When Maxwell Smart needed to contact the Chief in a hurry, he would take off his shoe phone or pass a message to another secret agent cleverly disguised as a fire hydrant. Now, thanks to the invention of his namesake, the smartphone, staying in touch with the office is a much simpler affair.
Mobile VoIP has revolutionised telecommunications, allowing us to communicate for a fraction of the traditional cost. A smartphone is nothing less than a highly compact computer that uses VoIP technology to connect us in a variety of different ways.
The first and most obvious way we can stay in touch with the office is by phoning in. The difference is, if the company phone system is VoIP based, then the call is usually free. Mobile VoIP networks allow free phone calls between company mobiles and dedicated company numbers, which is an incredible cost saving for any business.
If you’re part of a flexible workforce with non-traditional hours, often outside the office, then instant messaging is a very efficient way to stay in touch with what’s happening at the coalface. As the name suggests, instant messaging allows you to communicate instantly in text form with your boss or fellow employees. It means you always know what’s going on, and they can contact you whenever they need to. Instant messaging features can include in-line spell checking, group chat room bookmarks and tabbed conversations, making it a very user-friendly form of communication.
Simply by punching in your pin number or a code for access, you can join a telephone conference with your managers or fellow employees back at the office. If you are talking to a client on the phone and need some head office input to clinch a deal, you can initiate a teleconference yourself and you, your client and those at the office can all talk as if you were sitting around the same meeting room table.
Even more amazing, you can conduct a conference where everybody can see one another, thanks to a video link-up. When doing business, it is often vital to pick up on visual clues, so this form of communication is extremely useful. The downside is that it will make a negative performance review from the boss a much more painful experience than it would be over the phone.
Emails and SMS
Because your smartphone is internet-enabled, you can also send emails to the office and Twitter or SMS text back and forth. All methods are perfectly suitable, although instant messaging is the fastest way to communicate short messages and is more secure from viruses and information theft, assuming that your provider offers a protected service.
Thanks to VoIP-based technology, today’s mobile workforce is able to stay connected to the office in many more ways than ever thought possible. In fact, if Maxwell Smart had access to the amazing range of tools that are available to field operatives today, he would have been a much more efficient and productive agent than he was … possibly.