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Category: Roaming

The Essential Guide To Voip Systems For Small Businesses

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The ultimate guide to setting up your team with the best VoIP phone system to enhance your small business!

What Is A Voip Phone System?

VoIP phone systems are the new age landlines. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) does as it says, uses the internet to make and receive calls completely wirelessly. VoIP systems digitise calls and texts and send them through internet lines, rather than ordinary landlines. VoIP has been around for a while, but is becoming more and more popular as it is evolving to be quicker, cheaper and more efficient. Many businesses and households already use VoIP systems for their communications, a seemingly clever move as landlines are slowly becoming obsolete.

 

How Do You Use A Voip Phone System?

 

VoIP systems work over the internet, but what does that mean?

Well, in the simplest of explanations, VoIP systems digitise your voice into online data and send it to your phone provider via the internet, which is then passed on to the receiver. VoIP phone systems rely on high speed internet to make and receive communications; this means you can make calls with a VoIP system on a computer, a mobile phone or a VoIP adapter.

 

Why Should You Use A Voip Phone System For Your Small Business?

Having a digital communication system for your team is the new trend in business. Giving employees a second phone number for work, all on the same system, instead of a second mobile phone or office phone, benefits the business and the employee, allowing companies to maintain professionalism and employees to stay connected no matter where they are.

Features included with VoIP systems include:

✅ Virtual receptionist

✅ Call forwarding

✅ Voicemail transcription

✅ Do Not Disturb button

✅ Conference call

✅ Call recording

✅ Call logs

✅ On-hold music

Cost efficient
Perhaps the best advantage of the VoIP phone system is the price. Most VoIP providers charge a monthly fee, based on how many users are on it rather than how many minutes are used; meaning you can have unlimited calls for a lower price. For example, most VoIP providers will charge around £20-30 a month, whereas landlines will charge around £50-75 a month.

Easy Setup
Setting up a second phone number on your personal phone is easy as pie. Most VoIP systems work through a phone app and can be downloaded and running within minutes with a smartphone. No need to spend extra hours installing complicated technology.

Professionalism
Having a second phone number allows you to stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers while still maintaining professionalism. Whether you are part of, or running, a small business, or working for yourself, or as a freelancer, having a professional phone number can go a long way in gaining customers’ trust and confidence in you and your business. Giving out your personal number is not only ideal for you, but also perhaps not comfortable for the customer. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have an online landline number, if you chose, for your business to maintain professionalism and privacy.

Enhances Communication
Despite more people than ever working from home, business communication cannot stop; it can be difficult to stay in touch from home with colleagues and clients.

A virtual number makes you accessible wherever you are, enhancing team collaboration by making it easy and simple to send and receive messages and important information, no matter if a team member is in the office, at home or the other side of the world. Having a solid communication system that supports your employees’ lifestyle of remote working, for example, can build morale and keep them motivated despite communication limits created by the pandemic.

Call from anywhere
Remote and hybrid working is the new normal since the pandemic. VoIP phone systems support the remote and hybrid work model, as it allows employees to communicate from wherever they are, whether it is at home, at work or on the other side of the world.

Scalability
With a cloud-based phone system you can add or remove phone lines for new or leaving employees. As your business grows, your phone system can too, without any stress or hassle.

Better Customer Support
Being able to contact customer support in case of an emergency is essential when running a small business. If your phone lines are down, it can negatively affect the accessibility of your business and leave customers stranded and unhappy with your service. Most VoIP service providers maintain direct contact with you and your company, so that if you have any issues they are available straight away to fix your problem; you won’t have to wait hours or days to get a reply from a big corporation that owns your landline.

Simple Equipment
VoIP being a cloud based service not only provides better quality and service, it also presents a more practical solution for small businesses. To use a VoIP phone system you don’t need any extra equipment or IT specialists to install and manage it, which not only makes life easier for you but also saves time and money for your business

 

Which Is The Best Voip Phone System For Small Businesses?

There are many VoIP phone systems on offer to small businesses, you’ll want to get the best one for the best price. The good thing about VoIP phone systems is that all you need is high quality internet connection, a router and a modem, all which businesses have anyway, to get started. The big question is which provider to go with.

