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Category: Advice

Should You Use Your Personal Phone for Work?

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Work issued mobile phones are becoming less common as companies are switching to greener and more tech savvy communication systems that depend on employees using their personal phone for work. VoIP systems are more cost effective, efficient and simple for businesses, but does using a personal phone for work benefit the employee too? 

Communicating at work

Communication is a, if not the most, important factor in business.The way companies communicate can determine how they are received by clients, customers and how successful interactions within the company are. Most employees can expect some kind of worked issued device when joining a new company; know as a COBO, which stands for company-owned, business only, which could be a second smartphone or an office landline with a personalised extension number. With a COBO, as implied in the name, the company provides a work phone to the employee, and that phone’s only use is work, whether that is calling clients, communicating with colleagues or emailing. Some businesses’, however, use BYOD as their communication method, which stands for bring your own device, which is a newer method used by companies; with this, employees are to use their personal phone for work-related purposes and are responsible for the maintenance of the device, as well as other things such as security. Trend Micro reported that, out of 13,000 remote workers, from 27 different countries, 39% currently use personal phones, or devices, for work-related purposes. 

Why Two Handsets? 

So, why was having two phones the norm? Up until recently, having a company issue a phone for their employee has been normal protocol and expected. If a company relies on their employees using a mobile phone for their work, why shouldn’t they pay for it? 

Although it is essential in our ever increasingly digital world to have constant access to work, having two smartphones seems wasteful, inconvenient and expensive. 

Business issued phones made much more sense when most people did not have their own phone, and so it was essential their work provided one. Nowadays, phones are much more accessible, as they are cheaper, simpler and pretty much indispensable, everyone has a personal one, so it seems uneconomical and lavish to have two. 

Using A Personal Number For Work 

However, a new issue arises here. If companies stop giving out work phones, will employees have to rely on their personal number for work? Using a personal phone for work is cost effective, efficient and cheaper for everyone involved but using a personal number is tricky. 

The first issue with using a personal number for work is the lack of privacy. It can feel uncomfortable to give out personal information, such as your number, to clients, customers and colleagues. Giving out your personal number means, not only that you are contactable 24 hours a day, but also that there is no division between work and personal, making it hard to preserve your privacy. 

A personal number, which would typically be an ‘07’ number could also come across as unprofessional as your official work number. Customers and clients may feel uneasy calling a mobile number instead of a landline number for professional services. 

The advantages of using a personal phone for work, however, are abundant. 

Firstly, being able to use your own phone for work means you have familiarity and control over it. With work issued phones, there may be limits and locks to how you can use the phone. Similarly, the phone could be a make and model that you don’t know how to use as well as your personal one. Using your own phones for all purposes, work and personal, allows employees to organise their digital lives in one place, upgrade when they want and customise the phone however they chose.

Cost is another huge benefit to employees using their personal phones, mainly for the employer. Instead of paying for a handset, contract and for upkeep, all the employer has to pay for is, in some cases, a second number and any particular apps they want the employee to use, such as a data secure app or tracking app. Also, if an employee is using their personal phone for work use, it is more likely they will take better care of it, have it on their person at all times and so be more available, when needed. 

Having a personal phone for work also fits the modern day reality of the ‘new normal’ that the pandemic has left us grappling with. Many of us are now adjusting to remote or hybrid working, meaning you cannot use your office desk phone, as perhaps done before, but also are reliant on up to date and reliable technology to be able to work from anywhere. Using a personal phone for work means just that, allowing you to continue to work and stay connected to customers, clients and colleagues no matter where and how you are working. 

Second Work Number On Personal Phone 

The best of both worlds, perhaps, is the solution of having a work number on your personal phone. Keep the advantages of using your personal phone but maintain professionalism and privacy by having a second number, a work number, on that phone. 

Many businesses are switching to this method of communication in order to adapt to the digital transformation and keep their employees, and customers, happy. VoIP systems are a great communication solution for businesses, big and small, as they give employees a wireless number on their personal phone. The advantages that the features of VoIP systems over traditional phone lines are endless for businesses: 

  • Call forwarding 
  • Auto-Receptionist
  • Call Recording
  • Extensions
  • Conferencing 
  • Customisable voicemail
  • Data tracking 

And more! A VoIP system, like Devyce, only enhances a company’s communication, at the same time saving money and time.

Having a work number on a personal phone is also ideal for an employee. They can continue to use their personal phone, while maintaining their privacy and work life balance. Devyce has a customisable ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature, so that employees with a work number on their personal phone can set clear boundaries and send work calls to voicemail when on personal time.

It has also been reported that using your personal phone for work, with a second number, can relieve stress. By differentiating between work and personal calls, on one phone, people have found their work more manageable and have been able to stop constantly checking on two phones for calls or texts.

Learn more about VoIP systems here: https://devyce.com/2022/01/26/how-voip-systems-work-and-how-it-will-improve-your-small-business/

Get a work number on your personal phone, for yourself or your whole team, here: https://devyce.com/pricing/


Sources

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/using-personal-phone-for-work

 

https://medium.com/predict/its-time-to-stop-carrying-separate-smartphones-a40f25304711

 

https://www.techradar.com/news/stop-using-your-personal-phone-for-work-stuff

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/359944/the-best-way-to-get-a-phone-number-for-your-small-business/

 

https://ergobility.com/blog/work-from-home-tips-maintain-separate-phone-number

 

A Guide To Remote Working: Its Benefits And Disadvantages

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What is remote working?

Remote working is a relatively new concept to many of us, a new working model introduced because of the pandemic. Remote working is essentially working from anywhere but your office, for most people, at home. Working at home has become the new normal for many people during the rises and falls of COVID-19, to keep themselves, and others, safe. However, the results of working at home seem to be having such a positive impact on employers and employees, that perhaps it is here to stay. 

