The proliferation of smart devices and the bring-your-own-device trend have given knowledge workers more freedom than ever to work where we are most productive, inside the office or out. Tools like Find Me/Follow Me make it easy to forward business calls to your smartphone, but for years we have accepted the fact that if you return a call with your smartphone, your business contact will have your personal phone number. So what’s the problem?
The first issue is one of identity. When you place a call from your smartphone, that number, along with either your caller ID name, or a vague description like “Mobile Caller” is displayed. For contacts who are expecting you to call from your office phone number with your company name displayed, this can be confusing. It gets worse if the mobile phone is in another name, like that of your spouse for example. Someone expecting an important call from John Smith may not be so anxious to answer if the caller ID says Abigail Smith.
Another problem is one of work/life balance. Because we are able to work from anywhere, many of us have accepted that we need to be available outside of traditional working hours. That’s fine to a point, but sometimes, we all just need to go off the clock. This is hard to do if customers, prospects, vendors and other contacts have your mobile number. Sure, you want your kids to be able to get ahold of you at 2 AM if there is an emergency, but not that client with the delayed shipment of widgets.
Finally, what happens if you change jobs? Are you willing to change mobile phone numbers as well? I still get support calls from time to time for a company I left three years ago. It’s a pain, but not as big of a pain as it would be to change my number and notify all of my non-work contacts.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. ShoreTel Mobility solves this problem by giving you the ability to manage two personalities with one device. Call your mother with your personal number and your client with your business number. Your private number stays private. Outbound caller ID shows your office number and identity. You can stop incoming work calls easily by engaging the office system’s Do Not Disturb feature. And, if you leave the company, you just uninstall the application.
We may not have solved the world’s biggest problem, but simple solutions like this make working without walls even better.