Most of the time we talk about the benefits of the Unified Communications, such as hosted PBX services, we talk about the direct benefits your business will enjoy. We often talk about the increased scalability and organizational flexibility that will give your business the ability to grow and shrink as needed. We often talk about the cost savings associated with hosted PBX and how these savings quickly and effectively mitigate whatever start-up costs your business may incur making the switch. We also talk about how hosted VoIP telephony provides business continuity services, and how it offers a wealth of intelligent features and improvements over traditional telephone systems.
All of these business-oriented benefits are true, but focusing exclusively on them obscures the human side of the equation- the fact that all the benefits offered by digital telephony directly assist your employees and improve their satisfaction with their jobs. In fact, a recent study has shown that VoIP telephony may do more than improve customer satisfaction, switching to Unified Communications will likely increase employee retention.
Our Evolving Workforce
The study in question was conducted by Robert Half International and it shed light on what really matters most to employees when it comes to job satisfaction and whether or not they had plans to seek alternative employment.
To conduct the study the organization surveyed 1,400 CFO’s and asked them about what benefits they were providing their employees and what benefits they felt would improve job satisfaction and employee retention. Not surprisingly the second most common response from these CFOs was the benefit of flexible work hours and the ability to telecommute.
This means that the most powerful and important benefit offered by the hosted PBX service may have little to do with cost savings, organizational scalability and business continuity. The most powerful and important benefit offered by hosted PBX (or any VoIP system for that matter) might be the fact it offers employees and companies freedom to work remotely.
If your business concerns itself with maximizing employee productivity by allowing them to work remotely and if making the switch to hosted PBX provides the fluid, decentralized organizational structure you need to let your employees work whenever and wherever they want, then deciding to make the switch is a real no-brainer. And a projection of 1.3 billion employees expected to work remotely by 2015 is a testament that business community is “getting the memo”.
Remote Work Arrangements Make Sense
Now, even though a business understands the importance of employee retention, and even though a business understands the important role which flexible work arrangement may play in retaining the modern employee, some businesses will still worry that empowering their employees to telecommute will be bad for business.
There are some arguments to be made here about the potential intangible benefits offered by having all your employees under one roof, but ultimately the hard-and-fast facts suggest enabling a remote work force is a net positive for organizations on a few important logistical fronts. Teleworking via Hosted PBX and Unified Communications systems dramatically decreases costs associated with travel and office expenses. Imagine how your budget will shrink if you could reduce your offices to half their size as your employees choose to work from home, from coffee shops, or from their own personal office spaces that they rent out and manage on their own.
On both the personal, human level and the nuts-and-bolts business level making the switch to the hosted PBX just makes sense, and giving your employees the little extra freedom provided by hosted VoIP technology may just be the best way to keep them on board.