Market musings

How to Switch to a Virtual Phone System in One Easy Step

by Nina Quasebarth
July 27, 2017

Why would you need a virtual phone system?

That answer is easy. In today’s business world, no one is stationary and as executives and employees telecommute and travel, it becomes more imperative than ever to keep in touch by telephone. Virtual telephone systems offer “find me/follow me” functions that route phone calls to your mobile phone so you can stay in touch, no matter where you are.

With all the communications alternatives available for today’s business, the telephone is assuming an even more important role. If you need to contact someone you can send an email—or use social media, chat, or a variety of other communications tools—but the telephone continues to be the most efficient. If your business contact is out of the office, what’s the best approach for telephone contact? You call the office number and leave voice mail, hoping they get back to you quickly, or you can call their mobile phone, if you have the number.

Implementing a virtual phone system eliminates all these issues because an incoming call can find your contacts anywhere.

Considering the proliferation of remote workers it’s hard to imagine running a business without a virtual phone system. The New York Times reports that in 2016, 43 percent of U.S. workers spent some time working remotely, which is up 4 percent since 2012. Workers are spending more time out of the office as well. Employees want more flexibility in their work time, and working remotely gives them flexibility at the same time it extends their work hours. A study conducted by the University of Iowa and the University of Texas revealed that Americans who work out of the office put in an average of three more work hours per week.

Usability Promotes Remote Worker Productivity

To maximize productivity for remote workers, you need to ensure systems promote usability, including the virtual phone system. Tools have to be readily available to connect with the office and to collaborate with team members, and those tools have to be easy to use.

More companies are adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies to allow employees to use their own laptops, tablets, and especially smartphones. Sixty percent of employees already use their smartphones at work because they find it easier. The smartphone is a tool that is used every day so it is familiar and comfortable. In fact, Americans are spending more time than ever with their smartphones; a Deloitte survey shows that Americans check their smartphones more than 9 billion times each day. It’s only logical to adopt smartphones as part of workers’ remote office equipment.

To accommodate workers, improve productivity, and save money, more companies are incorporating personal smartphones into their virtual office strategy. Companies no longer have to pay for smartphones for employees, because most services now offer unlimited voice minutes. And there are new applications that give companies control over business-related calls while users remain in control of their own smartphone use.

A Virtual Phone System in One Easy Step

Smartphone apps such as Spoke make it easy to create a centralized office phone system using employees’ smartphones. It takes three minutes or less to install Spoke on a smartphone, and once installed the user has complete access to the office virtual phone system without affecting their personal smartphone use.

The Spoke app provides a virtual phone system for employees, allowing them to receive and make business calls from their smartphone without affecting their personal phone use. Spoke provides all the features you need from a business phone system—auto attendant, voice mail, smart transfer, group calling, and more. It also offers some features you wouldn’t expect from a business phone system, such as live employee presence to determine whether a caller is available, call context and importance, and call reminders and calendar scheduling.

Your telecommuters could undoubtedly benefit from remote phone access, and Spoke lets you create a virtual phone system in one easy step.

You don’t need additional IT or telecommunications services; just use your employees’ personal smartphones and you will see employee satisfaction and productivity climb.

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