Going Green with VoIP | Star Consultants

In this environmentally conscious day and age, it’s sometimes difficult to partake in any ordinary task without considering the environmental retributions of your actions. From running the water while doing dishes to keeping the lights turned on, you suddenly become aware of all of your not-so-eco-friendly habits.

While you shouldn’t stress over calculating your carbon footprints or going off the grid, it is beneficial to maintain a “green” mentality. Fortunately, simple changes such as switching your business’s telephone service over to a VoIP provider can have a positive impact on the environment. VoIP systems offer numerous ways in which business owners can forge a greener business and lifestyle for their employees.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that transmits voice data over the Internet. Since this technology was first debuted in 1995, telecom companies have turned it into an innovative telephone service. With all of the services and features available in even the most standard VoIP plan, businesses can work towards an improved environmental footprint.

Less Waste in Landfills

Traditionally, a business would need a complicated office phone system based on a central manually-operated switchboard (called a PBX, or public branch exchange). Recently, many businesses have phased out this ancient phone system, leaving the leftover hardware equipment to pile up in landfills.
While some businesses still use these huge hardware systems, other businesses have swapped over to more advanced on-premise phone systems. However, those businesses that choose hosted VoIP phone systems are the eco-friendliest of all.

When businesses sign up with a hosted business VoIP provider, they don’t need to purchase any hardware or software. The provider installs and maintains all of the necessary PBX equipment at an offsite location. One VoIP provider’s headquarters can supply countless businesses with service, so each individual business does not need to worry about buying their own hardware, finding a storage place for it, hiring a manual operator, etc.

As more and more businesses turn to this kind of VoIP system, fewer businesses require physical equipment on their premises, which in turn eliminates the buildup of VoIP equipment in landfills.

Fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions

It’s a well known fact that when we drive in cars, our vehicles release harmful gases into the environment, which destroy the ozone layer. Every car ride to work adds a little more to the global carbon overload.

With VoIP systems however, businesses can drastically reduce the number of employees driving to work each day. VoIP providers offer several features that make it possible for employees to work at home part time or even full time. With the following features, businesses could even consider implementing “environmentally conscious days,” in which employees can choose to telecommute:

  • Virtual Extensions. Many top VoIP providers feature virtual extensions, which connect the employees’ office numbers with their cell phones. This allows employees to receive business calls directly on their mobile devices without commuting to the office.
  • Mobile VoIP app. Many VoIP providers now offer mobile VoIP apps for smartphone users. Employees can log into their VoIP accounts on their smartphones and access all of their contacts and call logs, with the option of sending and receiving calls from their business VoIP number.
  • Find Me Follow Me. This VoIP feature allows employees to program other phones to ring when an incoming caller dials their number. With this feature, employees could receive work calls on their home landline or mobile device.

Likewise, airplanes release toxins into the environment. Every time employees fly across the country to attend meetings and conferences, the atmosphere pays the price.

The good news, however, is that VoIP providers offer video conferencing options, which can cut down on the number of employees traveling on business. Video conferencing lets employees meet on a virtual platform with a video screen. Employees, clients, or even customers could join a virtual conference and see “face to face,” over the Internet without physically sitting in the same room. Video conferencing closes the distance gap between businesses spread out around the world, without harming the environment in the process.

The video conferencing feature could also come in handy for those employees working at home. Remote employees can join in on conference meetings without driving to the office to attend.

This is a guest post from Chloe Mulliner, a contributing writer for various telecom and tech websites in San Diego, California.


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