Should I Have a Designated Home Office Phone Number?
If you're a relatively new business, you might still be weighing whether or not to use your personal phone number for work-related purposes. Maybe you just started working from home more permanently and are sorting out how to organize and streamline your home office? To new business owners, this may sound like a harmless and easily manageable decision, but truthfully, it can be confusing and the question might still be: "Should I Have a Designated Home Office Phone Number?"
The answer is simply YES! There are quite a few reasons why you should have a designated home office number, including the fact that a business number can be hard to keep consistent if it's been two different numbers in the past, separating your work life from your personal life, and maybe most importantly, knowing the difference between a potential client/customer calling and your neighbor you forgot to save in your phone.
This is an avoidable problem, and we're going to look at a few ways to fix it.
You are bound to your phone number.
Let's say that you decide you'd like to change your personal number for whatever reason, or even that your business number has to change because you want to switch phone packages to save money or bundle other items together.
You're now having to decide what to do with the situation instead of it being an easy decision because you only have one number for both your business and personal.
There's also a scenario where your personal information is under the threat of hackers and scammers, and everything you put up into the world is at risk of being taken advantage of by people with ill intentions.
Phone numbers are also often tied to credit cards. You likely have A credit card attached to your business name and whatever you're using for your business number, so having a personal and business credit card linked to your personal number can open you up to risk that you wouldn't otherwise have if you were using a business phone number.
Every time you use your phone, whether it's on the Internet or Apple Pay to purchase something, your credit card information is shared with the vendor and goes through the Internet using whatever phone number is tied to that phone. Not to mention that your personal phone will have personal Contacts, photos, and passwords on it that your business phone might not otherwise leave vulnerable to hackers and scammers.
Having a second phone number and keeping your personal number off the Internet and out of your business records will decrease the chances of hackers targeting you. This will save you from A world of headaches later if you have run into issues with your personal number and change it. You're not going through the difficulty of changing your business number on your site, Google, or anywhere else that would have tracked your personal number as your business line.
One good way to combat this problem is to get a virtual number. You can do this through something as simple as a Google number, or you can use a pretty inexpensive host. Any calls to that number will be forwarded to your actual device, meaning you can still only have one phone, but it will act as a screen of defense where the number can't reach right into your phone and compromise your information.
The virtual service providers are much more equipped to deal with cyber-attacks than an individual person or even regular phone companies because they have the technology readily accessible.
It compromises your work-life balance.
In a situation where you're already working from home using your personal line and being too accessible when you're not on the Clock can disrupt your work-life balance. It can also compromise your privacy and have your phone ringing after hours.
Customers and clients, of course, should be able to call you during regular business hours, but there comes the point where they shouldn't be able to reach you whenever they want. Having a separate business phone number is a way to preserve your privacy without changing your level of Accessibility.
Whether you're doing this through having an actual separate phone line or using a call routing system, either way, it solves the problem of having your personal phone ring with clients at 10:00 PM on a Friday.
There are steps that you likely already take to preserve this delicate balance in where you work, how you set up your Home Office, and a process of how you shut down for the evening; having a second designated phone line is just another layer of that same thing.
Conversely, having your own phone around you might bring too much of the life portion of work-life balance into your business. While it might be great to see if anyone from your personal world needs you on your phone, it can also be a distraction when you are trying to focus on work or spend your time on your business phone instead.
Phones and tech in this modern age are built in ways that get you to use them. Notifications, social media, and alerts might seem simple, and you're able to check them later.
Still, you'll likely wind up checking on something you wouldn't have ordinarily and wasting precious time you could be spending on your business.
Additionally, even if you don't own your own business and you're working remotely for a company, you want to avoid having colleagues not call you because they don't want to bother you on your personal line in case you're done working for the day or call you at a time when it's not convenient for you because do you have your personal line accessible to you at all times all of these are things to consider when getting a second business line.
How to get a designated home office phone number?
As we've discussed earlier in the article, there are a few different solutions for this problem.
You can use a service like Google Voice or another private routing system that creates a designated home office number for people to call that still runs their own phone. They range from very simple to more complex, even allowing you to arrange a menu to get your customers where they need to go, a holding room, and other features just like you would have a business phone.
Google Voice even offers customized forwarding options voicemail to text transcription, block caller option, and text to email transcription.
A great solution is offered by CallHippo. They have the cheapest professional virtual phone service with a great service. You can expand your services when your business is growing. And they do not have any setup fees! You can check out their service by clicking on this link: CallHippo Virtual Number
Some of these services are provided for free or a low fee, especially if you are the only user. Phone companies will also offer to bundle your numbers or have a cheaper rate because they host two numbers and two phones for you.
You can negotiate with them to find the lowest rate that they will offer. There are business packages with everything from office numbers, fax numbers, and any other form of telecommunication that might help you in your venture.
Each solution has its pros and cons but having a business line separate from your phone in any capacity is so essential for your business to thrive in a productive and efficient way. Working from home requires focus and effort to sequester your work-life from your personal life, and an office phone number is a great additional way to add professionalism to your home office.
More infos you can find also in our article 50 HOME OFFICE TIPS FOR BETTER WORKING AT HOME.