A report by CIPD, in 2021, revealed that employers are so pleased with the results of remote working that 63% plan on increasing flexible working to as many employees as possible. Accenture supported this find, reporting that 63% of companies are planning to keep a “productivity anywhere” work model, even after the pandemic. 

Ladders, a job search site, projected that 25% of jobs will be remote by the end of 2022, and continue into 2023, in the US. The amount of remote work available before the pandemic was about 4%, but has now increased to over 15% in 2022.

How To Work Remotely

Taking the leap to decide to work remotely is an easy one, but may seem a bit daunting at first. You may be wondering, can I work remotely full time without sacrificing my work/life balance or mental health? 

Successful remote working may take some time to get used to, but productivity working at home can be easy once you set up boundaries, routines and a work space. Any area or corner of your house can be transformed into an ‘office’ space, not only to help you focus when at home, but also to help separate your personal and work spaces under one roof. Routines can also help, for example, waking up at the same time, assigning time to get out the house, even just for a 10 minute walk, can keep your mind healthy and productivity high. Lastly, healthy boundaries are important when navigating how to work remotely, not working over time just because you are not physically leaving an office, for example. Making social plans or having a set thing to do to ‘clock out’ of work mode to reinforce boundaries while remote working in order to maintain a healthy work life balance. 

Remote working has proven to not only increase productivity among remote workers, but also been beneficial for their mental health; some even willing to take a pay cut to be able to continue working at home. 

Owl Labs reported, in their 2021 State of Remote Work Report, that 90% out of 2,050 full-time remote workers were as or more productive when working from home, 74% saw their mental health improve and 84% claimed they would be happier continuing to work remotely after the pandemic. 

The pandemic has clearly made us reevaluate the way in which we work and live and the benefits that remote working have revealed are so clear that it does not seem this will be a pandemic only faze. 

Benefits of Remote Working 

There are many advantages of remote working, which explain why so many employees, and employers, are keen to continue this work model long after the pandemic. 

Productivity and Performance 

Working from home enables employees to have more control over their work schedule and work hours. Employees have been able to break out of the traditional 9-5 working structure while working from home, as suits them. For example, a night owl may be more productive working into the night, than in the morning as they would in an office, and working remotely allows them to do so. 

Moreover, performance has also seen an increase from remote workers. Again, this is to do with employees having a stronger sense of autonomy in their working lives, not only over hours, but location, communication and free time. Forbes, according to an acclimation of reports from Gallup, Harvard University, Global Workplace Analytics, and Stanford University, concluded remote workers produced work with 40% less mistakes, and employers saw a 41% lower rate of absenteeism; proving high productivity and performance. 

Profitability 

Benefits of remote working are not limited to employees; businesses, big and small, are also benefiting. Companies have been able to save money through remote working and report higher profitability. 

Remote working allows companies to downsize their office spaces, decreasing their spend on building upkeep, printers, computers, and so on. Many companies have either ditched their big offices for smaller ones, as not as many people are in, or are taking advantage of co-working spaces, such as WeWork, which not only saves costs, but is better for the environment too. 

Mental Health 

As already mentioned, remote working allows the individual to have more control over their days, perhaps this includes meditation and mindfulness breaks, to improve their mental health. 

But that’s not all, remote working allows for more freedom and flexibility which can give the busy parent time to pick up their kids from school, the working daughter time to visit her elderly parents and for the simple things that slip through the cracks when in the office everyday, such as dentist appointments. 

Remote working allows for employees to make time for their personal life within the hours of a work day, greatly reducing stress in their work and personal lives. 

Work from Anywhere

A major benefit of remote working is the location flexibility. Since the pandemic, many of us have been locked inside our houses, remotely working and fed up. 

The good thing about remote working is that you can work from anywhere providing you have access to the internet. Want to take a break from your house and spend a few weeks in an Airbnb by sea? You can do so without taking any holiday! 

Similarly, remote working has expanded opportunities for people who are keen to travel the world, break out from the day to day, and still continue to make money. For example, digital nomads are on the rise as the modern day wanderers of the world. Take off for a year or two, travelling to a new place each month while continuing to work remotely, why not? All you need is a laptop and internet connection! 

Work/Home Life Balance

Admittedly, remote working seems to blur the lines between work and home pretty significantly but, if managed properly, the balance can be healthier than ever when working from home. 

Working in an environment like your home can make you feel more comfortable and in control than being in the office. You can plan your time more freely and efficiently and arrange your work and home responsibilities with more ease. 

Also, working from home, or anywhere but the office, can help your work life balance by getting rid of office politics and toxic office environments. If you have been dealing with tricky office situations, ditch the office for home and no longer deal with social work issues on your personal time. 

Owl Labs also reported that 22% of remote or hybrid employees were happier than office workers; due to less stress, better mental health and higher productivity. Similarly, a study done by Ergotron, a hybrid office, found that 56% of 1,000 employees found their mental health and work-life balance improve when adopting the remote or hybrid work model. 

Disadvantages? 

Although there are many benefits of working remotely, of course, it may not be for everyone. 

There are some downfalls of the remote working model, such as:

  1. Reliance on technology and WIFI

When working remotely, if you don’t have reliable, high-speed internet, or an up to date, smooth operating laptop, it can be difficult to complete tasks and stay connected to your colleagues and supervisors. 

  1. Lack of Social Interaction

Some people thrive in an office environment and may miss the day-to-day social interaction. Being at home all day staring at a computer screen can feel lonely and empty at times. 

  1. Work/Personal Life

Although it is possible, it could be difficult to draw the line between work and personal, making it harder to concentrate on either one. Drawing the line and setting boundaries is easy on paper, but harder in practice. 

  1. Self Discipline 

Successfully remote working requires a lot of self discipline, for example, sticking to strict boundaries, routines and work hours. For some, this may be easy, but for others it may be hard to stick to their plans and work when they are tempted by home distractions. 

Get A Digital Number For Remote Working

So, what makes remote working work? 

It seems to be a combination of boundaries, work and personal separation and routines to keep a healthy day-to-day schedule. 

