Best VoIP for Remote Employees 2021

Best overall
Ring Central
RingCentral
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    100+ integrations
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Many features at competitive prices
Best conference calling
Ooma
Ooma
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free conference bridges
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited calls in North America
Best customer reviews
Nextiva
Nextiva
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Excellent customer reviews
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Discounts for large groups
Best mobile apps
Grasshopper
Grasshopper
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Excellent app reviews
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Intuitive interface
Best budget option
8 by 8 logo
8x8
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Low per-user starting price
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    1 mo. free trial

With more and more businesses moving to fully or even partially remote work, 2021 is a great time to switch your old business phone system over to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

After all, you’ll get all the usual perks of VoIP―like affordable costs and high-tech features―as well as a cloud system that can keep your workforce connected whether they’re in the office on a desk phone, commuting with a mobile device like a tablet, or working from their living room with a cell phone.

But which VoIP provider has the right features and costs to help your remote workforce communicate? Let’s look at the best phone options for remote employees.

Best VoIP for remote workers

Compare the best VoIP providers for remote teams

Brand
Starting price (per mo.)
Pricing type
Free trial?
Learn more
RingCentral$19.99Per user
15 days
Ooma$19.95Per user
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Nextiva$17.95Per user
30 days
Grasshopper$26.00Tiered
7 days
8x8$12.00Per user
1 mo.
Google Voice$10.00Per user
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Vonage$19.99Per line
14 days
GoToConnect$19.95Per user
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Mitel$20.99Per user
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FusionConnect$19.95Per user
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Data effective 1/13/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

RingCentral: Best overall VoIP for remote employees

For most businesses, RingCentral offers the best VoIP phone service for remote working.

Why? Well, first we’d point you to RingCentral’s pricing. Though RingCentral isn’t the cheapest VoIP provider out there, it does have competitive plan pricing―especially if you opt for annual billing and have more than a few phone users.

More importantly, of course, is what you get for the price. And RingCentral gives you plenty. Even its cheapest plan offers unlimited calling in the US and Canada, texting, team messaging, and document sharing―all essential for keeping in touch with your remote workforce.

RingCentral VoIP service plans

Plan
Cost per month (annual billing)
Cost per month (monthly billing)
Max. number of users
Learn more
Essentials$19.99–$29.99/user$29.99–$39.99/user
20
Standard$22.99–$34.99/user$32.99–$49.99/user
Unlimited
Premium$32.99–$44.99/user$42.99–$54.99/user
Unlimited
Ultimate$42.99–$59.99/user$52.99–$69.99/user
Unlimited

Data effective 1/13/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Upgrade to a higher-tier plan, though, and you get even more. From internet fax to video conferencing with loads of participants to software integrations, RingCentral can give you just about any VoIP feature you can think of. So whether you’ve got a small office phone system you want to switch to VoIP or a huge contact center phone system you’re trying to replace, RingCentral can keep up.

Throw in the 24/7 customer service and the more than 99% uptime (essential when you rely on VoIP to talk with your team), and you can see why we say RingCentral gives you a lot for the cost.

And that’s why we recommend RingCentral as the first stop for businesses that want VoIP for their remote employees.

Ooma: Best conference calling

Does your team rely on conference calls as part of its remote working setup? Then let’s talk Ooma.

Most VoIP business phone services come with some conferencing included, but Ooma goes a little above and beyond. It makes conference phone calls delightfully easy by giving each user on your plan a dedicated conference bridge―which is more or less a number for conference calls that serves as a virtual meeting room. That means that your employees can create and jump in on conference calls at a moment’s notice.

Ooma VoIP service plans

Plan
Cost per month
Usage limits
Video conferencing
Learn more
Ooma Office$19.95/userLower
Icon No  Dark
Ooma Office Pro$24.95/userHigher
Icon Yes  Dark

Data effective 1/13/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Plus, Ooma’s Pro plan comes with excellent video conferencing. One notable feature is the dual screen sharing. Two people can share their screens at the same time, rather than trading back and forth. And Ooma’s app includes a dashboard that shows all your meetings at a glance, so you can more easily manage your video conferencing.

