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Make Working Remotely Easier

Make it Easier! Work Remotely in a way that Works for You

Your alarm goes off at 6 AM. Time for your morning routine to get ready for work. Maybe you even have to get other members of your household ready for their days too. You go to make your morning coffee and see that someone left a mess in the kitchen overnight. If you don’t clean it now, it will just rot, and you’ll smell it from your workstation. Since you’re already cleaning, why not throw in a load of laundry? You’ll be home all day, so you can switch it to the dryer during lunch. Oh, and someone asks if you can listen for the doorbell today – they are expecting a package. Of course, you can. You say your goodbyes, and by the time you log onto work, you’re exhausted. What happened to having a better work life balance?  Wasn’t working remotely supposed to be easier than working in the office?

Remote work opens a whole world of new opportunities and freedom – literally! You can board a plane to Cancun without missing any meetings. Goodbye stressing about PTO!

However, remote work presents its own challenges, too. Here are five ways to set some ground rules and reap the benefits of working remotely without the troubles:

  1. Routine or Flexibility: Which Do You Need?

Many experts recommend creating a daily routine with “normal working hours” and time off the clock. This has two immediate benefits. Firstly, your coworkers and other remote teams will know exactly what times they can expect to reach you. Secondly, the human body and psyche need predictability.

Each person has a circadian rhythm, which is the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, but they are not the same for each and every person. Some people’s circadian cycle makes them more alert in the morning and more sluggish as the day goes on. For others, it is the opposite.

Regardless if you are an early bird or a night owl, your body needs a healthy wake-to-sleep ratio in order to operate at its best. Sleeping and waking at sporadic times will disrupt your circadian rhythm, which profoundly impacts your hormonal balance, digestive system, and body temperature. The negative effects of a dysregulated circadian rhythm are felt by your body on a cellular level.

When your cells and hormones are thrown off this badly, you could experience mental health issues, loss of passion, and feelings of worthlessness. This is a dangerous downward spiral and one that can often be prevented by setting a routine for wake, sleep, work, recreation, socialization, and private time. As remote employees, the more specific this routine is, the better preserved your circadian rhythm will be.

The most natural way to preserve your circadian rhythm is to have a proper sleep schedule and wake up when the sun rises and rest when the moon is out. Minimize the use of artificial lights after the sun is down. Scientists especially recommend turning off all electronic devices at least three hours before your regular bedtime due to the harmful blue light.[1]

But what if that doesn’t work for you? Maybe mornings are not your best time for remote work, and you would rather start and end late. One of the greatest strengths for remote employees is flexibility! Share your needs with your team and supervisors to determine a plan that works best for everyone.

Some people thrive in structured, repetitive environments. For these people, strict routines and established patterns are great allies. They might even despise anything that interrupts the norm.

Not everyone has a lifestyle that can keep up – especially caretakers. If you have children, family, or even pets that need your attention, no two days look exactly alike! It might be hard working remotely to work a precise 9-5, but when given time, freedom, and submission deadlines, you will not let your team down.

Intentionally communicate this to your coworkers. Help them to understand that you might not make it to every virtual meeting, but if someone sends you an email, you will carefully read it and respond when you return to your computer. They might not get the speediest of replies, but you’ll be on the same page, and your work will be exemplary.

  1. Work-From-Home or Work Remotely?

Are you a homebody, or an extrovert who benefits from other people’s energy? Do you work in silence, with music playing in the background, or do you prefer small talk and collaborative remote work?

Not all remote workers are “built for” working at home, just like how not everyone likes going to the office. Working remotely might show you how much you enjoyed those water cooler conversations, or you might see how much more productive you are without people walking by your desk.

Some people would be great at remote work if they had a better set-up in their home office.

Possibly one of the most frustrating situations at work is when your WiFi malfunctions. WiFi that cuts out or loads too slowly has the power to end your workday, hinder your progress, and ruin your mood. This not only affects you, but also your entire team. For guaranteed “always up” wireless data, consider a service provider with instant failover and instant recovery.

