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Virtual office phone systems – what are the options?

virtual office phone systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the average office worker’s daily life. The microscopic virus has pushed major companies into a remote working experiment that appears to have been a success. Remote work and distributed teams were on the rise even before the pandemic. However, large corporations and other businesses that are used to operating from offices presumably still had many questions regarding productivity, security and ad hoc issues that working from home might create.

With remote work now mass-adopted and seen as a legitimate business practice, many new startups are appearing with distributed teams and directors working from home. As a result, the demand for remote work tech and virtual services is rising, with many entrepreneurs looking for virtual office addresses, virtual business numbers and virtual office phone systems. 

What is a virtual office phone system?

With the rise in remote work and remote businesses, there is a demand for a telephone system that can unify employees and give the appearance to callers that calls are being taken in an office, not at home.

A virtual office can be defined in several ways; for example, it can relate to technology that creates a virtual reality version of an office. However, more often than not, when people talk about “virtual offices”, they are talking about vanity business addresses.

A virtual office address is a business or high street address used for branding and mailing purposes. This type of address is perfect for companies that operate remotely and with distributed teams. The virtual office address can be used on the company’s website and company literature to deliver a more professional & reputable image. Any mail sent to the company’s virtual office address is usually forwarded to the director’s or CEO’s home address.

A virtual office phone system is a telephone system that is suitable for a business to run from home. For example, if a remote company has distributed employees who work from home, then a traditional office telephone system is unlikely to be suitable. In some instances, a VOIP telephone system may be suitable, while a telephone answering service may be the best option for other remote businesses.

VOIP office telephone systems

Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP telephone systems allow users to make telephone calls over the internet. Telephone calls are converted into something called “data packets” that are sent from your telephone, over the internet, to another user. One reason VOIP telephone systems are becoming more popular is that the price of calls can be substantially lower. This is particularly true if you make a high volume of international calls.

Another reason that VOIP telephone systems are becoming popular is that they can work well with remote and distributed teams. With a VOIP telephone system, you can appear to be in the same place – such as in an office, calling from a professional landline number, when you are actually at home, or even on vacation. VOIP can also be used for distributed teams, enabling employees to work from anywhere with a strong and reliable internet connection. 

It is easier to make changes to your VOIP telephone system, too, as you can usually log in to a portal and make changes without having to telephone and ask the carrier to do it for you. VOIP telephone systems also tend to be much cheaper than analogue telephone lines. 

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to using a VOIP telephone system. Firstly, you are reliant on the internet and a strong internet connection. If you lose an internet connection, your VOIP telephones won’t be able to function either. It is usually cheaper to use a VOIP system than a traditional analogue telephone system, but the setup and the monthly costs can vary significantly. 

The setup cost will depend mainly on what equipment you buy, be it a VOIP telephone, analogue telephone adaptor or a headset with a microphone. The monthly fee will depend on factors such as the number of users and the features of the agreement.

When setting up a VOIP telephone system, there is typically a charge for VOIP telephones and ancillary equipment, plus a monthly charge per telephone. There are also monthly service costs related to the cost of connecting VOIP calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN. Finally, there are many reports of reliability issues with VOIP telephone systems, which can be an issue with the carrier or the network. 

Telephone answering services

Combining a virtual office address with a virtual telephone answering service can be a great way to create a professional image while working remotely. 

With the Moneypenny app, for example, you can set up a call forwarding system so that if you cannot answer a call on your mobile, it goes straight to a dedicated Moneypenny Receptionist.


When you want to get your head down at focus on some work, with a quick tap of the app home screen, you can choose to send all of your calls directly to a colleague or a Moneypenny Receptionist. You can also manage other employee’s calls, choosing to send them to a receptionist or their mobile phone, for example. 

Arguably the best thing about Moneypenny’s Telephone Answering service, however, is our receptionists. We match your receptionist to your business, according to their experience and knowledge. They will take time to speak to you and get to know your business so that they can answer calls precisely the same way an in-house full-time receptionist would. 

Other benefits of using Moneypenny’s Telephone Answering service and app as your virtual office telephone system include:

– No setup costs

– Setup takes less than 24 hours

– A seven-day free trial 

– No lengthy contracts

– A dedicated receptionist

– Option to opt for 24/7, 365 cover

– Calendar integration

To sign up or learn more about our services, click here.

We give you amazing people and technology:


Your own Moneypenny PA to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

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Live Chat

Amazing people, briefed by you to manage chats whenever you can't.

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Pocket Phone System

All the functions and support of an office phone system, minus the hardware.

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