Working from home on a Friday has certainly become a thing, especially for many small businesses and it’s not uncommon to find a home-office in many houses. Many members of staff who home work at least some of the time will be familiar with VPN connections to the office servers, cloud email and perhaps remote desktop connections.
Keeping your office staff connected with your home-based workers, however, is still often haphazard. We know offices where a mixture of Skype or mobile phone use is common and whilst this can be effective it is still a different way of working and points up the difference between staff in the office and those at home.
If you have a member of staff who works from home on a Friday, they will probably communicate with their colleagues or your customers using a mobile phone. This is less than ideal for a number of reasons;
When calling customers or suppliers, their mobile number is advertised. Even if it’s a company mobile, the contact may use this in the future rather than calling the office number – where other staff could field the call if necessary.
Mobile coverage might be poor, which reduces the professional image of the call and your company as a result.
Other staff are unaware of the home-workers current status. Is he/she on the phone at the moment, or busy?
Home workers are outside the phone system and are therefore outside any reporting, hunt groups, voicemail and call monitoring systems.
These issues may not be sufficiently serious for you to consider making a change to your phone system – especially if it’s a system that is based on hardware at your office premises. But they should be a consideration when looking to expand, update or replace your phone system.
We use a system that allows home working staff to have a telephone handset in their home office. This handset is ‘connected’ to the office system which gives the same benefits as using the phone in the office. Calls can be transferred between the home-worker and the office, entirely within the system and staff can see the home worker’s status at all times.
Costs are based upon the one-off cost of the handset and the rental of the service for one user. There’s no training issue as the handset can be the same as the one on the user’s desk – indeed the handset can even be moved between locations if home-working is being considered for an extended period.
An added benefit is that you have the ability to make changes to the configuration yourself or as part of the support that comes with the package. Even changing the name of a member of staff could be an arcane and complicated procedure with a normal phone system. With a cloud based system everything is done through a web browser in a simple and intuitive interface.
You won’t be surprised that this type of phone system is entirely cloud based, with little up-front hardware costs and a monthly rental model. When you next look at replacing or upgrading your office phones its worth looking at moving to this cloud based model.
If you’d like more information, then please get in touch through our contact page.