With those kinds of thoughtful extra features, we like Ooma best for remote conferencing needs.

Nextiva: Best customer reviews

Want a tip from other business owners? Give Nextiva a try. It has the best customer reviews of any popular business VoIP service.

While most business VoIP providers get less than 4 (out of 5) stars on Trustpilot, Nextiva gets 4.6.1 Nextiva even gets 3.7 (out of 5) stars on its Better Business Bureau profile (where customers are notoriously harsher).2 In other words, Nextiva customers are pretty happy with their Nextiva phone service. If you trust what they have to say, there’s a good chance you’ll like Nextiva too.

Nextiva VoIP service plans

Plan
Cost per month (annual billing)
Cost per month (monthly billing)
Video abilities
Learn more
Essential$17.95–$23.95/user$24.95–$30.95/user
Peer-to-peer calling
Professional$21.95–$27.95/user$29.95–$35.95/user
Conferencing w/ 250 participants
Enterprise$31.95–$37.95/user$39.95–$45.95/user
Conferencing w/ unlimited participants
Ultimate$52.95–$67.95/user$60.95–$75.95/user
Conferencing w/ unlimited participants

Data effective 1/13/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

And you’ll be happy to know that some of those positive reviews come from businesses making the switch to remote work (because 2020). Those customers (and others) report that Nextiva has excellent customer service, feels easy to use, and has made remote communication a cinch. Oh, and they like the competitive plan pricing too.

With hundreds of happy business owners on its side, Nextiva is a great choice for your remote-working team.

Grasshopper: Best mobile apps

If you expect your remote employees to use VoIP mostly through their cell phones (rather than desk phones or desktops), then we suggest looking at Grasshopper.

We’ve named Grasshopper one of the best mobile VoIP providers for business, in large part because of its stellar mobile apps. Both its Android app and its iOS app have great ratings from users (4.2 out of 5 and 4.7 out of 5, respectively), with thousands of reviews each.3,4 Those are much better ratings than other VoIP phone service apps get.

Grasshopper VoIP service plans

Plan
Cost per month (annual billing)
Cost per month (monthly billing)
Phone numbers/extensions
Learn more
Solo$26$29
1 no./3 ext.
Partner$44$49
3 no./6 ext.
Small Business$80$89
5 no./unlimited ext.

Data effective 1/13/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Customers like that Grasshopper’s app feels easy to use and offers lots of customizability―perfect for your remote workforce. For example, Grasshopper lets you customize different ring rules for each extension. That means your East Coast employees can send calls to voicemail while your West Coast workers keep taking calls. And with Grasshopper’s user-friendly interface, creating those rules should be easy.

So if your average remote employee is going to reach for their mobile phone instead of a deskphone, Grasshopper and its great mobile apps might be just the service for you.

8x8: Best budget option

Want to cut costs without cutting corners? 8x8 can help.

8x8 is our top pick for the cheapest VoIP phone services for business, since it offers an excellent combination of low plan prices and features. To be clear, 8x8 isn’t the cheapest option out there―but for a couple bucks more a month, 8x8 packs in a lot more features than other budget VoIP options. (And unlike other budget VoIP options, 8x8 doesn’t limit you to a handful of remote employees.)

8x8 VoIP service plans

Plan
Cost per month
Unlimited calling
Learn more
8x8 Express$12/user
US & Canada
X2$24
14 countries
X4$44
47 countries

Data effective 1/13/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

The low-cost 8x8 Express plan gives you voice, video, and messaging, so your remote team can keep in touch whatever way works best. You also get unlimited calling in both the United States and Canada, allowing very spread out employees and customers to stay in touch for cheap. 8x8 even gives you some of the best VoIP features, like an auto-attendant and call routing rules.

For phone service that’s great for remote communication and your budget, give 8x8 a go.

Honorable mentions

Google Voice

If your remote workforce already runs on Google Workspace apps, you might want to double-down on Google and get VoIP through Google Voice.

For small teams (10 employees or fewer), Google Voice is super affordable―just $10 per user. Larger teams will have to pay more (but still get competitive pricing). Either way, Google Voice will play nicely with all your Google Workspace apps, work from your desktop or mobile device, and give you free calling in the US and Canada. Higher-tier plans also get you features like ring groups and reporting.

