Remote working appears to be an attractive idea for Canadian employees. In fact, nine out of ten people surveyed by Harris/Decima in 2010 said that companies offering a flexible work program were more attractive. Yet, a survey by Statistics Canada in 2011 found that only 11 per cent of employees did some of their work at home.
Remote working benefits everyone
The arguments for remote working are strong. From the employee’s perspective, it saves time and offers greater flexibility, particularly for workers who juggle work with family commitments. Canadian workers spent an average of 26 minutes a day in 2010 on each journey to and from work, according to Statistics Canada. That’s valuable time that could give a better work/life balance.
For businesses, the potential economic impact is significant. The research firm WorkShift calculated that 4.3 million Canadians with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home part-time could have a bottom-line impact of $53-billion per year in savings.
Giving remote workers office communications
A key part of successful remote working is having the right technology. And, a business-class phone system for home workers is critical. For companies that want to introduce remote working, a hosted PBX solution is a cost-effective way to give remote workers the same facilities they would enjoy in the office.
A hosted PBX provider manages the infrastructure for the telephone service in the cloud. That means no infrastructure to set up or maintain at head office, which is a big saving in itself. But, as an added bonus, any authorized user with high-speed Internet connectivity can access the service, wherever they are based. So, employees are no longer tied to their office desk.
Taking a hosted PBX solution in conjunction with a phone service like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) means every employee, at home or in the office, can enjoy the benefits of advanced communications.
Better collaboration from any location
Collaboration over VoIP, for example, is a big plus for remote working programs. At its most basic, it means home workers can keep in touch with colleagues at the office and participate in virtual meetings. That helps to overcome any feelings of isolation.
But, more important, it means businesses can draw on all the talent in the organization when they want to set up project teams. Collaboration by video or web conference is simple to set up with VoIP and participants can join from any location, thanks to remote hosting.
A hosted PBX solution also makes it easy to set up remote facilities for specialist functions like call centers or support desks. Agents working from home can access full call center facilities and provide the same level of customer service as their office-based colleagues.
Studies indicate that there is no loss of productivity when remote employees take on that type of task. Researchers at Stanford University found that remote call center agents made 13.5 more calls, put in more hours, took less sick leave and reported they were happier on the job.
Remote working for your business
If you would like to take advantage of remote working, BroadConnect’s hosted PBX solutions can help you provide your team with the communications they need to work efficiently and productively.