VirtualPBX Blog

Time for Working From Home Improvement with VirtualPBX

termites home improvementI’ve spent a great deal of time growing up and adventuring all over the country. From the Rocky Mountains to the Louisiana bayou, I’ve gotten to experience what life is like firsthand all across this cool continent. Currently, however, I live in the heart of San Francisco. Seriously, I’m about 50 yards from the international headquarters of huge tech companies like Twitter, Uber, Square, and Dolby Laboratories. Being so centrally located in one of the most developed sections of such an industrialized city, this is the last place I expected to encounter one of the more common ailments of the more rural homes of my past. I’m referring to termites. Termites?! Yes, those little rapscallions have burrowed their way, somehow and inexplicably into the heart of my building smack dab in the center of this concrete jungle we call San Francisco. I have no idea how this has come to be, but I can assure you that if it weren’t for my array of VirtualPBX business telephone tools, I also wouldn’t be able to be working from home during this most unexpected task of home improvement.

Use the Term “Home Improvement” Loosely

I wish I could tell you that I’m connected to my company through my VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone while I’m working from home because I’m having a new oven installed or because my bathroom is getting redone. But that would be a lie. Instead of a modern and sleek remodel, I’m using the similarly modern and sleek interface of my Dash VoIP to keep in contact with the important calls I need to take while an exterminator is noisily removing planks from my hardwood floors. No, this is not the type of home improvement I had in mind. However, thanks to the flexibility that my employer affords me and the connectivity and mobility that these VoIP tools provide, I’m able to be here throughout the process of banging and spraying and digging and tearing. It’s a charm.

When Working From Anywhere Never Sounded Better

While it’s certainly a positive that I can be here and be available for work because of the technology available to me, sometimes that isn’t quite enough. Take, for example, when you need to field a call to a tech reporter and there is the high-pitched whine of a circular saw surgically removing planks from your floor. Not an ideal work environment, even if it does happen to be in the comfort of my own, now sawdust covered and still termite infested, home. Fortunately, though, this is not the end of the line of possibilities for working remotely. Thanks to the nearly universal device compatibility that comes along with my VirtualPBX service, I can that this remote working roadshow, literally onto the road. All I need is my Dash portal or my VirtualPBX Softphone App and a reliable wi-fi or data connection and I’m all set. So, while the growing excavation in my front hallway is a necessary bit of home improvement, it doesn’t make for the most accommodating environment for getting work done on the telephone. I suppose working from one of the many bespoke artisanal coffee roasters in the city here is an adequate substitute to my infested kitchen table. Twist my arm.

Where would you work today if you could be anywhere? Let us know by sharing on social media on Twitter or Facebook. Or, if you’re ready to begin getting away from whatever it is that’s making your current work environment a bit hectic, perhaps it’s time you tried your own hosted telephone system like Dash, for free. Check out the free trial of Dash today, and see where your workday takes you!

Put on Your Dancing Shoes – Dash Wins 2 Medals at IT World Awards

2017 Network Product Guide IT world AwardsIt’s a pretty cool thing that we’ve been fortunate enough to be recognized for our products and services. When your customers, peers, and the industry’s media all agree that what you’re doing is worthwhile, it’s a confirmation that your hard work is well invested. Recently, however, we got a notice that really turned the traditional honor and pride that an award win brings with it paradigm right on its head. By winning a pair of medals at the Network Products Guide IT World Awards, we’ve reached a milestone for our premiere VoIP for business platform, Dash. So now that we’ve got these fancy new awards to celebrate, it’s time to dust off the dancing shoes because there’s also a gala affair to attend!

The Devil is in the Details

We’d never turn away any of our awards up until this point, but what makes these two wins noteworthy is the size of the field involved. Dash was put against the best communications products in the world, covering companies of all sizes and in categories well beyond business phone systems. In spite of that stiff competition, Dash walked away with a Gold for Best Communications Service and a Bronze for Best New Technology Product. Therefore, while we’re confident that each notch on our belts for industry recognition is one we would never deny, this one definitely marked a new level of accomplishment.

Why the Red Carpet Treatment?

As it turns out, these awards come with them an invite to one of the most exclusive events in Silicon Valley, too. The Network Product Guide’s 12th Annual IT World Awards gala affair will be a who’s-who of the communications technology industry. Held at in on of the “Big Four” hotels atop the posh and historic Nob Hill in San Francisco later this month, this event will be a memorable and extravagant affair. And that’s where it gets a bit tricky. The reality is, even sharing these awards is a bit of a debate internally because, while we’re plenty proud of our accomplishment, we didn’t get into this for praise. We are more interested in helping our customers launch, improve, or grow their businesses, and as cliché as it may sound to say it, their success is all the praise we need. So, truth be told, we might have to just take a raincheck on the fancy dinner and let some more dust collect on those dancing shoes. After all, we have plenty of more work ahead of us.

Thank you to everyone who trusts us to give them the very best in a business phone service. Your support is what makes all of these awards possible, and your endorsement is what makes the work worthwhile.

Infographic – Why Agents Should Use VoIP for Real Estate

Agents Should Use VoIP for Real Estate, Plain and Simple

But of course, it’s also a good idea to back these type of claims up with some evidence. The fact is that a hosted phone system powered by VoIP is ideal for real estate organizations for a lot of reasons. Contracts are an essential part of getting business done for real estate firms and agents can send and receive them from the palm of their hands through VoIP for real estate’s ability to convert email to fax. Additionally, because real estate agents are often out on the road showing properties, having calls received and routed by an Auto Attendant makes sure calls are never missed and customers always feel heard. Plus, a hosted business phone system is exponentially more affordable than any legacy, on-site phone system. Plainly, simply, and undeniably, VoIP for real estate is one of the best business decisions any agent can make!


