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Virtual office phone systems – what are the options?

virtual office phone system

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 phone 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 phone system is unlikely to be suitable. In some instances, a VOIP phone system may be suitable, while a phone answering service may be the best option for other remote businesses.

VOIP office telephone systems

Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP phone systems allow users to make phone calls over the internet. Phone calls are converted into something called “data packets” that are sent from your phone, over the internet, to another user. One reason VOIP phone 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 phone systems are becoming popular is that they can work well with remote and distributed teams. With a VOIP phone 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 phone system, too, as you can usually log in to a portal and make changes without having to phone and ask the carrier to do it for you. VOIP phone systems also tend to be much cheaper than analog phone lines. 

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to using a VOIP phone system. Firstly, you are reliant on the internet and a strong internet connection. If you lose an internet connection, your VOIP phones won’t be able to function either. It is usually cheaper to use a VOIP system than a traditional analog phone 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 phone, analog 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 phone system, there is typically a charge for VOIP phones and ancillary equipment, plus a monthly charge per phone. 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 phone systems, which can be an issue with the carrier or the network. 

Phone answering services

Combining a virtual office address with a virtual phone answering service can be a great way to create a professional image while working remotely. This option is cost effective and possibly the best virtual phone system for small businesses.

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.

In addition, to call forwarding and call answering, you can also enjoy the benefits of having a professional landline number. You can choose from hundreds of local or toll-free telephone numbers so that you can provide a professional business number to clients and customers. In addition, when you are calling from your mobile, with the Moneypenny App installed, you can appear to be calling from a landline – so for all intents and purposes, you are in the office, not at home.

 

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. Via the home screen, you can also manage other employee’s calls, choosing to send them to a receptionist or their mobile phone, for example. 

Virtual Office Business Phone Number

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 cell phone, 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 cell phone, for example. 

Arguably the best thing about Moneypenny’s Phone 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 Phone Answering service and app as your virtual office phone 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

– Diary integration

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

We give you amazing people and technology:

Phone Answering

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

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