Telecommuting is increasingly becoming the norm for many businesses both small and large. According to the United States Census Bureau, an estimated 3.7 million employees work from home at least half the time. But with people out of the office, telecommuting definitely presents a unique set of communication challenges.
While email, texts and cell phone calls might work for some, other businesses want to show a more professional image, and also want professional calling features and custom options traditional landlines and mobile plans just don't offer. This is why smart businesses are turning to virtual numbers.
Virtual numbers are beneficial for companies with remote employees in a few ways. They offer mobility, customization and the ability to choose a toll-free number, for businesses with a national presence or a high call volume, or a number in area code where the company does business, which for some businesses is key to establishing a local presence where there might not be one physically. Virtual numbers are also the perfect solution for telecommuting employees who need professional telephone access without the hassle of extra equipment. Typically, virtual numbers forward incoming calls to mobile, landline or VoIP phone numbers that are associated with specific calling devices – meaning employees can take both personal and business calls to different numbers on one phone. Depending on your employee’s specific phone communication needs, they can also opt to have one or many virtual numbers route to a single phone or multiple phones.
Features will vary depending on your provider, but voicemail transcription, intelligent call routing, customized greetings, inbound fax capability and online management settings are just a few that you might want to look for from your virtual numbers provider. With all this available anywhere, even from your employee's couch, it’s no wonder telecommuting is on the rise.
Here are a few highlights regarding what the world of telecommuting looks like these days according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com:
- Since 2005, regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% and 6.5% in 2014, representing the largest year-over-year increase since before the recession.
- From 2013 to 2014, the employee population as a whole grew by 1.8%, while employees who telecommute population grew 6.5%.
- Half of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately one quarter of the workforce teleworks sometimes.
- 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least 2-3 days a week.
It’s clear that telecommuting is here to stay, so if you’re ready to make the switch, check out these step-by-step instructions and pricing for virtual phone numbers through Cloud Phone. Or if your remote employees have experienced improved communications since switching to virtual numbers, share your success stories with us – comment here or on our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.