Partner Blog Series Infographic – Are Three Day Weekends Better?

For our Partner Blog Series we like to highlight the relationships we have with our peers and business partners from across all areas of the telecommunications industry. We know that when it comes to relationships, the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts. That’s why we want to share with you the wisdom, experience, and perspective of the companies we work with.

For this edition of the Partner Blog Series, we’ve called on InvestmentZen, pioneers in new and clever ways to manage your money. They make a surprisingly salient argument for a point I’ve been trying to hammer home for a long time, specifically that we need longer weekends!

40 hour work weeks are a thing of the past. Recent research shows that only 50% of all full-time employees work 40 hours or less. Nearly 20% work more than 60 hours per week. While this has a noticeable impact on our paychecks, it’s not the best approach for long-term success for both the employer and employee.

One of the of the dangers of overworking are the increased risks of several health issues. Stroke risks rise 33% while the risk for type 2 diabetes rises an astonishing 112%. Mental health problems also increase as the work hours do. Depression and anxiety risks double in the overworked.

The argument for more time off is certainly strong for employees but how do employers fare? Most employees can only remain focused and stay focused for about five hours a day. The rest of the time is spent daydreaming, checking email and Facebook, and even the occasional nap. With a shorter workweek, companies lowered time off from absence and PTO.

Companies around the world have already begun to implement the change. Companies like 37 Signals and Treehouse have reported more productive work weeks since adopting three day weekends. KFC Japan has also used this as an incentive to bring back former employees. Since implementing three day weekends, they were able to convince 20% of their former employees that were also stay-at-home moms to come back to work.

While employees working the shorter workweeks may have to focus harder on saving money and budgeting, the benefits far outweigh the downfalls. Ready to convince your boss three day weekends are the way to go? Three day weekends can benefit both you and your employer. Show them this infographic and get ready to start enjoying life a little more.

Three Day Weekends Infographic

Remote Work in Silicon Valley

Remote-Work-Silicon-ValleyVoIP, intelligent call forwarding, Auto Attendants, and all of the other core features of hosted telephony help businesses connect with their customers in new and efficient ways. All of the technology we develop is specifically designed to do specifically that, but connecting people is just one of the more visible and immediate effects of unified communications for business. Another equally common but less obvious impact that our hosted business phone service has on companies is far more profound. By empowering companies to work anywhere, we have seen that more often than not, they begin to work differently as well. The majority of businesses that switch to VoIP for cost savings end up discovering far more use for their new phone systems than they originally anticipated. Generally, after adopting and using their hosted phone service for a brief period, businesses tend to begin adopting new remote work policies as well. But because remote work in Silicon Valley is such a commonplace affair, companies outside of this tech-rich environment have a common misconception that it is without its own challenges. That’s why we’re taking a moment to address the state of the remote working union, as it were, right here in the Silicon Valley.

Remote Work in Silicon Valley

Remote work in Silicon Valley isn’t too dissimilar to anywhere else in the world, which is one of the biggest contributing factors to how widely and rapidly is can be implemented. However, there are a few key attributes outside of the simplicity of using a hosted telephone system that are specific to this part of the world.

  • Historical Precedent In 2009, when remote working was still largely uncommon, one of the largest employers in the world, IBM, had 40% of its workforce working remotely and, for Californians, this had been the norm for decades. And, although IBM recently announced an end to remote work as a move to consolidate their offices in favor of more robust, on-site working environments, it marked just one of many massive companies here that for years showed that flexibility can be part of a business’ power. And it should be mentioned that, by their own accounting, they saved $100 million annually in the United States alone by reducing their office spaces through remote work, so the rumors what ending this policy really foretells are running amok.
  • Reliable Infrastructure One of the most critical ingredients of being able to leverage a remote working policy is a reliable internet connection. Naturally, Silicon Valley has long enjoyed some of the first, and most powerful connections in the world. From early dial-up connections, fiber optics, and beyond, much of the technology that powers access to the internet, and therefore to a hosted telephone system, has been developed here and subsequently installed here earlier than most other places. Of course, this begs the question as to why we still have cellular dead spots on many of the major freeways in the area, but that is a topic for another day.
  • Housing Costs and Living Wages We wouldn’t be the first people to say this, but living in California, and especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, is grossly expensive. This isn’t a good factor to consider for remote work at all, but it is a huge component of why other neighboring areas are seeing rises in their commuting and telecommuting populations. The nearby community of Tracy, CA estimates that 70% of their citizens commute to work each day into the Bay Area. This, combined with the historical acceptance of remote working and the ubiquity of high-speed internet connections makes it an ideal candidate for becoming a telecommuter hub. In fact, it’s predicted that many such satellite cities of national tech hubs, and even neighboring states thereof, that have a similar complexion of factors will begin to transition into remote working hubs in the coming years.

Remote Work In Your Community

Getting started with a remote working policy is easy and can be done with just a few basic first steps. The most important being to find the right hosted business phone system for you. Fortunately, the award-winning set of Dash Plans all come with a 30-day money back guarantee so you’ve got nothing to risk in giving one a try. Furthermore, you can even rent your VoIP telephone for the same month so your exposure is possibly as low as about $7.00, so you’ve really got next to nothing to lose. But more importantly than finding the right tools is finding the right mindset. Because heading into the office is such a ritual for many people, adopting a remote working policy can be a bit uncomfortable at first. We’ve got mountains of resources on remote working done right, plus we’re always on Twitter or Facebook, so you can reach out to us anytime you want with questions or for advice on how to make the transition into a remote working policy as smooth as possible for you.

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