In a growing number of businesses, the term “virtual reality” has less to do with immersive, three-dimensional software and more to do with workers. According to a Gallup poll, the number of virtual workers (or “work from anywhere” employees) continues to increase, with 37 percent of people saying they have, at least occasionally, telecommuted for work in 2015. That’s a spike of more than 300 percent in the past 20 years.
Gallup isn’t the only indicator that telecommuting is increasing hand over foot. The leading job search site FlexJobs estimates that telecommuting in the U.S. has grown 103 percent over the last decade. On top of that, it predicts that 50 percent of people will work remotely—as freelancers, contractors or employees—by 2020. Don’t throw out those office keys just yet, though; most people do actually want to spend some time at the office, just not every day.
This fluid work environment is a good thing, it seems. Both workers and employers credit it with enabling more creative collaborative relationships and fostering a unique culture that brings workers together (figuratively). Employers are also convinced that it boosts productivity, and consequently has a tangible impact on the bottom line.
This virtual scenario sounds great, but it simply can’t work without one thing: a strong communications infrastructure.
Unified communications (UC) technology is a necessity for the virtual workplace. Remote employees have the same practical concerns as office workers: they rely on email, texts, and voice messages to stay in the loop. They have collaborative projects that require real-time group work. They need to be reachable by clients and co-workers. Most importantly, they don’t want to feel “remote.” Done right, UC brings people together efficiently, seamlessly and reliably.
Star2Star is uniquely positioned to support virtual workplaces. Here’s what we offer:
Unique cloud architecture that utilizes the cloud and supports on-premises hardware. Our system utilizes the cloud (great for virtual workers) as well as on-premises hardware (perfect for keeping your office space humming). It handles calls more efficiently and is significantly more secure and reliable than the services offered by hosted-VoIP-only providers.
- Built-in security features: The StarBox® Voice Optimized SD-WAN includes multiple levels of security, including packet filtering, encryption, and firewalls. We also ensure that our products comply with a myriad of regulatory standards including GSA, HIPAA, PCI, CPNI, and more. The privacy of your communications is ensured whether your virtual users are on-premises, off-premises, or on a mobile phone.
- Full-featured mobile solutions: All communications tools are supported with Star2Star. No matter what device a virtual worker uses—from smartphone to laptop to desktop—it can be turned into a fully featured softphone that uses a designated work extension and protects personal numbers.
- A high-quality communication experience: Rest assured that your remote workers won’t struggle with bad connections or hard-to-learn interfaces, even if they don’t have an IT department to call for help. We have the highest customer retention rate of any provider (99.85 percent) thanks in large part to our ease of use and customer support.
To find out more about how Star2Star can help prepare your business for a virtual workforce: