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Home » Posts tagged 'Distributed Team'

4 Ways Your Distributed Team Can Benefit From Call Forwarding

Advances in technology have made it possible for businesses and their employees to work from different locations with ease. For most companies, being present in the office and using office equipment is no longer the only option. With voice over IP, BYOD, quick and easy video and audio conferencing, and more, it is easier than ever to manage distributed teams. In this post, we will look specifically at how a call forwarding service can benefit remote or distributed teams.

What are the Challenges of a Distributed Team?

“Distributed teams” refers to business teams that work from home, different locations, remotely, etc. These teams are “distributed” across different locations and do not necessarily work out of the main office.

Distributed teams or remote working teams are a growing trend this year with the coronavirus pandemic forcing many to work from home. However, not many businesses were equipped to comfortably switch to a work-from-home process. But for companies using an advanced or virtual phone system, this move was easy. And one reason for that is the call forwarding feature.

4 Ways Call Forwarding Can Benefit Your Distributed Team

Call forwarding is a business phone service and voice over IP feature that lets you forward incoming calls to any location, number, or device. This way, you can easily route calls to specific agents and employees no matter where they are. So, who can benefit from call forwarding?

  • Distributed teams
  • Remote working teams
  • International teams
  • Traveling employees

Call forwarding keeps you connected even outside the main office. All you need to do is connect your device to the internet and your VoIP service. And then, you can easily turn this device into a business powerhouse. Here are the top benefits of using a call forwarding service for distributed teams:

1. Forward Calls Geographically

Calls can be forwarded to any geographic location. And so, you can have calls routed to local employees as well as international employees that are providing customer support to your international clientele in their own time zones. This means that users and remote employees have flexibility and are not limited to one location.

2. Forward Calls to Any Device

A call forwarding service will let you route calls to any device such as a computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, VoIP phone, etc. This means that if one device fails or is stolen, users can quickly configure another device and continue doing their job. It also means that users and employees are not limited to one device in the main office.

3. Set Up Forwarding Rules That Will Benefit Your Distributed Team

Call forwarding from a virtual phone service provider comes with useful routing rules and strategies. The most common routing and forwarding strategies include:

  • Time of day routingRoute calls based on time. You can have calls forwarded to remote locations during off-hours to match the location’s time zone. You can also have calls forwarded to specific locations and devices over the weekends.
  • Select country routing – Forward calls from different countries to specific locations.
  • Voicemail to email – Send voicemails to your email as a recording.
  • Fax to email – Send important faxes to email.

4. Change Forwarding Strategies Anytime

The best part of such a service is that you can change the forwarding settings as and when needed. Forward calls to the main office when everyone is present. Or, route calls to remote teams when remote working is applicable. Either way, these rules are not set in stone and can be updated easily.

Related: 5 Top International Call Forwarding Benefits

Get Call Forwarding for Your Business Today

A call forwarding service can help your business maintain connectivity and productivity even when teams are distributed and working remotely. Getting call forwarding is easy. You can sign up on our website and start forwarding calls to locations and devices as needed. Call us or chat with our experts to learn more about this service today!

6 Reasons Why a Softphone Is Essential For Any Remote Team

Managing remote or distributed teams can be a hassle. Ensuring that employees stay connected and are able to contact customers and answer customer service calls is important. However, not everyone has access to the tools needed to make such a system work. Here is where a softphone can benefit your remote team.

How Can a Softphone Benefit Your Remote Team?

A softphone is a software that transforms any device (computer, laptop, smartphone, IP phone, tablet, etc.) into a phone. You can then use this device to make and receive calls over the internet instead of a cellular or traditional phone line. All you need to make this work is a headset, a camera (if video calling is needed), and a voice over IP service. Then, employees can connect with co-workers and customers from any location and any device!

Here are 6 reasons why a softphone is essential for your remote or distributed team.

1. Save on Communication-Related Costs

Softphones don’t need extra hardware or equipment to make them work effectively. And so, you won’t need to supply your remote teams with equipment. They can simply use their existing devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) to connect to your VoIP service and make and receive calls. This helps you save hardware, equipment, and IT costs.

2. Never Miss a Call, Stay Reachable

The best part about voice over IP is that users can stay connected from any location. And since employees and agents can use any device, they are reachable no matter where they are located. Plus, incoming calls can be forwarded to their number ensuring that they never miss a call. And when calling customers, they can change their outgoing caller ID to represent the company’s phone number instead of their own number. This way, their personal phone number is protected while they continue doing their job.

