Managing A Remote Team

If you haven’t heard the term Remote Working then you must have been living (or working) on the moon for the past years!

This space is somewhat growing and more and more businesses are adopting this way of work for themselves and more importantly for their employees.

What is Remote Working?

There is an assortment of ways to describe the process of working from a location other than the traditional office. Terms you would have heard include telecommuting, home, remote, mobile, virtual, location independent or indeed cloud working.

Remote workers can also be described as those individuals or teams that travel whilst working and may move around constantly or stay in a particular location for a few days or even a few months or more before moving to the next CoWorking establishment or Coffee Shop.

Remote workers are constantly in search for the best Internet connectivity and as today Internet availability it getting more available across both fixed and mobile connectivity, speeds are becoming faster by the day meaning that Remote workers can work from just about anywhere and in whatever time zone they wish.

Rewind a few years ago the concept or being able to work anywhere or even find an employer that would allow you to do so was pretty vast if not unheard of.

The Individual Opportunity

The growth of freelancing sites like Upwork, Elance, Freelancer and Toptal and PeoplePerHour to name a few means that you can pitch for work but after a bunch of good reviews and feedback, may even turn into a full time job bringing with it a reasonable income. This has given a thirst to those individuals that wish to work on their own terms and environments that suit them.

Having the ability to take advantage of this income source, stops you from being chained to a desk and can allow work to be carried out from just about anywhere with your Laptop, Mobile Phone and a good internet connection. The availability of technology is fuelling the growth of this industry and propelling it forward.

Freelancing isn’t just aimed at Designers and Coders, if you have a particular skill set that you can offer to other businesses or individuals then maybe you can revaluate how you are working and become a remote worker yourself.

Now on to the bigger picture….

Remote Working for Businesses

Employers are also enthused about the potential of employing Remote Workers. This not only helps businesses to reduce office overhead and infrastructure costs, but also creates happy staff with increased productivity and builds far greater loyalty between themselves and their team members.

Employers can offer Remote Working as part of an employment agreement. They may offer Remote Working as a restricted option or fully employ a whole Team that can work from anywhere.

Business Management via the Cloud

More and more companies are releasing technology to assist in helping businesses manage a whole variety of day to day tasks, most are more suited towards larger Teams as costs associated may not be as attractive to smaller businesses or indeed Start ups.

As more and more businesses adopt the Remote Working environment they will certainly face the challenges associated, like for example Employee Time Management, CRM and General Housekeeping including General/Sales/Customer Support and HR.

Popular management tools include Asana, Trello, Evernote, Hivedesk are amongst the best available for remote team management and communication.

Customer Relationship Management

For CRM you are spoilt for choice but for smaller companies CRM can be quite a heavy expense if the requirement is not necessarily needed in the earlier stages. However these options don’t break the bank and give you good value for money these include Insightly., Zoho and Pipedrive.

Human Resources

Cloud based HR solutions are great for Start-ups and Small Businesses that wish to have easy Human Resource tools at hand Staff Squared and BambooHR are 2 leaders in this field as their functionality is straight forward taking some of the laborious tasks out of traditional HR processes.

Customer Chat

Communication is certainly key to any business. Not only do customers want to be able to contact you through whatever means possible but they also wish for communication to be reliable and on demand.

For Website chat solution’s check out Olark or Crisp but for those of your with deeper pockets could go for Intercom

Voice Communications

For traditional voice and video contact Skype is still a valid free option for internal calls, with its new Skype for business model is great for individuals that wish to publish a local number in the US or Canada and forward to your cellphone. If you are a business looking for a more advanced platform for total voice communication between your team and your customers (wherever they may be in the world) then check out VoiceRules built for Entrepreneurs and Remote Teams that are working globally.

Remote working is a very real and available option to your business and your team today. With the functionality and convenience of these business solutions that are available on the market can certainly help you to take some of the potential stress out of managing your remote working environment.

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Love Your Employees? Then Set Them Free!

Remote teams are fast becoming a normal setup for Company working environments and the amount of new businesses following this trend is growing rapidly with around 80% of work contracts including flexible working arrangements (flexjobs).

Remote work is when a member of your team works outside of a traditional office environment. This could be at home, in a coffee shop, CoWorking Space or some other flamboyant location of their choice with Internet access.

Remote workers are also known as Telecommuters, Virtual Staff, Cloud Workers, Home/Mobile Workers and Digital Nomads.

Happy Employees

This method of working is quickly becoming the preferred way for todays employees with 85% of millennial’s wanting to have the option to telecommute 100% of the time. Remote Working also meets the current and future demands of the younger workforce. (workplaceinsight.net).

