The landscape and preferences of today’s workforce are rapidly shifting. Employees are increasingly opting out of the 9-to-5 paradigm and becoming independent contractors, freelancers, and digital nomads. Gig work in particular has become more prevalent in recent years, with as much as 40% of the U.S. workforce engaged in some type of gig work.
Even before the pandemic, the gig economy was growing at triple the rate of the overall national workforce. Gig work is common across various industries such as professional and business services, transportation, and technology. As the population changes how they earn their livelihood, IT decision-makers should consider how their current IT stacks and communications solutions can support the growing gig workforce and their current employees.
Digital Infrastructure and the Gig Economy
Improving digital infrastructure and communication offerings can help companies better support gig workers and embrace the trend toward digital workplaces. Enhancements might include making strategic updates to your corporate security policies, leveraging virtual desktop platforms, and incorporating cloud-based tools that allow your company to scale operations up or down.
Evaluating your digital infrastructure should also include a review of your communication tools and resources. Seamless, real-time communication is an important aspect in the gig economy to ensure efficient interactions and productivity between teams. And with a growing hybrid workforce, having the right digital infrastructure and agile communications tools in place will enable companies to thrive with a blended workforce of gig and full-time employees.
Hosted PBX systems that allow businesses to communicate across various platforms and with various audiences can optimize partnerships. Below is a deeper look at how hosted PBX systems can be beneficial for supporting gig workers.
How Hosted PBX Systems Enhance the Gig Economy
PBX systems are integral to modern communications stacks. As a reminder, a hosted PBX system (private branch exchange) is a telephone system accessible over an IP network. Because it’s cloud based, access to this telephony solution happens entirely over the Internet, cutting down on hardware and software costs that come with legacy technology. Further, hosted PBX connects to the PSTN (public switched telephone network), and a third-party SIP trunking provider typically manages and maintains services.
Key benefits of hosted PBX systems include quick deployment, scalability, no additional configuration, and little to no maintenance requirements. In addition, hosted PBX systems power gig communications because they offer the flexibility for individuals to work and communicate remotely—an essential component of many gig jobs.
Hosted PBX solutions can improve communications with distributed teams, whether employees are gig workers or just based in different locations. These tools offer on-the-go calling capabilities that are available on any device, allowing gig workers to make and receive business calls from wherever they are.
Enabling communication, regardless of the employee’s location, can improve collaboration and efficient communication across an entire company. Hosted PBX systems are also very reliable, giving leaders and customers peace of mind with the security of their operations. Further, with built-in redundancies like failover and interconnected data centers, businesses can find ways to ensure they stay connected to their gig workers without risking significant disruption.
Hosted PBX systems allow for omnichannel communications, which enables seamless communication with an organization across devices and locations. A customer, for example, might call the company’s contact center or gig worker with a question while they are in an office and then continue the conversation over text.
Today’s customers want this level of control and customization over how they communicate with businesses, and we’re also seeing more employees demand this level of autonomy over their schedule and collaboration tools. Companies that interact via hosted PBX systems can meet customers’ changing preferences and will have the ability to change as needs evolve in the future.
Another notable benefit of hosted PBX systems is that they can facilitate company growth. A company’s ability to offer agile communication tools to workers will impact who they hire and how they grow their team. Because Millennials and Gen Z are leading the way in accepting contract work, companies can differentiate themselves by communicating with these workers in alignment with their preferences.
Intrado Supports Gig Workers’ Needs
Intrado can help IT leaders evaluate their digital infrastructure and get them connected to key communications resources to meet the needs of the modern workforce. Intrado can also assist in contract and license review to be sure that each company is getting the fitting and scalable solutions they need to meet their current and future communications demands. Intrado is a gold-certified Microsoft Partner and Cisco Gold Partner and can assist with setting up Microsoft and Cisco tools, such as Microsoft Teams (Teams) and Webex.
Teams is a prime example of a modern PBX system that is helping businesses to collaborate and work more efficiently with gig workers. The tool is especially useful because of its user-friendly mobile app and on-the-go capabilities in addition to its desktop experience. For an overview of Teams’ capabilities, check out our blog, The Best Microsoft Teams Features for Enterprises.
The Webex suite offers a collection of collaboration tools—calling, meetings, and messaging through a unified experience—to enhance gig partnerships. (Learn more about Webex’s solutions for the hybrid workforce in the blog Hybrid Work is Here to Stay: How Webex Helps Business Adapt.)
Intrado’s OnSIP solution provides access to a range of hosted VoIP capabilities. The solutions are simple to set up and easy to use. Like other cloud-hosted solutions, users get a feature-rich PBX solution that eliminates the need for extra hardware. OnSIP powers remote working for dispersed workforces with free mobile and desktop apps that let users text and make video calls from any location.
Intrado’s Flowroute solution also supports gig applications. Flowroute’s phone numbers and telecom APIs let businesses purchase phone numbers and add calling or texting capabilities so that customers can reach gig workers via a business app or a dedicated and identifiable phone number. These solutions let the gig worker and customer interact without divulging the gig worker’s private or personal phone number, providing a level of security and protection while still enabling meaningful connections.
As working preferences evolve, companies need to embrace the change and provide virtual infrastructure that supports hybrid teams and delivers exceptional customer service. Adopting a modern communications stack is the ultimate way to unlock the scalability and flexibility required for gig work, as it ensures workforces can maintain the same quality audio experiences wherever they are.
Intrado provides global cloud-based communications, meaning businesses with multi-site locations and gig workers across the globe can plan more easily for expansion. If you are evaluating how to better support a growing gig or contractor presence, reach out to Intrado to learn about the solutions we offer and the integrations we support.