Devyce is a VoIP service that specialises in fitting the needs of a small business. We know what a small business needs in terms of communication, and Devyce deliver. Devyce offer a special Teams Package tailored to small businesses at only £15.99 a month per user. With Devyce, the account manager has access to our Portal, which provides instant number allocation and deallocation, call forwarding, call recording, full call reporting and analytics and CRM integration. You can give your employees a new number, or bring their number to Devyce by porting. Devyce provides an easy, cheap and efficient VoIP phone system that optimises your small businesses communication and, with customer support available 24/7, supports you every step of the way.

 

Step By Step Guide

An easy guide on how to get Devyce for your team:

1️⃣Purchase Your Team Devyce Plan Here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

2️⃣Log In To Your Devyce Account And Access The Portal Here: https://login.devyce.io/u/login?state=hKFo2SBKMW8tSk1pd0dUd2NHSXoxN3FJZ3NNb29LdnE2Ukdtd6Fur3VuaXZlcnNhbC1sb2dpbqN0aWTZIEMwLWFWNGM4YUVsVS0tejZNRGgwbzJwLWZaNldKUHo5o2NpZNkgN0NxRk41bDlWV3FSalR6UXE2MHdOaWdJV1NGTjdTMGg 

3️⃣Add Amount of Numbers Needed

4️⃣Allocate Numbers To Employees

5️⃣Employees Download Devyce App

6️⃣ Monitor Team Communication via The Portal

 

Sources

https://www.grammarly.com/business/learn/digital-communication-strategies/?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=search1gbnbstyleguidedsa&utm_targetid=dsa-1296364243343&gclid=CjwKCAjw8sCRBhA6EiwA6_IF4XLPe0nJsgPPCguig9KGXqbwu-Xfj7R7pyul_Fia3eBvqjZ2TMYN4hoC7hMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.ukpostbox.com/blog/how-to-digitise-your-business-comms

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8955-virtual-phone-numbers.html

https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/beginners-guide-what-is-voip-and-how-does-it-work-explained/

https://www.business.com/articles/voip/

https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/guides/internet/internet-phone-voip-offers

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8924-voip-for-business.html

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/voip-vs-landline/

Why You Need A Second Phone Number For Your Business And Team

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As the pandemic forced us all to work remotely, digital communication has never been so important. Improve your team’s communication by getting a virtual second phone number for your business and stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers. 

As we deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, we have entered 2022 in a more digitally advanced space than ever before. Workspaces have become more digitised, in order to keep colleagues, clients and customers connected despite them being scattered around the globe unable to connect in real life. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that companies digitally accelerated up to five years, in 8 weeks due to the pandemic. Businesses were forced to embrace new digital technology in order to maintain communication within their team and with their customers. Internal communication apps, such as Slack, grew 30% during the pandemic, as team members looked for new ways to communicate with each other without being in the office.

This digital trend of new communication is not ending as the pandemic does, if anything it has revolutionised the way companies use technology, enhancing their communication by making it more efficient, cost effective and wireless. 

Having a digital communication system for your team is the new trend in business. Giving employees a second phone number for work, all on the same system, instead of a second mobile phone or office phone, benefits both the business and the employee, allowing companies to maintain professionalism and employees to stay connected no matter where they are. 

What Is A Digital Communication System? 

Adopting a digital communication system is essentially getting a VoIP phone system, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. You can get a virtual number for yourself and/or for your team, either a solo package or a system package. Having a virtual phone number, or a virtual office, allows you to access your work number anywhere in the world, with no fuss or extra costs.

Why You Need A Second Phone Number

There are many advantages of using a virtual number system for your team, especially for small businesses. In such a digital world, businesses cannot function without a secure, effective and professional communication system to strengthen the businesses internally and externally.

Have a read of the advantages of using a digital communication system for your team. 

✅ Easy Setup 

Setting up a second phone number on your personal phone is easy as pie. Most VoIP systems work through a phone app and can be downloaded and running within minutes with a smartphone. No need to spend extra hours installing complicated technology. 

✅ Cost Effective

Unlike the traditional landline, having a second phone number through a digital communication system doesn’t cost a bomb. The costs of running a business, big or small, are immense; especially installing and maintaining technology. Without the need for any hardware equipment or maintenance, having a virtual phone system can save companies thousands. Also, the more digital a business is, the more it can cater to remote working, which also cuts down costs on office bills. 

✅ Work Life Separation 

Having a second phone number for work also aids your work life balance. Having a digital number means you can customise the times that the number is active, maintaining office hours and drawing a line between work and home life. This is especially important for those of us working from home, as any clear boundary between work and home can help maintain a healthy work/life balance.