Working remotely has shown health benefits for individuals. Staff that work remotely have proven to not only be happier with increased morale but are also less stressed about their work and are vastly more loyal to their employer with increased levels of productivity (Forbes.com).

Remote Working not only applies just to employees but also to the 1000’s of Entrepreneurs and business owners that are appreciating the benefits of working almost anywhere around the globe.

Ticking boxes for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of being able to work location independent and as technology is being built daily to support these working environments is proving to be a more attractive option for todays Business owners.

Cost savings are high on the list of importance for any new business venture. The ability to work from any location without the need for the normal overheads is saving companies large amounts in setup costs. This allows them to focus their budget on what’s important for their business to succeed.

You only have to look at today’s Entrepreneurs on Social platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to get a feel of how these individuals and their teams are working in an environment that meets their dreams and personal aspirations whilst working and also creating revenue for their business along the way.

Team Callaboration

As new technology is launched to make remote working even easier gives employers more options when monitoring staff and customers at the same time.

Tools like Basecamp, Trello and Slack are topping the charts for some of the best remote team management tools on the market. With their slick interfaces and functionality these platforms are extinguishing any worry that business owners may have when considering the management of remote teams.

Customer Management platforms like Zoho, Insightly and Nimble also help Small Businesses to keep on top of their customers and prospects by offering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.

Is a Remote Working environment right for you?

The option of working in a remote environment may be appealing and beneficial to both an employer and its workforce for the reasons outlined, but this doesn’t mean that this way of working is right for everyone.

Some companies still wish to have their teams where they can see them and interact face to face rather than over collaboration tools or communication products like Skype.

With any new exciting ways of working, unfortunately will also brings new challenges. These learning curves may not be tempting for every business owner.

Published by VoiceRules who are a leading provider for solutions promoting the remote management of international sales and customers contact support for small businesses and Entrepreneurs around the world.

Phone Call Management For Global Entrepreneurs

With the exponential growth of location independent working environments has caused a great amount of new products and services directed around helping businesses and individuals run day-to-day management. Location Independence includes Remote Teams, Remote Workers, Digital Nomads, Lifestyle Entrepreneurs to name but a few.

These businesses or individuals have built their whole working environment around the ability to travel and work basically anywhere they want as long as they have a laptop, mobile and good WiFi.

Challenges

Even though it may seem to the standard 9-5ers that this is the dream, it does also come with its challenges.  Self motivation and time management are probably two regular battles that these individuals have to endure, but having a whole team which works remotely can somewhat intensify the situation.

There are already a bunch of useful tools to manage Team Communication and Project Management, there are also other tools that can keep an individual motivated or help them to complete their daily tasks.

But as the world is more accessible for doing business, which is an exciting and achievable concept, but with this, managing these environments can become quite tricky.

Potential Issues

Customers not only want to communicate over email or live chat but they do also wish to have a conversation over traditional phone. Traditional Phone conversations are still one of the more popular methods when customers wish to query something before using or buying a product/service.

With click to call and click to connect from web sites or social media business pages including Facebook, Instagram and Google, means that offering local support when you and your team are moving across the globe is challenging.

Solutions

There are many global voice platforms available including Skype and Sonetel which can help with an International presence and provide their customers with the a structure to do so.

Skype was originally built for calls between users and appealed more to the general public, as the calls are free for voice and the same for video calls to other Skype users.

Skype for business has been created to offer more support towards business that may not be fixed in any location and offers some support for multiple locations across the globe – albeit expensive for packages and individual calls is still a step in the right direction.

Sonetel offers international phone numbers in 50+ countries starting at $0.89c and continue to grow by the day selling individual numbers to Entrepreneurs around the world. Calls can also be slightly more expensive and they do also offer some functionality for routing calls to various destinations via intuitive features.

VoiceRules

Another popular alternative in this space is VoiceRules

VoiceRules is here to fill a gap in the market. This gap has occurred through the growth of Location Independent setups.

The VoiceRules platform is a low cost Professional Call Management Suite that offers a variety of features all accessible through any browser or tablet.  No software needs to be local to the user to be able to use its features, in fact any device can be used for managing, monitoring and recording calls for individuals or small remote teams. It can even be used for personal calls from Family and Friends when on the move.

With development around WebRTC VoiceRules have enabled the user to have a fully functional phone platform at their fingertips. Users can not only buy International local Phone Numbers around the world for short term or long term use, but also empower the its customers to set those numbers up with ease to manage how calls are routed to Team Members wherever they may be in the world.

Customers can dial Local, National or Toll-free numbers so that they feel as though a business is a local, but in fact these businesses may not even have an office and may also be constantly moving across popular Work Hubs in South East Asia, for example.

