Communications and connectivity requirements for remote and work-at-home employees.
Telecommuting eliminates the high cost of commuting—as well as the costs of maintaining conventional office space. It increases employee satisfaction and reduces absenteeism. It enables organizations to better serve customers across time zones at minimum cost, and to have part-time employees who are on call for peak work times. Telecommuting options are also powerful recruiting incentives for caregivers, the disabled and people living in remote areas.
With modern IP networks, it is easier than ever to support telecommuters with the communications and connectivity they require to do their jobs.
The right home-office configuration will depend on the telecommuter’s job responsibilities. For instance:
- All telecommuters will benefit from IP phones, such as Toshiba Strata IP 5000-series telephones or SoftIPT soft phones, for cost-effective remote connectivity over IP connections.
- Most, if not all, telecommuters will need a laptop or desktop computer—such as Toshiba Tecra®, Qosmio® and Portege® models— to use office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and email.
- All telecommuters will need a broadband Internet connection to connect to the office and beyond for email, file sharing, text messaging, Voice over IP (VoIP), videoconferencing and Web access.
- Telecommuters whose work relies heavily on meetings should also be equipped for audio and video collaboration, with a digital camera, video card, videoconferencing client software, and microphone/speakers on the laptop or PC.
- Telecommuters who serve as call agents should also be equipped for computer-telephony integration (CTI), with software that enables them to use their PCs to manage calls and integrate with customer management applications in the office.
On the network side, the right IP business communications system should support telecommuting features as well. Then it is easy to extend the reach of the company network to remote offices and home offices.
How does your organization support its telecommuters? Has it seen any limitations with remote communications for these employees, and if so, how has it resolved them?