VoIP Can Help Make Life Work Balance a Reality When You Work From Home
Work — Is a four-letter word that produces a whole range of emotions and reactions, depending on who you are talking to. It is good for all of us to work, in some capacity, whether it is for a paycheck or not. When it is for a paycheck, there is a very good chance that the amount of time spent doing the work (not to mention getting to and from the workplace) is more than what we might want so that we can include a little of the other four letter word — Life.
More often than not, too much emphasis, effort, and time are spent on pursuing work and not living life. We believe that if we work hard enough and long enough then we will be able to “live the good life” … eventually.
Why “too much”? Most of us will have several jobs over the course of our working years, yet we will never have more than one life. On their death bed, virtually no one will look back over their life and feel regret for not working more.
Being required to work so that we may live life forces us out of balance. Balance in life will be the by-product of finding the right line of work for our individual needs and placing family, friends, and happiness above our career. While work and life are both critical to our existence, we have to focus more on the life side of this equation. The work side has been the central focus of our society for the majority of its existence.
The pattern of dad leaving home in the morning to earn a living and not returning home from work until late at night began with the industrial age . Family time was reduced to one day a week when the factory was closed. Thankfully, the kids had mom at home to take care of them and the household. Many years later, women began to enter the workplace resulting in even less net family time. Typically, children grow up with both parents reinforcing the notion that work is the most important thing in life.
The info-graphic, by Ernst & Young, below shows that nearly half of Baby Boomer couples have both spouses in the workplace. This grows to 3/4 of all millennial couples in the workplace. Work and life don’t seem to be the two aspects that are hand-in-hand.
While the typical expectation of a workplace time commitment is 40 hours per week, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, this “fixed” pattern of the typical work week is beginning to broaden. Millennials are changing jobs, making demands, and even moving to other countries to achieve a desired life work balance.
In a recent survey conducted by Ernst & Young, it was discovered that 75% of millennials want the “ability to work flexibly and still be on track for promotion”.
The infographic from this survey highlights several more of the findings
So, how does VoIP help achieve a life work balance and help you work from home more often? Several ways.
Technology of today’s business phone systems provide tremendous freedom from being tethered to a desk phone. There is a long laundry list of features that come with a VoIP business phone system. Here are just a few that can facilitate a more flexible work environment and even provide the opportunity to work away from the office – occasionally or permanently:
Remote Office Anywhere
The beauty of VoIP is its marriage with the internet. Anywhere you have an internet connection, and even cellular reception, you can answer any phone available to you just like you’re answering your office phone. The client dials your office phone number and the VoIP business phone system finds you wherever you are to connect your client to you. Dialing out is the same, as well. Calls can be transferred and all the business phone system assets can be accessed the same way as if you were in the office.
When a client is giving you some important details you write them down or type them into your computer, when you’re at the office. If you are on the lake with the kids and that same call comes in, simply record the call so the details can be written or entered at a more convenient time and place.
Voice Mail to Email
This can be a handy feature to save time transcribing a voice mail message. While the software vendors have yet to perfectly transcribe everyone’s voice accurately, it get’s you most of the way there.
Conference calls become the remote tool for conducting staff meetings bringing several people, possibly from several different locations, together efficiently. Video conferencing is an even better way to conduct these meetings. VoIP phones are available with the video camera and LCD screen built right in. Most laptops, tablets, and smartphones are ideal video conferencing tools. Conference Bridging is more than a feature, it’s a built-in time management tool.
Perhaps the Boss Needs More Convincing on Telecommuting
Some business owners or managers feel that your physical presence is required to get the job done right. For a responsible, committed employee that has integrity, this is just not the case. Suggest telecommuting in the following situations to ease into it and allow the owner/manager a chance to warm up to the idea:
- Sick Days – Very few sick days are we completely incapacitated. Suggest working from home on a day when you don’t feel up to going into the office or you don’t want to infect all of your co-workers (They’ll thank you for it).
- Overtime – If overtime is going to be required on a project use the time that would normally be used for commuting to work the overtime. The national average is 25.4 minutes, which translates into 50.8 minutes of overtime.
- Catching Up – Instead of staying late at the office to catch up on additional work, go home and spend time with the kids before they go off to bed. Afterwards, the perfect time to complete this work is when the house is quiet.
- Vacation – After we return to the office after taking time off for vacation, we may ask ourselves “Why did I take that time off?” when we see the emails, voice mails, and piles of work on our desk. Return to the office relaxed after taking vacation days, not stressed. Take a little time each day during the vacation to reduce the build up of work while you’re away.
- Special Project – There may come a project that is ideally suited for telecommuting. Arrange a short-term trial period to complete this project by telecommuting. Once the project is completed, meet with the owner/manager to discuss the positive (and negative, if there were any) aspects during this time away from the office.
Don’t forget the very real financial benefit, too. With gas hovering below $4.00 per gallon, the money not being spent on gas stays in your pocket-Instant raise! There are numerous examples of successful telecommuters who seem to be jamming a tremendous amount of life and work into every day.
Get in touch with us if you have any questions on telecommuting using VoIP business phone systems and how they can help you achieve life work balance.