✅ Enhances Communication

Just because people are not in the office, does not mean company communication has to break down. It can be difficult to stay connected to customers and colleagues when working from home, however. 

A virtual number makes you accessible wherever you are, enhancing team collaboration by making it easy and simple to send and receive messages and important information, no matter if a team member is in the office, at home or the other side of the world. Having a solid communication system that supports your employees’ lifestyle of remote or hybrid working, can build morale and keep them motivated despite communication limits created by the pandemic. 

✅ Extra Features

Using a digital communication system for your business gives you a plethora of features not accessible when using traditional phone lines, both benefiting you, your team and your customers and clients. 

Such features are:

  • Customisable Voicemail 
  • Digital Receptionist
  • Call Forwarding 
  • Call Recording 
  • Full Report and Analytics

✅ No Second Phone

A great advantage of using a second phone number  is not having to carry around a second work phone. Not only is this a hassle for team members, it also makes life more complicated and less organised. A business number is supposed to make life easier for the person using it, not complicated it further. Having a second number, instead of a second phone, simplifies but maintains work communications for employees. Also, giving out second phones for work greatly contributes to e-waste, as many of them end up in landfill when someone is done with it; with a virtual number, you simply reassign the number to a different employee when someone is done with it. 

✅ Professionalism

Lastly, having a second phone number allows you to stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers while still maintaining professionalism. Whether you are part of, or running, a small business, working for yourself, or a freelancer, having a professional phone number can go a long way in gaining customers’ trust and confidence in you and your business. Giving out your personal number is not only ideal for you, but also not comfortable for the customer. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have an online landline number, if you chose, for your business to maintain professionalism and privacy. 

How To Get A Second Phone Number 

As mentioned above, all you need is an app and internet connection to use a second phone number for work. 

You simply purchase a plan, Teams or Solo, and download the app! 

By purchasing a Teams package for your business, you gain access to the Devyce Portal where you can assign and deassign numbers to your employees. All they need to do is download the app to activate their number and that’s it! 

The best thing is that you can track your team’s phone usage and get all the data on where calls are coming from, how long they are and who is answering them to get a clear understanding of your business’ communications. 

Switch to a digital communication system for your business and improve communications by giving your employees a second phone number. 

Devyce Plans: https://devyce.com/pricing/ 

Sources

https://www.techstrange.com/second-phone-number-app-for-business/

https://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2019/12/01/why-have-a-different-phone-number-for-business/

https://www.grammarly.com/business/learn/digital-communication-strategies/?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=search1gbnbstyleguidedsa&utm_targetid=dsa-1296364243343&gclid=CjwKCAjw8sCRBhA6EiwA6_IF4XLPe0nJsgPPCguig9KGXqbwu-Xfj7R7pyul_Fia3eBvqjZ2TMYN4hoC7hMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.ukpostbox.com/blog/how-to-digitise-your-business-comms

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8955-virtual-phone-numbers.html

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

How VoIP Systems Work And How It Will Improve Your Small Business

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In an ever increasing digital world, it is key to keep your business up to date with the latest digital trends. VoIP phone systems are quickly becoming the new favourite for businesses; read more to learn what a VoIP system is, how VoIP systems work and which is the best VoIP system for you and your business. 

What is a VoIP system?

VoIP phone systems are the new age landlines. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) does as it says, uses the internet to make and receive calls completely wirelessly. VoIP systems digitise calls and texts and send them through internet lines, rather than ordinary landlines. VoIP has been around for a while, but is becoming more and more popular as it is evolving to be quicker, cheaper and more efficient. Many businesses and households already use VoIP systems for their communications, a seemingly clever move as landlines are slowly becoming obsolete. 

How do VoIP systems work? 

VoIP systems work over the internet, but what does that mean? 

Well, in the simplest of explanations, VoIP systems digitise your voice into online data and send it to your phone provider via the internet, which is then passed on to the receiver. 

VoIP phone systems rely on high speed internet to make and receive communications; this means you can make calls with a VoIP system on a computer, a mobile phone or a VoIP adapter. 

 

Advantages of using a VoIP phone system for small businesses

Small businesses all over the world are switching to VoIP phone systems and seeing great results. In a study conducted by CISCO, it was reported that small businesses who switched to VoIP systems saw a 77% increase in productivity due to the unique features VoIP phone systems offer that landlines do not. 