3. Maintain Productivity

A softphone gives a remote worker the ability to work at their own pace and from the comforts of their own home or local coffee shop. When giving employees the ability to work remotely, you cut down on commuting and transportation woes and give parents the opportunity to take care of their children while still being able to work. Remote working can significantly reduce stressors present in one’s life, helping them focus better on important tasks. Employees that do not feel burdened or stressed and can therefore do their jobs better, thus maintaining productivity.

4. Take Advantage of Advanced Communication Features

Softphones also give users access to advanced business communication features. The variety of features depends on your VoIP service. Most providers will offer the following:

  • Ability to make and answer calls
  • Call transfer
  • Call forwarding and routing
  • Outbound calling (with dynamic caller ID)
  • Call with a single click or by dialing through the dialpad
  • Access to voicemail
  • Ability to make notes about the call and the caller
  • Contact management

5. Support Your BYOD Policy

A bring your own device policy is a workplace policy that encourages employees to use their own devices. This is an ideal situation for remote workers as well as employers. Employers don’t have to worry about expenses related to equipment such as providing laptops or computers, etc. At the same time, remote workers can use devices and applications they are comfortable with. A softphone can easily fit into your BYOD policy as users can convert any of their devices into business communication tools. This way, they remain productive through devices they are comfortable working with.

6. Make Remote Working a Possibility

For many businesses, transitioning to remote-work is not easy. However, business VoIP technology and softphones make remote working or managing distributed teams easier. So, now, you can offer employees the option to work from home or hire agents in different time zones to get more global customers.

Get a Softphone Today

Are you ready to get a softphone to enhance and streamline your business communications? Global Call Forwarding can help! Sign up for our virtual phone number service and use the GCF Web Dialer for any device to make and answer calls through the internet. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to get started today!

How To Do Business Across Multiple Time Zones

Keeping up with a team that works remotely across different time zones can be difficult. It takes a lot of planning and organization, not to mention willingness from team members that are spread out across the globe. If you have trouble keeping your sprawling international team in unison, here are some expert tips on the best ways to collaborate across multiple time zones.

1. Divvy Up The Burdens

When working across multiple time zones there will be times when people just won’t be able to make it. You can’t expect someone to wake up for a meeting at 2 AM (their time) just because it’s 8 AM in your time zone. The time zones will always be the greatest challenges for a team across continents, but one way to lessen the blow for all parties is to cater to those parties’ individual circadian rhythms. Instead of making one group of people stay up late or wake up extra early, you can rotate meeting times. Have everyone in the group be available at times that work with their schedule and make it permissible to miss meetings that are scheduled from 10pm-7am their time.

2. Meet Face To Face

If you can’t all be in one room together the next best thing is video chatting/ video conferencing. There are plenty of tools to choose from including, Skype and FaceTime. Google Hangouts is a simple and free way to hold meetings with people across the world. GoToWebinar also works for people with larger teams. These tools are high-tech and simple to use so you can have a crisp and clear conversation like you’re standing right next to someone even if they’re 5,000 miles away. It is also important to pay attention to the person on the screen. If there are a few people in one room together, all too often the person left on video chat is forgotten about. Keep eye contact with the person on video and keep them engaged in the conversation as if they were sitting right next to you.

Working across different time zones.
Source: Stockphoto.com O#1202 – ID#100078517678

3. Take Advantage of Social Media Tools

Google Plus is Google’s social networking site that is perfect for remote teams working together. Anything can be shared on this platform to the people of your choosing. Sharing things like inspirational quotes, exciting news about a client, or funny memes, bring teams from far away closer together. When working with a remote team things can easily become just about work and you can become disconnected from your fellow team members. Google Plus is an easy way to bridge the gap that you would normally get at after-work socializing events. Google Drive and Dropbox are amazing free tools that can help your team work collaboratively on the same documents. Multiple people have the ability to edit the same document with these tools. They are especially great for collaborating across time zones because when it is one person’s clock out time, that means another person can jump in and work where they left off.

4. Get In The Same Room

In order to build trust with your teammates who work in various parts of the globe, you should schedule days where you can truly be in the same room together. This might only happen once or twice a year, but it is crucial for your team’s growth. Plan a workshop for your team to get together to foster true relationships with each other. You will need to build trust with your team in order to succeed with them. At these workshops, you can experience new things together which will strengthen your bond. This time should be used for complex decision-making and job-related discussions that are better left for in-person discussion. However, don’t forget to carve out time for socializing. Many of your goals for the company will be achieved very quickly once you have gotten your team together in one room and new goals can be created together. Schedule a dinner or a trip to a museum or both for after the meeting. Creating a travel budget will be a necessary component of working with teams across multiple time zones.

When you put all of these tools to work with your team, the only possible outcome is that your business will have built more trust and found an easier way to collaborate.