So though it’s not the most-feature rich phone service out there, Google Voice can work well for your Google-loving remote business.

Vonage

Have a growing business? Vonage has what it takes it to grow with your business (and its communication needs).

Vonage offers competitively priced plans, whether you have 1 employee or 100. For smaller businesses, it offers cheap plans with essential calling, texting, and messaging. But for bigger businesses, it offers advanced VoIP features (like software integrations and call groups), plus lots of add-ons to make your service more powerful. Vonage even offers a huge variety of desk phones, if you’d prefer a more traditional phone system for your office workers.

All that makes Vonage a good VoIP provider for growing businesses at any size.

GoToConnect

GoToConnect keeps its VoIP service simple, with just one plan that includes loads of features.

Your GoToConnect phone service will come with excellent call management features (like call routing), conferencing features (like big video meetings), and even call center features (like call announcements). Other VoIP providers often put these features on higher-tier plans, but GoToConnect includes all the goodies in one plan, no matter the size of your organization.

That means that GoToConnect gives you a lot of features at a fair price―making it a perfect one-stop-shop for your communication needs.

Mitel

The thing we like about Mitel? It encourages you to mix and match your VoIP plans to create the perfect package for your remote workforce.

If, for example, you think most of your team needs only basic communication features, you can put them all on the cheapest plan. But if you’ve got some managers that need more conferencing features, or you want your sales team to have CRM integrations, you can put them on pricier, more feature-rich plans.

Mitel lets you give each employee the features they need―without breaking your budget.

FusionConnect

FusionConnect doesn’t offer all the plan choices some VoIP providers do, but it does offer top-notch customer service.

Like many other VoIP companies, FusionConnect has 24/7 customer service, letting you get help day or night. (A helpful thing when your team is spread across time zones.) But FusionConnect also offers free training and a huge resource library, meaning each employee will have all the resources they need to get up to speed on your new VoIP system.

If that kind of customer support appeals to you, then FusionConnect is a great choice for your business phone system.

Remote VoIP FAQ

What is considered a remote employee?

Your business may have a specific definition for remote workers, but the term can apply to any employee that works at least part-time from an out-of-office location―whether that’s Starbucks, a work site, or the comfort of their own home.

How do I support a remote employee?

You can support remote employees in lots of ways, but one of the best ways is to stay in communication with them―and to make it easy for them to do the same.

That’s where a virtual phone system (VoIP) can come in handy. It makes it easy for your remote worker to stay in touch without using their personal phone number.

How do I set up a work phone at home?

If you’re using a VoIP phone system, you can seamlessly set up your work phone number at home. Just grab a compatible device―like a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone―and download your VoIP provider’s app. From there, you’ll just have to provide a few login details to connect.

If you prefer a desk phone, you can still use an IP phone (a VoIP-compatible desk phone) to set up your work phone number at home. You’ll probably want to follow instructions for your specific phone model.

What is the best office phone system?

For most modern offices with an internet connection, a VoIP system offers the best combination of pricing and features. Plus, VoIP is ultra flexible and mobile, unlike traditional office phone systems.

Still, VoIP isn’t right for every business. We’ve got a guide to small-business phone systems if you’d like to see some other options.

The takeaway

As flexible work arrangements become more popular, VoIP makes an ideal phone system for most businesses. Since VoIp can follow your remote team member wherever they go, it allows for more flexibility without a loss in productivity.

Luckily, you’ve got lots of options for VoIP phone systems. So whether you’ve got an entire team working remotely, just a handful of employees, whether you need lots of advanced features or just basic communication tools, and whether you’ve got a big budget or a small one, we’ve found a VoIP provider that can work for you.

Want your employees to use their personal devices to use your new VoIP system? Learn more about creating a BYOD policy for business.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “Nextiva." Accessed January 14, 2021.
  2. Better Business Bureau, "Nextiva." Accessed January 14, 2021.
  3. Google Play, “Grasshopper." Accessed January 14, 2021.
  4. Apple, “Grasshopper.” Accessed January 14, 2021.
Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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