For your peace of mind, invest in a network that comes with managed security features, 24/7 monitoring, and real-time alerts.

If much of your remote work is done over the phone, carefully choose a phone plan with a wide network of cell towers. With the right phone service, you will never miss an important call or text!

Maybe technology isn’t the problem in your home setup. If your desk is in a common area of the house, you don’t have the opportunity to completely focus. Or maybe your housemates tend to barge in and interrupt.

If this sounds like you, consider working outside of the house! Public libraries and local coffee shops could be a better work location for remote employees.

You can also invest in co working spaces. A co-work is a place designed for people to work remotely. They often look like typical offices – with a staff kitchen, coffee machine, and plenty of desk space. These environments bring all the benefits of office work, such as coworkers to socialize with, strong internet, and getting you out of the house. Some places include free use of conference rooms for presentations and group work. Places like these are great for those who do not enjoy working alone or at home.

Take the time and space you need to experiment with your work life balance. Try different strategies and routines to see what works best for you. Once you know, you can communicate that with the people at work and home. Working remotely doesn’t have to be difficult.

  1. Boundaries Open Up the World

In a 2006 study[2] Preschoolers were sent to a playground that had no fences or boundaries. These children stayed huddled closely in the middle, skeptical wondering further out. Later, a boundary was added around that playground and a new group of toddlers was sent out. These children spread to the furthest ends of the playground. They were also more confident and appeared happier than the first group. The researchers found that boundaries give people a sense of security. They know exactly what is on- and off-limits.

How does this translate to remote workers? Imagine you are a night owl – you do your best work in the evening hours. As you’re working on an important project, you have a question that only another coworker can answer. You could message them, but what if they are spending time with their family? You don’t want to interrupt them. What if that offends them? This is a challenge working in remote teams.

The solution to this problem is knowing your coworker’s boundaries. It’s important to know their work life balance. Do they refuse to look at their emails after 5 PM? If that’s the case, it would be fine for you to send the question, knowing they will get to it in the morning. Or maybe they promised their family that they will never let a work-related message take them away from quality time. If they respond to your late-evening question, you can confidently know that they must not have been busy.

Likewise, you can help other remote teams by making your boundaries clear. Do you welcome text messages day or night? Are they supposed to ask someone else before they come to you? If you need something delivered to you by Friday, be clear – does that mean Friday at 8 AM, midnight the night before, or 5 PM on Thursday? If you mark “Do Not Disturb” on your public calendar and someone contacts you anyway, will they get an answer?

Boundaries are also important in your personal life. Do people assume that because you are home, you can do household chores during the day? Does someone think they can drop off their kid for free childcare? Are friends offended when you can’t go out for mid-day coffee? To prevent this, clearly communicate the boundaries you have in place so that you are successful as a remote worker. You may even need to install a lock in your home office to keep people from interrupting your working hours.

To help yourself keep your boundaries straight, try keeping a calendar that accommodates all aspects of your life including remote work. Suppose you have an important presentation due on Friday, but you’re expected to volunteer at your kid’s school on Thursday. Having work and real life on two separate calendars could lead you to believe you have all day Thursday to get your work done, and then when Thursday comes, you are unable to fulfill both commitments. However, if your personal calendar shows all aspects of your life (bonus points if it’s even color-coded!), you can plan ahead and get that presentation done on Wednesday.

While boundaries may feel like you’re telling people “No,” they actually create a safer, more secure relationship for everyone.

  1. “Can Everybody See Me?” How to Build Intentional Relationships with Coworkers

One great aspect of work flexibility is that you can spend more time with friends and family. If you frequent a co-working space, the other “regulars” there can quickly become your new friends and acquaintances, even be a part of your remote work culture. But don’t let this convenience make you overlook your remote team!

