VoIP for Remote Employees: Why Yahoo! and Everyone Else Should Reconsider their Remote Employee Policy

Yahoo! has recently summoned all of their remote workers to return to the traditional in house office format by June 1st, and this move has caused quite the controversy on both sides of the issue.

Remote working and worker flexibility has risen sharply through the decades. Telecommuting hit a high of 15% in 2012, according to a study done by the US Labor Bureau. The study also found that telecommuting either full-time or a few times a week increases productivity and employee retention.

Technology like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is paving the way for more workers to enjoy a little more workday flexibility and helps companies retain talent and grow profit.

VoIP is Internet calling technology that companies can use for wireless extensions, mobile phone service, and other traditional office features now available through the Internet such as IP faxing and IP video conferencing.

VoIP is one of the best tools for a company to use for remote employees. Calling over the Internet is far cheaper than calling over landlines, which helps companies cut down on the monthly phone bill immediately. Business VoIP is wireless which makes office extensions wireless and location agnostic. A remote employee can receive their office calls directly to their house number, or, using mobile VoIP, can have their office call ring their smartphone. Cheap and wireless phone service allows workers more mobility and gives companies the means to stay connected with their employees even when they’re not in the office.

There are other office fixtures besides extension lines that can be extended to remote workers. For instance, business VoIP technology can be used for IP faxing and IP video conferencing.

IP faxing uses IP (Internet Protocol) technology to send faxes over the Internet, just as a VoIP phone service uses the Internet to transfer voice data. IP faxing solutions are perfect for businesses that still need to be able to send and receive faxes, but want to simplify their office setup and lower their phone bills for lines for fax machines. IP faxing customers can keep their old fax machines and use them for IP faxing, just as they would use them with a copper line. Or, businesses can get rid of the fax machine and do IP faxing straight from the computer.

IP faxing allows remote employees to stay connected and receive all of the faxes they will need, though they are located remotely.

IP video conferencing enables companies to stay in touch with their remote workers and to host meetings with partners and employees all over the world. With IP video conferencing, employees can meet face to face though they are across the country, without having to spend money on hotels and airfare.

In a study done by CareerBuilder in January 2013, 59% of workers noted that a flexible working schedule was the most important feature they wanted in a job, second only to salary. Remote workers are a thing of the present and future, and with VoIP technology, businesses can maintain a loyal workforce while reaping in the savings and productivity that come along with it.