VoiceRules has also developed a browser based telephone dialer. This digital handset can be used when dialling customers. Local numbers to those customers can be displayed on their handset when they receive a call. In turn when companies have inbound calls to themselves or their teams, these calls can be routed to appropriate users on local mobiles so that calls are never missed.

VoiceRules has also built an Analytics module which visually displays data to the user so that users can manage projects and see where calls are coming from, to who and can manage the results.

Amongst a whole bunch of other useful features and a development program introducing further solutions in this space, VoiceRules is seeing some incredible growth and even after its first week of launch has already accumulated 100+ customers.

They are currently offering a 7 day free trial at www.voicerules.com so check them out!

Help – Profiles – Call Transfer

A New Call Transfer profile is a simple way to forward calls directly to a phone number, This blog will help you to set a ‘Call Transfer’ profile up and attach it to your numbers.

To Set-up your New Call Transfer go to ‘PROFILES’– ‘NEW CALL TRANSFER – then click the ‘NEW CALL TRANSFER’ key to open up a new profile.

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Another screen will now appear.

Firstly you can give your ‘New Call Transfer a ‘Name’.

Next, input the number you wish to be dialed when using this profile.

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Now you have some options which will manage how callers contact you.

If you wish to have any unanswered calls to go to your voicemail box, click the ‘Transfer to voicemail if unanswered’ box.

Note – you must have Voicemail profiles setup for them to appear in the dropdown menu.

Now you can select whether you want to route all calls ‘All Day’ by selecting that option or you can choose to route calls at certain times of day. If you wish to select a time frame that you can be contacted.

Check the ‘Selected Time’ option.

Then Select the times that you wish to be contacted.

Any calls outside of this time frame will be routed straight to your voicemail.

Next, select from the dropdown the Voicemail box profile you wish to be used for any missed or out of hours calls.

Press ‘Submit’

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Now you are ready to use your ‘Call Transfer’ profile.

Once you have created your ‘Call Transfer’ profile, you can attach it to your live numbers via the ‘Dashboard’. Under the ‘Phone Numbers’ section you will see ‘Profile’ with a dropdown box. Your ‘Call Transfer’ profiles will appear here. You can now attach them to any number by simply pressing the ‘Connect’ button. The page will refresh confirming the changes made.

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De-Stress with a Business Contact Number

Did you know that you can easily set yourself or your business up in 1000’s of cities instantly without even stepping foot or opening an office in that Country?

Well you can! With the increasing availability of Global Internet and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) means that you can setup a local or International presence for yourself or your business within minutes and with ease.

International Coverage

Phone numbers are available almost anywhere including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Australia.

This opens up a whole new and exciting ball game for new and existing Entrepreneurs and Businesses.

Saves Cost & Lets You Breathe

Before now to open a local business was a gamble and with the expense of having an office, telephone lines and staff could be an expensive one at that.

Having the ability to purchase local phone numbers on a short term rental basis means that corners can be cut to test a market before opening up shop there.

Virtual Numbers or Direct Inward Dialling (DID) numbers (as they are also known) can be used for a number of different reasons. Not only do they stop the need for individuals to give out their mobile numbers – keeping them private, but can be associated with particular campaigns so that companies can monitor Sales or Customer services calls from particular regions to identify which projects are a success or not or to monitor where a business needs more growth/attention.

Compete on an International Stage

Usually these numbers and associated benefits were only available to larger organisations, with the rapid movement of VoIP means that such services are also available to Entrepreneurs or Small to Medium Businesses (SMB’s).

Numbers can be managed by non-technical individuals directly which means that directing calls to who ever you want when ever you want takes the pressure off having full time staff.

Calls can be routed Call Centres, Virtual Receptionists or any of your team members around the world no matter where they are or what technology they are using.

You may also display your number when calling your customers. If you wish to display a local number to your caller when dialling them this can be also be achieved with little effort. This gives your customer the feeling that you are local to them which in turn builds rapport, even if you may be on the other side of the world to them or on a vacation.

Click to Connect

With the rise in Click to Connect features for Social platforms (including Facebook and Instagram) and direct from a Company web site indicates that your customers wish to contact you when they need to via whatever means possible.

This demand means that businesses need to rethink how they are managing/implementing this process, and with what solutions dependent on their individual requirements or situation.

Low Cost Maximum Impact

The good news is you don’t need to employ a full time receptionist or layout serious cost to project yourself as being a large company when in fact it might only be you and a small team in your business.

A Virtual Number opens up new doors and opportunities, if you haven’t considered them yet then maybe you should.

Numbers can be purchased or rented as low as $1.00 each per month and when attached to a sophisticated Phone Call Management solution can catapult your business into an international market within minutes.

Come test drive our platform with a 7 day free trial at www.voicerules.com