Sometimes, it can seem like your coworkers and bosses are teeny-tiny profile pictures asking you for stuff, but you have the power to fight this. One quick way to make work more personal is to log onto team conference calls a few minutes early. This will allow you to spark small talk on a video call with other coworkers, the same way you would in a conference room at the office.

When emailing, messaging, or on a call with a team member, don’t be afraid to ask personal questions. Is this work something they are passionate about? What do they enjoy doing in their free time? Do they have family members? Think of it as a team building exercise. Hopefully, this forms a bond between your team members, easing any awkward tension felt while collaborating as remote employees.

You might be thinking: What if asking personal questions is awkward? It’s not like in an office setting where you could walk past someone’s desk and see photos that strike up a conversation. And a majority of bonding with coworkers used to take place in the break room during lunch, but now we all spend our lunches watching Netflix or folding laundry.

Do not be afraid to break the ice. Who knows? You could meet your new best friend! Maybe your simple interest in their lives can help other remote workers feel connected, easing the sensation of isolation. Maybe you’ll start a movement, change the remote work culture, and help foster a community in your workplace.

Worst-case scenario, they tell you that they would rather stay on-topic. No big deal.

Personal connection is crucial to preserving a coworking culture even with remote work, but it’s even more important that your work is seen. You are a valuable member of your team. With most remote jobs, others cannot see you hard at work on your computer; they only see the results that are sent to their inbox, or placed in a shared folder, that’s remote work life. A great practice is to maintain visibility on Slack or Teams and respond to questions or requests in a reasonable time frame.

It is especially important that your boss knows you are hard at work. Keep them posted on what you are working on. Track progress through project management software. Don’t over-stuff their inbox sending unprompted progress updates. This will show off how valuable you are as a remote worker to the company!

  1. Celebrate Logging Off!

Create an end-of-the-day ritual. One that gives your brain a refreshing shot of dopamine (the “feel good” neurotransmitter that accompanies accomplishment) as well as prepares your workstation for when you return.

Think about or jot down your success today. This can be finishing a big project or making progress on several smaller tasks. Include personal successes, like keeping your boss informed or having an enjoyable exchange with a coworker. Some days this list might be long, and some days it might be short. That’s okay! Not every day will be your best, but still, celebrate the things that went well.

After you’ve done that, write a to-do list. This serves two purposes. Firstly, writing it down signals to your brain that it can stop thinking about these tasks. It’s written down and won’t be forgotten, so now your mind can relax. Secondly, a prepared to-do list will cut down prep time when you come back to your desk. Instead of trying to wake up your memory to see what needs to be done or scrolling through your inbox to see what’s important, you can jump right to work.

Next, physically log off. Close the tabs, close the computer, change your clothes, get some fresh air etc. Since you’re not physically leaving an office as a remote employee, and you are most likely still at your home, add extra motions and routines to tell your body that it is off the clock. Maybe even try singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Switch out your jacket for a cardigan and your shoes for loafers – anything to momentously sign off from a job well done!

Remember, it is always important and beneficial to find what works best for you. Routines, flexibility, boundaries, privacy, relationships, and remembering your values all work together so that you can thrive in your job and your personal life. Not every day will be easy, but these five steps can help make working remotely easier for you.



Lifestyle, News, Reviews, Tech, Tips

You need a Virtual Business Phone System… Here’s Why!


Have you ever wondered how a business with locations all over the world can have a single phone number to handle all of its customer calls?

  • How do they do it?
  • How do they manage so many calls to, and from, multiple locations?
  • How are calls routed to dozens, or even hundreds, of employees?
  • How can a business have call centers across the globe? in countries like India, Mexico, or the Philippines?
  • How can a business phone system be so complex, yet, as simple to use as dialing an extension?

The answer to all of the above is VoIP.

And… with service from smpl, You can too!

Let’s find out how by answering a few questions.


First of all… What is VoIP?


VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a method of making telephone calls using an Internet connection instead of landline phone systems. The technology converts voice signals from a telephone into digital data that is transmitted over the Internet, and then converted back into voice at the receiving end.

