Whether you run your own business from your home or just telecommute occasionally, a professional phone system is an important part of your home office setup. VoIP phone systems are among the most flexible and affordable options out there, which make them especially appealing to remote workers.
If you’ve spent any time at all comparing VoIP providers, you may be a little overwhelmed by the dozens of features available. When you’re comparing the offerings of two or more companies, you may find yourself with questions. How on earth do you prioritize, and how can you be sure that you’ll actually use the features you’re paying for? What if you overlook a feature that you’ll really regret not having in the end?
As one person working from home, you may not need all the bells and whistles of a conventional business VoIP phone system. But some features you rarely use at work might become invaluable at home. While there is some crossover, the features that will be most important to you in your home office may be important for different reasons. There are a handful of basic features that we’ll take as a given: voicemail, hold, and caller ID. After that, the field opens up.
Here are the home office phone system features you should look for:
1. Virtual Phone Number
This one is most important for self-employed workers who need to foster a professional image. While almost anyone reading this article will be familiar with phone calls conducted entirely over our laptops, dialing a “real” phone number from an actual phone is just psychologically easier for many people — especially older clients who may be less tech-savvy.
A virtual phone number can give you a strong sense of local presence and creates a solid impression of a legitimate business. Virtual phone numbers have other uses, too: an international virtual number can cut down on long-distance charges for your far-flung clients.