in two locations that they can log into. And, faxing to the cloud is virtual, being able to be sent to and from an email account. Each account can be set to meet the needs of the person behind the keyboard putting the power on how they communicate in their own hands.
- The tech changes are seamless. Since cloud PBX systems update regularly, there is never a need to uninstall, reinstall or update. The system updates with the latest feature or fix behind the scenes; alleviating work for the IT department and frustration on the remote worker.
Your customers are changing.
Business’ needs are evolving as fast as technology is and this evolution is being driven by employees. Cloud PBX supports the needs of the evolving remote workforce.
Having a working knowledge on how cloud PBX supports and fosters this rapidly growing segment of the marketplace will take your sales into the future. The platform you suggest for you customers needs to be able to facilitate someone working from a home office several times a week if not daily. The way people communicate matters and drives business forward.
b-hive cloud communications business phone system supports our remote staff with Communicator which includes a softphone, our mobile app and features such as hot desking, ring configuration, call forwarding, virtual fax and more.
Knowing the ins and outs of the struggles this growing remote workforce pose for both IT departments and managers can turn a discovery call into a closed deal.