Having the right technology, however, is also a major factor in successfully remote working. Marko Gargenta, CEO of PlusPlus, stated “it (remote working) gave companies a kick in the butt… they’ve had to upgrade their tech”.

Devyce is the mobile solution for remote workers. As a VoIP system, Devyce allows you to have a completely wireless, cloud-based number; meaning it can be used from anywhere.

For freelancers, digital nomads and more, Devyce provides a number that they can give to customers, clients and colleagues to stay connected while at home, on the job, or on the move; without dealing with physical handsets, country blocks or giving out their personal number. 

For companies, businesses can switch to a wireless communication system that gives employees a virtual work number, accessible from anywhere in the world, and monitor their call and text activity. Remote working has transformed digital communication in the workplace, and Devyce is the perfect solution for businesses who want to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and improve their communications by getting a cheaper, more efficient communication system that supports the remote work model. 

Learn more here: https://devyce.com/product/features/ 

Purchase a Teams or Solo package here: https://devyce.com/pricing/ 

Sources: 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/02/12/top-5-benefits-of-remote-work-for-companies/?sh=20e5d15416c8

https://www.lumapps.com/blog/remote-working/benefits-of-working-remotely/

https://www.itpro.co.uk/business-strategy/flexible-working/362187/how-to-keep-your-mobile-workforce-happy

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/01/remote-work-is-here-to-stay-and-will-increase-into-2023-experts-say/?sh=4254e52120a6

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/04/3-new-studies-end-debate-over-effectiveness-of-hybrid-and-remote-work/?sh=1684cda959b

How To Keep Your Work and Personal Life Separate

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Maintaining a work life balance can prevent burnout and increase productivity, but learning to hit the do not disturb button, literally and figuratively, is harder than you think. Keep your work and personal life separate when remote working with these simple tips. 

Work life balance

Maintaining a work life balance is key in reducing stress and preventing burnout; a state of mental and physical tiredness.

It’d be great if separation between work and home was easy, but in reality mobile phones and social media blur the boundaries between professional and personal. It is hard to switch off from work to personal when your colleagues follow you on Instagram, you get calls from family during work hours or your work ‘bestie’ invites you out to drinks on a Friday night. How do you make this separation to allow you to switch off from work and avoid burnout? How do you press pause until your next working day? 

Why Press Pause?

The ability to press pause at work is essential in maintaining a healthy work life balance and avoiding stress and burnout. 

Pressing pause and taking time out for yourself can help you not only enjoy both parts of your life, work and personal, but also increase your productivity. The Sun reported that 8 out of 10 parents feel they are running on ‘autopilot’ and feel disconnected with their family because of their busy schedules. 

This can apply to working environments as well. Those who are running on autopilot risk burning out and becoming unable to do basic tasks because of stress. 

Setting up strict boundaries between your work and personal life can help decrease stress and make your work and personal life more fulfilling. 

Remote Working

Remote working, made the new normal by the pandemic, has made it harder to separate work and personal than ever. When your home becomes your work space, it seems almost impossible to draw a line between work and play. 

Remote working is new to many of us and so are the challenges that come with it. Adjusting to remote working has not only caused stress, loneliness and lack of productivity for some people, but also caused people to lose the healthy balance between their work and home lives. 

A study done by Buffer, revealed that 22% of remote workers have struggled with switching off after work. Maintaining a healthy work life balance during remote working can take a lot of extra energy; the best way to set up healthy boundaries is to commit to a routine, manage your time and learn to prioritise work or play, when needed. 

It can be hard to commit to work hours when you’re not leaving the office, if you are working remotely, it can be easy to let your job turn into a 24 hour job. In April 2020, Blue Jeans conducted a survey that revealed remote workers spent an extra 3.13 hours a day on the job. Social plans can force you to stop working and start the personal part of your day, in order to help cement the work/home boundary. 

Physical boundaries can also be a good way to highlight mental boundaries between work and home, when working remotely. Create an area or corner of your home that is strictly a ‘working zone’, so that when you are in it, you aren’t focusing on personal things, and when you leave the zone, you are officially clocked out of work. 

Most importantly, set a routine. When working in an office, a routine is effortlessly embedded into your mind; get up at a certain time, travel to work, get into the office, have a coffee and start your day. When working from home, however, it can be hard to wake up and transform into an employee when you don’t have a journey to get you into the mindset. For example, even though you are not leaving your house, still get up at the same time every morning, follow that by an activity you can do every morning, like showering or meditating. When you are ready to enter the work mindset, start your day; you do not need to immediately start working from the moment you wake up just because you are not commuting anymore. 

Using your Work Phone to Press Pause

Communication in these times is extremely important, for remote and hybrid workers connecting with colleagues, clients or customers. 

One major way to switch off and separate work and personal can be to actually physically press pause on work. 

Following routines, setting time boundaries and carving out time for socialising can help separate the line between work and personal but there will always remain some crossover. Finding a comfortable balance between the two may be the answer; separate what you have control over, such as your work and personal phones. 

Many businesses are beginning to rely on mobile phones instead of office phones. Not only is this cost effective for companies, it is also supportive of the remote or hybrid working models. This does not mean that you will have to give out your personal number to customers or clients, however. 

Devyce is a VoIP system which means your number lives in the cloud, so you can have a second number on one phone, without having a SIM or second contract. This is perfect for those who don’t want an office phone but want to keep their personal and work numbers separate. 

Having your work number on your personal phone may sound daunting but actually can help you separate your work and personal life. A work phone can be hard to put down and ignore, but with a work number on your personal phone, there is no physical reminder that the work number is there, or that people are trying to reach you. 

With Devyce, you can customise the Do Not Disturb feature to suit your business hours, for example, people will only be able to call or text your work number during office hours, leaving weeknights and weekends completely work free. 