Since 1995, Voip has been replacing large and small business phone systems. One of the main advantages of this type of virtual phone system over landline phone systems is that it uses the Internet for communication instead of analog signals sent over copper wire or fiber optic cable. This allows for greater flexibility and accessibility, as calls can be made from anywhere with an Internet connection, even WiFi.

Additionally, with the improvement of Internet speeds, the quality of VoIP calls has significantly improved. This type of phone system is able to provide real-time communication without the static or delays that can be experienced with a landline based phone system.

VoIP has proven particularly beneficial for businesses, allowing for improved communication and collaboration between remote employees and colleagues in different locations. For example, Our mobile phone app “Voice App” enables routing of calls directly to a user’s smartphone, making it easier to stay connected and communicate effectively on the go.

Who is smpl?


smpl is a Business Communications Software company that is passionate about connections. Whether it’s people or businesses, they believe that every story matters.

For over 10 years, they’ve made it their mission to equip people and businesses with a suite of products that help enable them to tell their stories.

Their powerful flagship suite, smpl Office, includes Voice, Messaging, Video Calling, and more. Their offering is easily customized to suit businesses of all sizes and in every stage of growth. From solopreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, smpl’s suite of products can help them tell their stories.

What are the benefits of a Virtual Business Phone System

There are several reasons why a business would want to switch to a VoIP phone system, some of the most common ones include:

+ Business phone features

+ Usability

+ Mobility

+ Scalability

+ Cost Savings



Phone System for Business Features

One of the biggest reasons that businesses switch to a VoIP phone system is for its features!

These phone systems are inherently designed to make life easier not only for the business but for its customers. The most popular features include:

  • Auto Attendant: Also known as Automated Attendant or AA, is a phone system feature that greets incoming callers with a pre-recorded message. The message guides the caller to select the desired extension or department by using touch-tone commands or voice recognition. The caller is then automatically connected to the selected extension or department, eliminating the need for a live receptionist to answer and transfer calls. The auto attendant feature can also enhance the professional image of a business, as callers are greeted with a polished and organized message rather than a busy signal or ring tone. Lastly, an auto attendant can provide options for callers outside of normal business hours, such as after-hours messages, alternative business phone number, or voicemail options.
  • Rule-Based Call Routing – This is a feature that allows calls to be routed according to a rule or set of rules for phone calls. For example, a call may be routed to a receptionist or auto attendant during work hours but to a mobile device, smartphone, cell phone, answering service, or voicemail box, after business hours.
  • Call Transferring – A feature that enables the transfer of ongoing phone calls from one person to another, either within the same organization or to an external number. This feature allows employees to redirect calls to the most appropriate person or department, improving the overall efficiency of communication and reducing wait times for callers.
  • Extension Dialing – This is a feature that assigns extensions to business phone system users to receive phone calls without the use of an assigned phone number. These extensions can be reached from within the organization by dialing them directly, or from outside the organization by dialing the main number followed by the extension.
  • Voicemail Transcription – A huge time-saving feature that transcribes voicemail messages and sends them to your email for reading at your leisure. Voice files can also be sent to emails or groups of emails for team monitoring.
  • Call Recording – This is a feature that allows customer support to record business phone calls for quality control, training, auditing, compliance, or security and safety. Phone recordings are kept on servers owned by the requesting customer for privacy.
  • Analytics – are a group of features that give smpl customers insights into their call logs. They can help determine things such as call wait times, call drop reasons, average call lengths, and much more.
  • For a full list of features please visit



When it comes to user experience, a cloud based phone system is much more versatile than a traditional business phone system. VoIP is easy to configure and, in the case of smpl, the phones are plug-and-play, meaning that no additional setup is required.

Any changes to configurations are done via a web browser or, for some business phone service providers, from an application that makes it very easy and user-friendly to make changes to your phone system in real-time.

smpl’s drag-and-drop call flow configuration tool allows you to design the perfect call flow for every scenario simply with the click or swipe of a mouse. You can even update greetings, set call rules, check voicemails, and set do-not-disturb for any line, all from the online smpl Voice platform.


