How To Enable Remote Workers - Birchills Blog
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The number of employees who say they usually work from home has increased by a fifth (19%) over the past decade according to analysis published by the TUC.

The analysis shows that nearly a quarter of a million (241,000) more people work from home than 10 years ago.

The TUC says that despite the increase in home working over the past decade, employers are not keeping up with demand.
(Source 1)


When managed properly remote working has many benefits both for the employee and the business such as:

a. Lower Overheads

Employees working from home can save the business money in many areas including mortgage property costs, utilities, maintenance, office supplies, drink costs, office equipment and furniture.

b. Employee Satisfaction

Employees who work from home report higher job satisfaction and company loyalty than on-site workers.

.• 67% of employees wish they were offered flexible working
• 58% of people believe that working away from the office would help them become more motivated
• 70% of workers feel that offering flexible working makes a job more attractive to them
• 40% of people would choose flexible working over a pay rise if they could only choose one
(Source 2)

c. Fewer Sick Days

Research indicates that employees working from home are less likely to take time off work due to illness. Unscheduled absences cost businesses significant sums so this is a real benefit to businesses looking to cut down on unnecessary costs.

Employees working in an office took on average 3.1 days of sick leave whilst homeworkers only took 1.8 sick days and American study showed.

Working from home also means reduced absences due to appointments such as doctors or dentists. Workers are more likely to return to work immediately rather than taking the whole day off.
(Source 2)

d. Increased Productivity
Many people who work from home claim to be more productive because they're not in a loud environment or distracted by co-workers. In fact, according to a Canada Life survey, homeworkers rank their productivity as 7.7/10, compared with 6.5/10 for office workers.
(Source 3)

e. Decreased Travel Costs and Stress
Being able to work from anywhere cuts down costs of getting to and from the office, as well as expenses paid to employees for business trips or travel expenses.

• 45% of people surveyed spend over an hour commuting a day
• 56% of commuters feel stressed or flustered at least once a month, 66% of which suffer this at least once a week
• 53% of people feel that they would be more productive if they could work outside the office
(Source 2)

1) TUC Press Release
2) 2017 survey by PowWowNow
3) Canada Life Survey


Creating and managing a remote workforce is not without its own specific challenges. For example, problems can include incompatible systems or devices, compromised security, and most commonly, the inability for a business to track who is actually working and who may be taking advantage of this new found freedom.

With this in mind Birchills set out to create a solution that can be used by remote workers which would meet these challenges. Birchills Communicator - the phone system in a browser - allows the business to meet these telecoms challanges.


Birchills Communicator is a business grade VoIP phone system in a browser. It allows you to make and receive calls directly from within your web browser, without the need for any additional browser plugins, addons, or downloads. It uses a new browser standard called WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) which is supported in most modern web browsers.

Communicator allows access from any device at any time and when combined with some of our other web apps allows effective control of remote workers whilst empowering and enabling them to work from wherever they are unhindered. It’s like having your VoIP desk phone with you wherever you are.


Communicator works using the infrastructure of our existing VoIP telephone system. It simply acts in exactly the same way as your VoIP phone extension except it’s accessed through a browser on any device. Check browser compatibility here. There’s nothing to setup or install, no apps to download or configuration to do. It connects directly in to your office VoIP phone system in the same way any physical VoIP desk phone would, uses the same servers meaning security is never compromised and allows the use of all the normal features of your office phone service including call recording, presence indicators and voicemail.


• No additional hardware to purchase
• All calls billed to the business from one company simplifying administration
• Low ongoing cost (especially compared to a company mobile phone for example)
• Remote workers using the same VoIP systems as office based employees
• Simple to access and use reducing training costs and IT support
• No need to worry about remote workers missing calls
• Monitor employee phone usage when combined with Birchills analytics
• Peace of mind regarding security of the system
• Display the business number on all outgoing calls
• Maintains all call routing and rules of the normal VoIP office system


• Make, receive and transfer calls as if in the office
• Use all the features of the normal VoIP office system
• Easy to access and use on any device, anywhere
• Connected with co-workers on the same system
• Manage your own VoIP phone extension
• Easy to use interface
• Click to dial when combined with EasyDial+
• Presence indicators – see when colleagues are on the phone

The communicator allows the use of all the free power features you get with any system from Birchills
They can be set up however you want them and can be changed at any time.

 Interactive voice response, also known as voice menu, or auto-attendant - a list of options plays allowing caller to choose where to direct their call

See information on all calls made and received, anywhere in real time, including full cost information

Place a caller on hold with custom music and messages. Ideal to create the right impression
With caller ID active you know who's calling before you answer. Great for greeting customers, useful for screening calls.
Voicemail allows callers to leave messages outside of hours or when you can't take the call.
Your mobile phone, home phone and office phone systems can ring at the same time - you can answer whichever you choose
Calls are recorded and stored on the user portal to be played back if you need to hear them again.

Transfer calls to another user easily, either blind or announced wherever in the world the other user is.

You can have the system work differently at different times of the day. So you can have out of hours messages, messages for holidays or transfer calls to different numbers.

Calls can be queued until operators are ready to take the call. Call position is announced to the caller.

See all extensions in the system and see who is on the phone in real time.


Getting Communicator from Birchills for your business is easy. Just get in touch and let us know and we will configure it all and send the logins to you and your team. It’s ready to go as soon as it’s configured and there’s a great free trial so there’s no need to commit straight away. Once the trial is over communicator is just £5 per month when adding it to an existing extension and we’ve even compiled a helpful guide to get you started.

Give Birchills a call and make your remote workers part of the company again rather than just an extension of it.


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