Advantages of having a work number on your personal phone are endless. Not only is it the simplest and cheapest option, for both employer and employee, it gives personal control and familiarity to the user. Instead of using an unfamiliar work issued phone, you can use your phone as you wish, update it when you want, and have personal control over the settings and changes; unlike with a work phone where there may be limits and boundaries set up.

Communication is also improved when you use a work number on a personal phone, as you will always have it on you. You won’t need to worry about misplacing a second handset, or having to keep track of two phones; your customers will appreciate being able to get in touch with you quickly and easily. 

Discover more about how Devyce can help keep your personal and work lives separate here: https://devyce.com/product/what-is-devyce/

To download Devyce click here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

 

Sources 

https://timemanagementninja.com/2014/02/10-times-you-need-to-press-the-pause-button-in-life/

https://asparker.com/2020/02/do-you-take-the-time-to-push-the-pause-button/

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/6206155/how-to-consciously-push-the-pause-button-and-be-more-present-at-work-and-home/

https://www.careercontessa.com/advice/privacy-work-life-balance/

https://www.inc.com/inc-masters/how-to-set-great-work-life-boundaries-as-a-remote-worker.html

https://medium.com/publishous/set-healthy-boundaries-to-get-work-life-balance-cd95abcc414f

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/using-personal-phone-for-work

How Will New Roaming Charges Affect Me?

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Travel after Brexit has never been harder for a Brit. New roaming charges in 2022 are limiting mobile use outside of the UK, affecting holidaymakers, long-term travellers, British expats, digital nomads and those travelling for work. 

 

What Are Roaming Charges?

You may have heard a lot about roaming charges recently, being the latest in fees after Brexit when it comes to travel. You may be wondering what roaming charges are, or why they even exist? 

In short, roaming charges exist to contribute to what mobile providers have to pay to local operators to allow their network to work abroad; 20-25GB usage of roaming data in Europe will cost a UK mobile operator roughly £63, according to Enders Analysis. 

In 2017, the EU introduced the ‘Roam like at Home’ initiative that granted free roaming to all EU citizens, no matter what network you were on. Since Brexit, UK mobile service providers are not subject to this plan, putting customers at risk of having to, once again, pay roaming charges while abroad. Although many UK mobile providers claimed they would not reintroduce roaming fees, they have done just that. 

New roaming charges are bringing an end to five years of worry free roaming from abroad. Different networks are implementing different charges, so it is worth checking with your provider, as you can also be at risk of getting a blocked phone as networks have also introduced fair usage caps. It is difficult to keep an eye on how much roaming data you are using, especially since many phones are using your data without you knowing, for example if your phone automatically saves your data, such as messages and photos, to the cloud. 

 

What Do New Roaming Charges Mean? 

Depending on which network you are with, roaming charges in 2022 can mean different things. 

Roaming charges will activate for most big networks in 2022, charging you to use roaming data, calls and texts. 

Vodafone will begin charging for roaming in January 2022, EE will follow in March and Three have already begun charging roaming fees, as of September 2021. 

Although O2 was among the networks who announced they would reintroduce roaming fees, they have since announced that they will not. However, O2 customers will still be subject to fair usage limits and also a limited availability of data they can use while abroad. 

 

How Will Roaming Charges Affect Me? 

As a Three customer, you will be subject to a payment of £2 a day to use calls, texts and data from Europe. Outside of Europe, in many countries you will be charged £5 a day, when it was previously free.  

If you are with EE or Vodafone, you will also be charged £2 to use roaming data, calls and texts in Europe. 

Fair usage policies enable networks to monitor and limit the amount of time you can spend using your phone when outside the UK. Going over the limit can result in your phone being blocked or extra charges. If you are on a local mobile network in Europe, you will be subject to fair usage policies in the UK. 

EE’s fair usage limit is 50GB and, if reached, you will be charged an extra £3.60 per 10MB. 

O2 have introduced a 25GB fair usage limit followed by a charge of £3.50 per GB, if reached. Vodafone have also limited usage to 25GB, but will charge an extra £3.13 per GB if reached. 

Three have cut their fair usage limit from 20GB to 12GB a month, and a charge of £3 per GB beyond that. 

If you are living, working or travelling abroad for long periods of time, it is very likely that you will have to pay extra fees on top of roaming charges in order to use your phone without limits. Whichever UK mobile network you are with, the charges are likely to cost you up to £45/€50 a month to use your phone abroad. 

Whichever mobile network you are on, new roaming charges will affect you when travelling outside of the UK. It is also important to be aware of how the changes can affect you depending on what type of travel you are doing. 

Expats

Deciding to relocate abroad is as complicated as it is exciting. Becoming a British expat can depend on changing visa requirements among other things, and now roaming charges have been added to the list. 

Having a stable connection to the UK is essential for many expats, whether it is to stay in touch with friends and family or for work calls. The risk of getting cut off is too great if you stay with a UK mobile network. 

Nigel Ayres, founder of The Expat Network and an expat himself, was concerned about the possibility of disconnection, as he told the Express, “We wanted to retain our UK number but we get increasing charges due to Brexit and their ‘fair use’ policy on calls from Spain”. Ayres turned to Xpatfone, powered by Devyce, a virtual number built specifically for the needs of British expats, adding, “Xpatfone… allows me to keep my UK number, receive text and verification codes from banks etc via an App on my phone” 

Digital Nomads

Another group of travellers that will be hit by roaming charges are digital nomads. VoIP systems are the best bet for digital nomads, as they do not require any extra payments to ensure they work as you hop from place to place. For digital nomads, WIFI or data connection is essential, for work and to navigate their home for the month. 

Travelling as a digital nomad, it is likely your UK mobile service provider will cause you issues, alongside roaming charges and usage limits, as they do not support long-term travellers. Porting your number to Devyce is the best way to avoid extra charges and keep your phone working wherever you are in the world. 

Long-Term Travellers 

Similarly to digital nomads, gap year adventurers, solo tourists and working explorers will rely on WIFI or data connection to connect with others, plan their further travel and learn about the places they land. 