A cloud based phone system is designed to work everywhere and from anywhere. The same great phone system handset that sits on your desk, can also be used across the globe as if you and your co-workers were in cubicles across the hall. Since a cloud phone system works over the web, you can take your business phone with you anywhere, in the world, you can get a solid internet connection. Simply plug your handset into a live ethernet port and start dialing. This ability makes a virtual phone system perfect for employees constantly on the move, such as a sales team, or in the age of global pandemics, a remote customer support team.


If lugging around a headset is not your jam, just download one of smpl’s mobile apps from the iOS or Android mobile apps store, enter your username, and password, and away you go. Make and receive calls from your mobile phone app as if you were in the office.

A VoIP business phone system can also help you keep in touch with all of your employees without incurring long-distance charges and it’s useful for your customer to have a single point of contact that they can use to reach you no matter where they are located, which is great for marketing.

BONUS: smpl offers video conferencing and Messaging as well


Every business aims for growth and wants to be able to expand regardless of its current size. These are the best business phone systems and play a crucial role in supporting this growth by being infinitely scalable. This means that it can accommodate an increase in the number of lines and users as the business grows independent of the business location.

A virtual phone system is particularly advantageous in this regard, as it allows for the addition of new lines as needed, ensuring that the organization never runs out of capacity. The flexibility and scalability of a business phone system like this have made them a popular choice for modern customer support centers, which often use VoIP technology to set up their call centers.

The ability to add and remove capacity as required gives businesses the flexibility to adapt to changes in demand and to continue to provide high-quality customer support. The scalability of a business phone system can help to ensure that organizations are well equipped to handle growth and that they can continue to meet the needs of their customers, even as they expand.

Cost Savings


The cost of a virtual business phone system will vary depending on the features and number of lines you need. However, it is generally much less expensive than a traditional phone line.

A recent customer estimated that they would save over $400 dollars a month by switching her service to a smpl business phone system. Others report saving as high as 60% on their monthly bill, even more if you take advantage of paying for an annual subscription up-front.

Compare your pricing to smpl here.


smpl integrates with many popular apps and software to accomplish more than just business communications. Some integrations allow you to track data points such as Incoming and Outgoing calls through dashboards on televisions for employee tracking. It can include things such as Data Analytics for call-drops, failed connections, average length of calls, just to name a few. We also integrate with other popular communications apps such as Microsoft Teams, for customer calls without leaving your workflow and much more.

Requirements of a VoIP Business Phone System

There are two main components to a virtual business phone service: the hardware and the service.

The hardware for a virtual business phone system consist mainly of a VoIP phone handset and an internet router. Most modern Voip handsets plug directly into your router via an ethernet cable, some may even connect wirelessly via Wifi. Depending on how many voip phones your business requires, you may need a switch to handle the connections. To keep thing neat and tidy, many businesses opt to use Power over Ethernet, or POE, to run both power and internet connection via a single ethernet cable to a VoIP enabled phone.

As for the service, you’ll need an internet connection, preferably something with a high-speed connection and a subscription to a VoIP service provider who will give you a virtual phone number and provide the necessary services for your business. You can check out the 3 different tiers of service that smpl offers here:

Most providers will provide you with everything you need to get started, from apps, to service, and some may even include phone handsets and adapters.


So what’s the best business phone system for you?

With features such as auto attendant, voicemail transcriptions or one of the many other benefits a VoIP business phone system offers, you can rest assured that you are making the right choice. It can save your organization money, it can make it easier to manage multiple locations or remote teams, it can provide features that traditional phone lines cannot, the service is easier to manage, it can scale with your business, and it offers data integrations that allow you insights into how your business is doing. All things considered, it is clear that a virtual phone system for business is the winner here, but we leave the final decision up to you.

If you haven’t made up your mind, you can always speak to our amazing customer support team @

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