VoIP use set to grow as more of us work from home, says survey


A survey by consumer internet phone service provider, Skype, has predicted that VoIP use for businesses will have risen by 10% between the end of 2009 and the close of 2011.

Interestingly, the survey anticipates that over the same period workplace use of mobile phones will have only increased by 5%, whilst email and traditional telephone landline use will have actually decreased by around 5% and 6% respectively.

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) allows voice calls to be made via an internet portal instead of through a traditional physical telephone line connection and many business phone systems are starting to incorporate VoIP.

One of the chief reasons for switching to the services of a VoIP provider is that calls are much cheaper than those made using a traditional telephone line connection.

There are however other benefits of VoIP that are also proving to be an attraction to potential subscribers. These benefits include being able to add or re-route telephone extensions extremely easily; and the facility to use the same voice line connection wherever the caller has access to the internet.

It is this latter quality of VoIP that can help employees work from home, improving the way flexible working is being incorporated into many companies.

The survey canvassed the views and experiences of 1,000 executives from a cross section of 500 US businesses. It found that working from home was not only seen as a lifestyle benefit among employees, but was also viewed by their employers as both an acceptable working practice, and as a means of improving productivity.

Of those businesses surveyed, 62% said their staff were now permitted to work remotely; and in those businesses where working from home was permitted, 34% of staff claimed to have taken advantage of this privilege, spending around 40% of their working time at their place of residence.