Mobile providers that are reintroducing roaming charges will not support customers who are regularly moving to different locations around the world. Travelling outside of periodic travel, you are more likely to be charged for using roaming data and subject to fair usage limits. Service providers have different rules and charges depending on which country you are in, which can be a pain to check and stay on top of when you are travelling. 

A virtual number allows you to use your phone no matter where you are in the world, even if you just need a number in case of emergencies, it is worth having a number that you can rely on, not at risk of disconnecting or charging you extortionate amounts.

Work Travellers 

The pandemic has greatly affected the way we live and work. Those who used to travel regularly for work have since gone remote or adopted a hybrid model of working, half at home, half in the office. 

Business travel expenses have decreased hugely due to coronavirus, however 2022 brings us new hope of a world without restrictions again, slowly reopening business travel to those in situations where it is essential to travel for work. Most businesses’ would have issued company work phones to their employees, letting them travel and use their phone without any hassle but new roaming charges have broken this system. Employers will have to pay unreasonable prices on devices used abroad and employees won’t want to have to explain why. 

Having access to the internet on your phone is a total necessity when travelling for work, whether it is to check in with your colleagues in the UK before a meeting, access your work email or keep up to date with the latest travel restrictions. Many businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems for their office, in doing so they avoid roaming charges and can allow their employees to use their work numbers from anywhere in the world. 

Holiday Makers

After two years of restrictions and cancelled holidays, Brits are keen to get out of the UK, to sunbathe on the beach or hit the slopes. 

Overall, those who will be most affected by new roaming charges will be those travelling outside of periodic travel, or those relocating outside of the UK. 

However post-Brexit travel will mean holiday goers will be charged roaming fees in Europe, including popular holiday destinations such as France, Spain and Portugal. Paying £2 for the days you want to use roaming data may not sound like a lot, but fair usage will also stop you from using your phone longer than usual. 

A British holiday maker told The Telegraph how their holiday took a turn for the worst after a skiing accident landed them in the hospital. While in the hospital, although they had ‘unlimited’ data, fair usage limits were hit and they were unable to use their data to reach family and friends to let them know how they were, or to organise travel back home. 

 

Solution 

The best solution for any type of British traveller is to purchase a virtual number. This may sound scary, but is actually a very easy, cheap and simple solution. 

A virtual number is a VoIP solution, Voice over Internet Protocol, which works by sending your calls and texts over the internet instead of traditional telephone lines; just as apps like WhatsApp and Viper do. 

Using a virtual number provider, such as Devyce, is ideal for any type of traveller, as there are no roaming charges, no usage limits, no extra fees, and no need for a second phone. 

Devyce charges a fixed monthly fee, starting at £8.99, for unlimited calls, texts and data. Completely cloud based, you don’t have to worry about a physical SIM or contracts. Get 24 hour support via email or phone to help guide you through the porting process, in which you can transfer your UK mobile number, or choose a new one to use, usually completely within 24 hours. This ensures your mobile will work just as it used to. Devyce is compatible with foreign networks, such as Lobster, so if you are an expat with a local SIM, you can still keep your UK number. 

Browse Devyce packages to find the right one for you here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

Port your number here: https://devyce.com/porting/ 

If you are an expat or long term traveller, get ahead of the game and switch now to avoid roaming fees in 2022. Start your journey with Xpatfone, powered by Devyce, and get set up within 24 hours here: 

https://xpatfone.com/pricing-1

Sources

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2022/01/what-changes-to-mobile-roaming-charges-are-planned-in-2022

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/why-are-roaming-charges-coming-back-and-why-are-they-so-expensive

https://www.cityam.com/holiday-goers-gear-up-for-roaming-fees-as-ee-and-vodafone-introduce-european-charges/

https://metro.co.uk/2021/06/25/europe-roaming-charges-how-will-they-work-and-what-will-they-cost-14826301/

https://businesscloud.co.uk/opinion/roaming-charge-impact-on-business-travellers-as-borders-reopen/

https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1495074/expats-brexit-roaming-phone-charges-eu-spain

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/katie-investigates/hospital-vodafone-going-cut-data/https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45064268

Make The Best of The Digital Nomad Lifestyle in 2022

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The global pandemic has brought a new age of people embracing remote working so they can work from anywhere as a digital nomad. The digital nomad lifestyle can be intense, so here are some tips on how to make it as a digital nomad in 2022.

 

What is a Digital Nomad?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our personal and working lives have changed dramatically. Most people have adapted to a remote lifestyle, working from the comfort and safety of their home. Digital nomads are travelling remote workers. 

“Living as a digital nomad, you’re able to see incredible places, learn from different cultures, and work when or where you want to – true freedom” Matthew Karsten, The Expert Vagabond.

Digital nomads call a different country home every month, using technology to keep them connected and working from cafes, hotels and co-working spaces all over the world. The main requirement for a digital nomad is to earn income entirely from online work, to allow yourself to travel around freely. 

A Pew Research survey found that 54% of people would like to continue working from home after the pandemic ends. The pandemic has changed the way we view work, we no longer have to be in the office 9-5 to achieve our goals, giving a new freedom to office workers who may want to work from an Airbnb by the coast or in the mountains, instead of their house. 

Digital nomads are no longer the stereotype of beach backpackers moving around with little plans. As the pandemic has sparked a new interest in digital nomadism, the definition of digital nomads is transforming.

 

Pros of The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The digital nomad lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular, the BBC reported that the US population of digital nomads blew up from 7.3 million, in 2019, to 10.9 million by mid-2020. 

So, why are so many people attracted to the digital nomad lifestyle? There are many reasons why people ditch the traditional lifestyle to live as a digital nomad. 

 

Work life balance 

The digital nomad work life is very different from the normal day to day we know. As a digital nomad you can choose when you work and when you don’t, giving you the opportunity to create a healthy work life balance that suits you. You have the ability to work on your own schedule and give yourself time for the things that you love. 

