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VirtualPBX Blog Authors

The VirtualPBX Blog showcases topics that matter most to your business. Whether we discuss a trending Top 5 or dig deep into telephony, these features offer something for every business.

Author: Lon Baker

Focus, Coordination, and Teamwork with VirtualPBX COO, Lon Baker

Change is one of the few constants for businesses, teams, and customers everywhere.

VirtualPBX has changed tremendously over our history, and the change has accelerated thanks to the demands of both our customers and team members.

The biggest challenges in this environment are maintaining focus and coordinating efforts to deliver on our mission โ€” to deliver excellent service where and how people need to get things done.

How We Maintain Focus at VirtualPBX

The loss of focus creates stress, impacts morale, and can create a snowball effect that impacts the delivery of service, completion of projects, and most importantly costs your business time.

At VirtualPBX we strive to maintain focus for our team by reigning in meetings, carefully separating team communication into channels, leveraging our own platform, namely the VirtualPBX Softphone, to communicate the availability of team members, and automating certain tasks via Zapier. We have written about the use of Presence before, and it is critical to understand who is available when you want to speak with them โ€“ย especially for remote teams.

For meetings we have a firm rule, any meeting lacking a published agenda is canceled, the default meeting length is 20 minutes, meetings start on time regardless of the presence of all attendees, and meeting recordings are used liberally so team members are on vacation or unavailable can catchup.

Coordinating Teams and Processes

We use Slack and our own platform for chat, and over the years have learned to use specific channels for specific topics, to minimize distracting team members.

Coordinating teams is an age-old management challenge, we find maintaining focus requires clearly defining how we manage processes โ€” in our case the use of Notion, Monday.com, Pipedrive, Zapier, and our own Collaboration tools to keep everyone in sync, motivated, and able to perform at their best.

With constant change comes the need to consistently reassessing how your company and team execute. This can drive improvement in your business and your products, like it does for us every single day.

Tech Talks with COO Lon Baker: The Future of Work is Remote

Tech Talks with COO Lon Baker: The Future of Work is RemoteHaving been around for over twenty years we have seen business change in so many ways. From the adoption of what became known as hosted phone services to distributed mobile collaboration applications.

In today’s environment, after over a year of disruptions to the workplace, a growing number of people have had to adapt and develop new work habits; adopting collaboration tools, working from home, and embracing the challenges and benefits. A growing number of employees view going back to the the old ways as a step in the wrong direction.

VirtualPBX Remote Team Management E-Book Cover

The Future of Work is Remote

These employees are now looking for innovative and agile companies that have embraced this new work world and is an opportunity to recruit the best of the best from anywhere in the world.

99% of the best employees do not live anywhere near your company’s geographic offices. Embracing collaboration tools that include voice, video, sms and automation tools, will allow them to seamlessly form distributed teams that will propel their business.

Collaboration Tools Power Remote Teams

At VirtualPBX we use our own tools to manage teams spread out across the United States and overseas. The backbone being our voice platform and Desktop and Mobile Softphone that displays real-time presence information for employees. This allows each of us to see when someone is available, busy, away, on a call or in a meeting.

Our Collaboration tools powers our video conferencing and screen sharing for scheduled or quick on the fly meetings.

Additionally, our platform includes a rich API and integrations with Zapier that helps teams improve our process, automate repetitive tasks, collect business data, or implement email, SMS and Slack notifications for key internal and external events.

All of these tools allow us to have a more connected and effective team than when we had as a geographically based team 5 years ago.

Today we are recruiting remote team members for our Sales, Marketing and Billing teams. Just one of our recent job posting generated 10 time the number of applicants by focusing on recruiting for remote-only positions.

If your company wants to thrive in the new remote work first world, embrace platforms that connect your teams and empower them to build processes to help them work better.

Best Buddies Challenge

Best Buddies Challenge (Photo: Best Buddies International 2014)In September, myself and a team from VirtualPBX are taking up a rewarding and worthy challenge to ride, run, or walk down the California coast and fundraise for Best Buddies International Hearst Castle. I’ve been honored to participate in the annual event in the past and what a huge challenge it is!

The event raises vital funds for Best Buddies International โ€“ an independent, non-government organization working for a future without poverty. Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,900 middle school, high school, and college campuses around the world. The programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States and on six continents, positively impacting 900,000
individuals each year.

Our team is hoping to raise over $10k to help Best Buddies International create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are especially excited to participate alongside Best Buddies, it’s so rewarding to see the direct impact our actions make and to know that our fundraising can provide even more possibilities for these buddies, and those in need of support around the globe.

My team and I will be putting in the miles and hope that you can support us in this challenge. Please support us with a donation through our team page and by referring us to others.

You can make a secure, tax deductible donation through our team page here: http://goo.gl/caarAV

Best Buddies Challenge (Photo: Best Buddies International 2014)

Thank you for supporting us in this challenge. Whatever your contribution, big or small, it means a lot to us. Your help will mean a lot to Best Buddies International and the communities they work with as well. If you would like to know more about Best Buddies International, or are interested in starting a team of your own, visit their website here.

Thank you,

Lon Baker
COO, VirtualPBX.com Inc.