Has your company shifted to working remotely? Or maybe you have to travel for your job, contributing to the 405 million business trips that Americans take in a typical year. Thanks to new technologies that enhance digital interconnectedness, it’s easier than ever to run your business from your mobile devices.
You don’t need to have a full computer workstation to have a productive workday. Instead, you use your smartphone to stay on top of your work while in a home office, an airport lounge or a hotel.
The infographic below shares best practices for running your business when on the go.
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Digital storage in the cloud.
Cloud storage has become mainstream in the past decade, replacing individual hard drives and internal company servers. By storing files in the cloud, you can access them from any location and easily collaborate with co-workers.
There’s been significant growth among the top cloud service companies: Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. Between 2014 and 2019, total user counts have more than doubled.
Currently, Google Drive is the most popular cloud storage app, exceeding 1 billion users in 2018. Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive both experienced strong growth; however, between 2016 and 2019, user counts have plateaued and neither has announced any updates beyond 500 million users.
Users of cloud storage
- 2011: 50 million
- Nov. 2012: 100 million
- Nov. 2013: 200 million
- June 2015: 400 million
- March 2016: 500 million
- July 2019: More than 500 million
- Nov. 2013: 120 million
- June 2014: 190 million
- Oct. 2014: 240 million
- July 2018: 1 billion
- Nov. 2014: 250 million
- Oct. 2015: 500 million
- June 2019: More than 500 million
Staying in touch.
Email is critical to business success. As the number of daily emails sent or received continues to grow, it’s predicted that by the end of 2020, we’ll exceed 300 billion daily emails.
Emails Sent or Received Per Day Worldwide
- 2013: 182.9 billion
- 2014: 191.4 billion
- 2015: 205.6 billion
- 2016: 215.3 billion
- 2017: 269.0 billion
- 2018: 281.1 billion
- 2019: 293.6 billion
- 2020: 306.4 billion (projected)
- 2021: 319.6 billion (projected)
- 2022: 333.2 billion (projected)
- 2023: 347.3 billion (projected)
Even as the quantity of emails grows, there’s a shift from desktop to mobile. As of December 2018, 43 percent of all emails were opened on mobile devices, and that percentage continues to climb.
However, large companies are seeking to reduce email overload by integrating enterprise phone collaboration and IM solutions. In considering the shift of the workplace away from email, the New York Times said, “This multi-front attack on email is just beginning, but a wartime narrative already dominates: The universally despised office culture of replies and forwards and mass CCs and ‘looping in’ and ‘circling back’ is on its way out, and it’s going to be replaced by chat apps.”
Most workers expect an increase in virtual collaboration. In a Deloitte survey about communications channels, respondents expected to see shifts and increases in work from home and remote communications in the next three to five years. These pre-pandemic predictions have accelerated during COVID-19.
In March 2020, tens of millions of Americans shifted to working from home. Resilient businesses are continuing to invest in infrastructure that supports remote collaboration, even while reimagining what offices will look like in the future.
Deloitte survey respondents expect growth in the following communication channels:
- Online collaboration platforms – 70%
- Work-based social media – 67%
- Instant messaging – 62%
Connectivity Beyond Wires.
We all know that a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection is critical for digital connectivity. Even in the movie “Dr. Strange,” when the main character travels to undergo training in the mystic arts, he’s given a piece of paper with a single word on it. Strange asks: “What is this, my mantra?” Mordo, his trainer, responds, “It’s the Wi-Fi password. We’re not savages.”
Presently, there are 362 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, which is a 285% increase since 2016. The trend is shifting toward a larger share of internet traffic occurring wirelessly, via Wi-Fi or cellular data. In 2017, those two categories amounted to 52% of all internet traffic, and it’s predicted that they’ll grow to 71 percent of all traffic by 2022.
Global internet traffic
- 48%: Wired
- 52%: Wireless (Wi-Fi/Mobile)
- 29%: Wired
- 71%: Wireless (Wi-Fi/ Mobile)
Good communication is good for business.
Like many workers today, Jeb Blount, CEO of Sales Gravy, believes a phone call is the most powerful way to communicate outside of an in-person meeting. “Sales is all about transferring emotions,” he says. “When your confidence and enthusiasm carry through your voice, people are more likely to talk to you.”
However, for businesses that use an old-fashioned phone service, employees don’t have the same level of connectivity when they’re outside of the office. Phone calls have to be made on a personal cell phone number, and getting messages means dialing in to an antiquated voicemail box.
There’s a more effective way to stay connected to your work phone using your existing device.
Cloud phone systems make it possible for seamless connectivity no matter where your employees are. For example, tools such as Ooma’s mobile app have been developed to keep employees connected to their office phone system while traveling or working from home.
With the app, you can connect to your work phone line using your personal device. You can use the app to answer incoming calls to your work number or transfer callers to other extensions or departments. And outgoing calls made with the app show your work phone number, not the device’s native cell phone number. This keeps communication consistent, professional and centralized.
Telephone access remains a critical part of business communications. “Customers still want to talk to a human being,” said the Harvard Business Review. “Digital transformation efforts are incomplete unless they include voice communications.”
In 2020, 169 billion annual calls will be made to businesses. These communication points are exceedingly important to your customers’ experiences and your revenue stream. About 61 percent of mobile users call a business when they’re making a complex or high-value purchase. These calls are 10-15 times more likely to result in a successful sale or follow-up activity, as compared to a digital form submission.
Small businesses can get digital phone systems with time-saving features such as the Virtual Receptionist and Enhanced Call Blocking. Small companies can also help their company seem like a big deal with a free toll-free number, Music on Hold, and a conference bridge. You also have a Virtual Receptionists that can help direct calls and maintain a professional business image when you’re out of the office. And robust tools like Ring Groups, Call Recording and Call Logs can help your company to work more efficiently.
A powerful system for voice calls can give your company an edge. Joe Huff, co-founder of LSTN Headphones, says: “Even [after] just a 15-minute story about what we do and why, [people] say, ‘Wow, I read everything on your website, but to hear you tell it, there’s a huge difference.’ Because we have a passion-based business, it’s really important for us to get that across.”
Learn how Ooma’s small business phone system and enterprise phone service can help you run your business more efficiently and keep your customers happy, whether you’re in the office or on the road.