 

Flexibility

As a digital nomad you can live and work wherever you want, hence the term nomad. This gives a level of flexibility in life most people do not have the privilege of experiencing; dreamed of living in the mountains of New Zealand? You can go and do that for a month or two! 

 

Experiences

Digital Nomads have the opportunity to experience the world while still working and earning. Visit new and exciting places, learn about different cultures and new skills – all while maintaining your work life balance. Follow the sun around the world or chase the snow… whichever you desire! 

 

Productivity 

Some digital nomads have claimed their lifestyle helps their productivity, whether that is in their personal or professional life. In some cases, the office environment can hold people back from achieving their work goals, due to a toxic environment or office politics. The digital nomad lifestyle eliminates any negative office vibes; the world is your office. Work from your Airbnb, from a local café, from a co-working space or on the beach – wherever feels like the most productive space for you! Move and work where suits you to maximise your productivity and stay happier in your working life.

 

Cons of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone. You have to be willing to be constantly moving around, not having a stable home base. Finding stability as a digital nomad can be difficult and not having a stable ground can be debilitating. Digital Nomads may also struggle with;


Loneliness

Making friends and keeping company can be difficult when you are hopping from place to place. Loneliness could be considered a natural part of the digital nomad lifestyle – you are largely on your own, separated from family, friends and work colleagues.


Money

The freedom to live as a digital nomad comes at a price. You can travel on a budget but the lifestyle requires a steady income and probably some savings. Keeping track of your finances can be difficult when you are moving around as well.


Homesickness

If you’re living as a digital nomad you have to be prepared to say goodbye to home comforts, cultural norms and familiar faces. The digital nomad lifestyle is about experiencing new places, cultures and things, but being far away from home can be difficult for some.


Cultural barriers

As with any traveller, cultural barriers are an obstacle for digital nomads. If you don’t know the language, or cultural specifics of a place, it can be difficult to get around, communicate with locals and feel settled in your temporary home. 

 

Tips for the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Wondering how to become a digital nomad? Or just be able to work from anywhere? There are tips to battle these obstacles, and to maximise your digital nomad lifestyle to the fullest. 

 

Job Opportunities

The most important thing for a digital nomad is to have a secure job they can do while travelling, i.e. a remote friendly job. Luckily, the pandemic has only expanded the list of remote friendly jobs so there are lots of different career choices for a digital nomad; such as, blogger, youtuber, virtual assistant, programmer, freelancer, customer service, writer and more. These jobs are well suited to people who want to have the freedom to work from anywhere. Most companies today have embraced the work from anywhere policy, so this list of jobs will only grow. 

 

Set a budget

Karsten advises you to set a budget while on the move as a digital nomad. Spend your money wisely while travelling, and avoid pointless purchases or food and drink out. You also don’t want to end up with too many possessions to lug around with you, which is why Karsten also advises you to purge your belongings to just the basics before you begin your journey as a digital nomad.

 

Join a digital nomad community 

To combat loneliness, join digital nomad groups on platforms such as Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. Being part of an online community can connect you with like minded people, answer questions about the digital nomad lifestyle and help you meet friends on your travels. There are also apps to help you, like Bumble BFF, where you can connect with locals to hang out with or show you around. 

 

Join a co-working space

Maintaining a work life balance is important no matter what lifestyle you lead. As a digital nomad, it is essential to keep your productivity and mood high. Joining a co-working space can give some structure to your days, and also get you out and about. There are many places to join, such as WeWork, which has offices all over the world, where you can connect with other digital nomads and also have access to all your office needs like speedy WIFI, printers and meeting rooms. 

Lindsay Maisel, a freelance industrial designer who has travelled as she works, told Make It, “just because you don’t have to get out of bed is not a reason to work from bed. The commute may be gone, but mentally you need to go somewhere else to work”.

 

Insurance

Insurance for nomads is very important. Cover your back in case of medical bills, or any potential disaster when you are far from home. There are specific insurance companies for nomads, such as WorldNomads and IntegraGlobal which will cover you so you can live your digital nomad lifestyle carefree. 

 

Set boundaries at work

As a digital nomad, you are likely to be working in a very different way to your colleagues. It is important to set boundaries at work to accommodate your lifestyle to allow you to get work done in your own time and as successfully as possible. For example, if you are in a different time zone to your coworkers, don’t accept an invitation for an online call at 3am your time; let your coworkers know what times you are available according to your clock. 

 

Commit to mental and physical routines

Healthy practices can help combat loneliness, homesickness and increase productivity while living as a digital nomad. Even though you are a nomad, it doesn’t mean you can’t abide by a schedule. Perhaps carving out 30 minutes every morning to meditate will help you adapt to your lifestyle; or going for a run in the evening to close your working day. Giving yourself routines can provide some type of stability in a relatively unstable lifestyle. 

 

Unlock your phone

It is likely that your mobile service provider will cause you issues as you move around. Most service providers only offer mobile service abroad for a certain amount of time, not supporting the long-term travelers; you also will be subject to fair usage policies and at risk of getting cut off. As a digital nomad, your phone is one of the main ways to stay connected so essential that it keeps working wherever you go. 

Porting your number to Devyce is the best way to avoid extra charges and make sure your phone will work whatever country you are in. By porting to Devyce, you are basically moving your phone number online, meaning it exists in the cloud, keeping you connected as long as you have WIFI or data connection; perfect for any digital nomad. 

Explore Devyce plans here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

 

Sources
https://expertvagabond.com/digital-nomad-tips/
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210615-is-the-great-digital-nomad-workforce-actually-coming
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/digital-nomad
https://www.e-resident.gov.ee/blog/posts/the-complete-guide-to-being-a-digital-nomad-key-things-to-know
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/28/digital-nomads-7-best-tips-for-working-remotely-around-the-world.html
https://www.ganttic.com/blog/best-practices-for-digital-nomad

10 Benefits of Porting Your Mobile Number

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Heard about mobile number portability but wondering what is porting or how to port your number? This simple guide will help you understand what it is to port a mobile number and whether it is the right choice for you. 


