Google Voice: A New Google Workspace Tool for Remote Workers
A missed call might be a missed opportunity for your organization. Google Voice, a smart, simple and scalable G Suite telephony solution, reduces the overhead associated with system administration and offers a familiar look and feel for users.
In 2019, Google released Google Voice, a feature of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). The company has offered a version of this to consumers since 2009. Google Voice also isn’t new to the enterprise. Google was using this voice network to power phone calls on its Hangouts platform. Then, they successfully rolled it out to their own employees.
Now, they are offering it to Google Workspace customers. It’s a tool that will come in handy as workers across the globe adjust to remote work days and supervisors figure out how to effectively manage a remote team as the way we “go to work” rapidly changes.
Using deep integrations with other Google Workspace products and third-party tools, along with advanced AI, Google Voice delivers context to calling so that users can manage their time on calls more effectively. Administrators can even set up users like they do in Google Workspace. This means spending less time provisioning numbers, managing on-premise systems and dealing with multiple service providers in other locales.
With many years of experience and time spent evaluating Google Voice, I have some suggestions to businesses thinking about making the switch and how it can benefit your organization if you have remote employees scattered across time zones.
4 Reasons to Choose Google Voice
Work can happen anywhere, but phone calls are still a critical component of communication. As we get more mobile and flexible, shouldn’t our business phone calls be flexible too?
1. Flexible Desking
Google Voice allows your business phone number to ring on any device where you can check email, supporting a truly deskless workforce concept. And, if you are concerned about work phone calls disturbing your personal time, keep your work-life balance in check by setting your device to only ring during set office hours on your Google calendar.
Google Voice makes it possible to answer an incoming call or make an outgoing call from any device you would normally use to check email. If your email is accessible from all of your devices, phone calls are as well.
2. No Contracts
Cell phone costs can be quite pricey for a business. These devices often come with a two-year contract. Extending your traditional PBX to the home office is also expensive. For a low monthly fee, you can try out Google Voice. If it isn’t suitable, there is no long-term commitment.
3. Calendar Coordination for Work-Life Balance
Set the Google Voice client to ring audibly only during your set working hours on your calendar. Are you only working until noon on a Friday? Set your out of office message and enjoy privacy from work phone calls automatically. If you need more privacy, tell the app which devices are available for calls and which are not.
4. Powerful Auto Attendant Features
Do you have a number or multiple numbers that need to play a message when it rings? Google Voice’s Auto Attendant provides an efficient solution. The speech-to-text engine built into Google Voice can speak your announcements in 10 language options.
Simply type out the message you would like your callers to hear and hit the preview button. If the message works for you, publish the Auto Attendant and it goes live to the world. Play a different message based on the date or time of day. Present a professional voice to your callers and eliminate the reliance on hired talent for recordings. Update those recordings quickly without needing to be in the office.
From the Auto Attendant, calls can be routed to Google Voice numbers or routed off-network to your other business phone numbers, such as a call center lead’s number or a cell phone used for urgent support requests.
Frequently Asked Questions About Google Voice
While Google Voice has been around for more than a decade, Google Voice is a relatively new service. It’s understandable that you still might have questions. Here are a few frequently asked questions with answers.
Question: I’m confused. It’s a different number than my work number. How will I remember it?
Answer: So is your cell phone, yet you wouldn’t hesitate to say, “Just call me on my cell; I’ll be working from home tomorrow.” You could easily add a Google Voice number in your email signature or provide the number to people who need to reach you.
Question: Could I have my desk phone and my Google Voice number be the same?
Answer: Yes, you can work with your company’s administrator to port your number to Google Voice. But please remember it will take time for this to happen — a minimum of two weeks to make this work.
Question: Could all my numbers move to Google Voice and replace my phone system?
Answer: Yes, it could, but it cannot replace a call center. It is here to provide a simple and scalable solution to your business.
Google Voice is yet another cloud-based solution that helps people be able to work from anywhere in the world and remain connected with their team, clients and partners.