 

What Is Porting?

Porting is a system that allows you to transfer your phone number from your current mobile provider to another. This can be done for a variety of reasons; people may not know they have the right to move their mobile numbers when they move to a new provider, whether it is a personal, business or even landline number.

Porting was introduced in 1995; Ofcom made it clear that customers have the legal right to keep possession of their mobile numbers irrespective of who their provider is. Otherwise customers may feel trapped and forced to stay with their current provider to avoid changing numbers.

 

How To Port My Mobile Number?

Porting is actually a very simple process.

All you need to do to get started is request a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) from your old provider. Once you have the code, simply pass it on to your new provider and schedule the swap!

A PAC is a format of nine digits, made up of three letters and six numbers. You can receive this code by text, as, in 2019, Ofcom created the ‘Text-to-Switch’ drive to make it even easier for people to transfer their number from one provider to another. So, if you want to receive a PAC quickly, all you need to do is text ‘PAC’ to 65075. Many networks can still provide you a PAC over the phone, if you would like to talk to a person to get more information when receiving your code.

After you have given your PAC to your new provider, all you have to do is wait! The wait time depends on who you are switching to but mostly takes a few hours to a few days and you will be notified when the switch is complete.

 

Should I Port My Number?

Porting is mostly a matter of convenience, allowing you to switch to a better, more affordable mobile carrier, without the annoyance of getting a new number.

If you are having difficulties with your current provider, such as long wait times to talk to customer service, bad signal or extra charges, i.e roaming fees, porting your number to a new, better provider that works for you is the answer!


 

Ten Benefits of Keeping My Number

 

Keep Your Mobile Number When Switching Providers

This is an obvious benefit!

You won’t have to stay stuck with a provider that isn’t a good fit. There is no need to go through the hassle of letting your family, friends and colleagues know that you have a new number, let alone websites, apps, bank accounts that all use your mobile number.

Brand Continuity

If you are a business, small or big, old or new, you can upgrade your business’ communications without having to contact customers and clients with a new number. Allowing brand continuity, which does not disrupt your business or unnerve your clients! Continuity is essential for any business, but it shouldn’t mean they are stuck with a bad communication system.

Keep Your Business Number

A phone number can be something that defines your business, that is recognised by customers and clients. A business phone number can be seen everywhere, on a website, advertisements, business cards and so on.

Porting ensures that your business doesn’t have to sacrifice changing a core part of your company. Further eliminating unnecessary costs of rebranding and admin.

Simple Process

Porting is a very easy process, from start to finish. All you need to do is obtain your PAC and send it over; sometimes you may need to verify your identity but that is largely the bulk of it.

Time Efficient

The process of porting, from requesting a PAC code to waiting for activation can take, at most, a week.

Depending on the company you are porting to, the process can sometimes take only a day or less. If you schedule your port for overnight, you will wake up with your number ported, not affecting anything else on your mobile.

Prompts Providers to Improve Their Service

Customers having the ability to easily move providers, if their current one is causing issues, means service providers are forced to take action to prevent customers leaving.

Network providers will be aware that they have to keep their services up to date, efficient and of a high quality in order to keep customers. This is a great advantage as providers will more likely offer deals and better services for a lower price, allowing you to choose the best service for the lowest price.

Don’t Let Your Number Expire

If you don’t port your number, your number will become available to others. Anyone can purchase your number as their own.

Not only would this cause confusion for those trying to reach you, if you are a business, someone calling may assume your company is no longer in service or a competitor could purchase your old number and benefit from your customers calling them.

Area Codes

Finding a new number in a popular area code can be difficult, there are not infinite options of numbers in each area code. In some cases, the demand for numbers exceeds their availability.

Porting with an existing number would be a lot easier than finding a new number with the same area code.

 

Move Your Number Online

Porting allows you to move your mobile number to a virtual phone provider.
You may want to switch to a virtual provider if you are moving abroad, to avoid extra fees. Alternatively, you may want to get rid of your work phone but keep your work number, you can do this by porting your work mobile number to a virtual provider.

 

Cheap

Porting is not an expensive service. Providers will not charge you for porting out. Some providers will charge you to port to them, anything upwards of £5, but only if you are porting a business or landline number.


 

How Do I Port My Number to Devyce?

Devyce is a completely virtual provider, perfect for the Brit moving abroad or the CEO looking for an improved communication system for their business.

Porting your number to Devyce is not only easy, but a free service when you sign up.
All you need to do is purchase a Devyce Plan, get your PAC and fill out the Devyce porting form. From there, a Devyce member will reach out to schedule when the porting will take place. Porting with Devyce takes no more than 24 hours!

Devyce has many features that are helpful to small and big businesses:

–  Real-time statistics
–  Compatibility with WhatsApp, Viber, TikTok, Instagram and more
–  Do Not Disturb Mode
–  Management Portal
–  Cloud Based
–  Customisable voicemail
–  Landline SMS

To get starting on your porting journey, fill out the Devyce porting form here:https://devyce.com/porting/#porting-form

Or browse Devyce pricing plans, to choose the best package for you, here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

 

Sources:
https://www.mitel.com/en-gb/features-benefits/number-porting
https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/porting-your-mobile-phone-number/
https://www.gradwell.com/guides/business-number-porting/
https://usechalkboard.com/pros-and-cons-of-porting-a-phone-number
https://winproductivity.com/number-porting-and-its-benefits/
https://www.onsip.com/voip-resources/voip-solutions/buying-vs-porting-business-phone-numbers-pros-and-cons
https://www.money.co.uk/mobiles/guides/how-to-port-your-phone-number
https://www.fightingcasualisation.org/what-are-the-advantages-of-porting-number/

 

How Can I Continue Using My Phone Abroad Without Paying New Roaming Charges? 

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Use your UK mobile number fluently for travel? Worried about the return of roaming charges, but unsure what to do? Keen to avoid the roaming fees in 2022? Here’s what you need to know, as well as what you can do to continue to call, text and roam, without new costs, with your UK mobile number from anywhere in the world.


 

Why are UK Networks reintroducing roaming fees? 

After five years of free roaming, how can you avoid roaming fees returning in 2022? For those of us that use our UK mobile number for travel regularly, this is concerning.

In 2017, the EU launched their ‘Roam Like at Home’ initiative, essentially banning EU mobile networks from being able to charge their users for using their mobiles while abroad in EU countries. However, since Brexit has removed the UK from being an EU member, the initiative no longer applies to UK networks, allowing them to reintroduce roaming fees for their customers. If you are a UK resident living abroad, someone who travels for work, or someone who travels outside of periodic travel, it is essential that you know exactly what this change means and how you can avoid roaming fees coming in 2022.


 

When will the fees come into action? 

Although many UK mobile networks stated that they would not reintroduce roaming fees after Brexit, many have since changed their stance. The biggest networks to reinstate roaming charges are Vodafone, EE, Three and O2. 

If you are a Three customer, you may be aware of the changes already as they have been the first network to enact the changes, as of September 2021. Vodafone and O2 have announced they will turn on roaming charges at the end of January 2022 and EE will follow their example and turn off free roaming in March 2022.


 

How will these costs affect you?  

Depending on what network you are currently with, these costs will affect you differently. 

If you are an EE customer with a plan that started before July 2021, you don’t need to worry. However, if your plan started after July 2021, or your contract is due to expire, you will be affected. Starting from March 2022, to make and receive calls and texts, or use your data from abroad, you will be charged £2 a day for each day that you use your mobile. 

If you are a UK citizen living as a resident outside of the UK, you will be subject to roaming fees on O2 as well. However, the good news is that you can switch providers and leave O2 without having to pay any termination fees.

Starting at the end of January 2022, Vodafone customers, who had a contract that started on or after August 2021, will have to pay £6 a day to use their data, as well as make and receive calls and texts, if they are abroad in Africa, Australia, Canada and America. 

If you are a Three customer, you may already be aware of the changes to your plan when abroad, as Three reintroduced roaming fees in September 2021, being the first UK mobile network to do so. As a Three customer, if you want to use your UK mobile to travel, you will be charged £5 a day to do so. 

The reintroduction of roaming fees also allows these UK networks to implement a fair usage policy that can monitor and limit the time spent by a customer on their phone while abroad. Meaning, you will no longer be able to use your UK mobile phone all year round abroad; and if you do, you will be subject to extra fees. Moreover, if you have a foreign mobile contract, and visit the UK, you will be limited to how you can use your phone in the UK as well. 

EE will implement a 50GB roaming fair usage policy, and if reached, you will be charged £3.60 per 10MB. O2 are introducing a 25GB roaming fair usage policy, and if reached, you will be charged £3.50 per GB. Vodafone are following in their steps and also capping data use at 25GB, but charging £3.13 per GB once reached. Lastly, Three have already implemented a 20GB limit a month, and £3 per GB beyond that. 

20 to 50 GB is not quite enough for one person every month to use their mobile phone with full access to the internet, to search, stream or socialise. The limitations placed on usage by UK networks makes it very likely that those living, working and travelling abroad will have to pay extra fees on top of roaming charges and their normal contract payments.

No matter which network you are on, these changes and extra payments could cost you an extra £52 a month for simple mobile use. 


 

How can you avoid these costs?  

These looming changes may seem daunting but there are solutions to assure you can continue to travel and use your UK mobile number and avoid roaming fees in 2022 and onwards. 

Devyce have been working hard to provide an easy, efficient and, most importantly, affordable solution to the reintroduction of roaming charges, so that you can still use your UK mobile number for travel and more. We came up with Xpatfone, powered by Devyce; designed especially for those UK mobile users who are living, working or travelling abroad who do not want to pay more to call, text and roam while away from home. 

What makes this especially easy is that many networks, similar to O2, have scrapped exit fees so that, if you wish to move and avoid roaming fees in 2022, you can do so freely.


 

Benefits of Switching? 

So why switch? Simply, you will avoid paying roaming fees in 2022 and onwards when abroad. Giving you the freedom to call and text your family and friends back in the UK and use the internet without any usage limitations. 

Xpatfone charges a fixed monthly fee, with no extra payments no matter your usage, starting at £8.99. Completely cloud based, you don’t have to worry about a physical SIM or contracts. Get 24 hour support via email or phone to help guide you through the porting process, in which you can transfer your UK mobile number, or choose a new one to use, usually completely within 24 hours. 

Xpatfone offers two packages fit for UK travellers abroad. The monthly plan is ideal for expats and starts at £8.99, with benefits such as SMS and Whatsapp compatibility, free number porting, unlimited calls to the UK, America, Canada and Ireland, unlimited inbound calls and texts globally and a 24 free trial! The ‘Brexit Buster’ plan is ideal for the UK global traveller, adn starts at £12.99. With the Brexit Buster plan, you get all the features of the monthly plan, plus 400 minutes per month to call mobile and landline numbers in New Zealand, Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Australia and Thailand. 

 

Get ahead of the game and switch now to avoid roaming fees in 2022. Start your journey with Xpatfone and get set up within 24 hours here: https://xpatfone.com/pricing-1


 

Sources 
https://www.o2.co.uk/help/pay-monthly/roaming-in-europe
https://www.vodafone.co.uk/roamingupdate22
https://ee.co.uk/help/help-new/roaming-and-international/using-your-device-abroad/what-impact-will-brexit-have-on-roaming
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45064268
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-roaming-charges-eu
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/sep/09/three-becomes-latest-mobile-firm-to-bring-back-roaming-charges
https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mobile-networks/1415167/vodafone-roaming-charges-explained 
https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/internet-data-allowances/ 
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