Features included with VoIP systems include: 

  • Virtual receptionist
  • Call forwarding 
  • Voicemail transcription 
  • Do Not Disturb button 
  • Conference call
  • Call recording 
  • Call logs
  • On-hold music
  • SMS capability 

These features are designed for small businesses to make communication easier, more efficient and streamlined. Whereas landlines only call, because VoIP phone systems are online, there is an unlimited list of features that can be added. 

So, what are the advantages of using a VoIP phone system for your small business?

Cost efficient
Perhaps the best advantage of the VoIP phone system is the price. Most VoIP providers charge a monthly fee, based on how many users are on it rather than how many minutes are used; meaning you can have unlimited calls for a lower price. For example, most VoIP providers will charge around £20-30 a month, whereas landlines will charge around £50-75 a month. 

Call from anywhere
Remote and hybrid working is the new normal since the pandemic. VoIP phone systems support the remote and hybrid work model, as it allows employees to communicate from wherever they are, whether it is at home, at work or on the other side of the world. 

Scalability
With a cloud-based phone system you can add or remove phone lines for new or leaving employees. As your business grows, your phone system can too, without any stress or hassle. 

Better Customer Support
Being able to contact customer support in case of an emergency is essential when running a small business. If your phone lines are down, it can negatively affect the accessibility of your business and leave customers stranded and unhappy with your service. Most VoIP service providers maintain direct contact with you and your company, so that if you have any issues they are available straight away to fix your problem; you won’t have to wait hours or days to get a reply from a big corporation. 

Simple Equipment
VoIP being a cloud based service not only provides better quality and service, it also presents a more practical solution for small businesses. To use a VoIP phone system you don’t need any extra equipment or IT specialists to install and manage it, which not only makes life easier for you but also saves time and money for your business.

However, it has to be noted that because VoIP systems are internet dependent, they can be at risk of cutting out if your internet is not strong enough, there is a power outage or a system failure on your router. Most small businesses will depend on high speed internet anyway, so won’t have to worry about changing their router to support a VoIP phone system. Still, the advantages outweigh the potential issues. 

The best VoIP system

There are many VoIP phone systems on offer to small businesses, you’ll want to get the best one for the best price. The good thing about VoIP phone systems is that all you need is high quality internet connection, a router and a modem, all which businesses have anyway, to get started. The big question is which provider to go with.

Devyce is a VoIP service that specialises in the needs of a small business. Devyce know what a small business needs in terms of communication, and they deliver. Devyce offer a special Teams Package tailored to small businesses at only £15.99 a month per user. With Devyce, the account manager has access to the Portal, which provides instant number allocation and deallocation, call forwarding, call recording, full call reporting and analytics and CRM integration. You can give your employees a new number, or bring their number to Devyce by porting. Devyce provides an easy, cheap and efficient VoIP phone system that optimises your small businesses communication and, with customer support available 24/7, supports you every step of the way. 

Learn more about Devyce Teams here: https://devyce.com/resources/onboarding-portal/

Purchase your company Teams Package here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

 

Sources

https://www.structuredcommunications.co.uk/how-do-voip-phones-work-a-step-by-step-guide/

https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/beginners-guide-what-is-voip-and-how-does-it-work-explained/

https://www.business.com/articles/voip/ 

https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/guides/internet/internet-phone-voip-offers

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8924-voip-for-business.html

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/voip-vs-landline/

https://gisuser.com/2022/01/why-voip-systems-are-popular-among-small-business/

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

The New Normal: How to Navigate Hybrid Working

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As we enter yet another year of the pandemic, the world of work is unsettling. You may be wondering what is the hybrid way of working and how can you benefit from it?

As 2022 begins, many of us may be cautiously optimistic that this could be the final year of the COVID pandemic. Vaccine boosters and new covid treatments seem to be the answer to the ongoing chaos. However, in the meantime, how do we go about our day to day lives, returning to work as if all is normal?

Many of us are returning to work in 2022 with anxiety; social anxiety, work anxiety or merely anxiety of getting sick. So how should we navigate this? Remote working seems to be a thing of the past as more and more of us are returning to offices, but what about those of us who long to be in the comfort of our homes during work days?

According to Maureen Kennedy, head of coaching at Bravely in NYC, “for life at work, there is no ‘back to normal’”. So what is the new normal then? A survey conducted by Slack, of 3,480 remotely working employees, revealed that 63% of their employees favoured a hybrid working model, compared to 20% stated they wanted to keep working remotely and only 12% expressed they wanted to return to full time in-office work. Although some employees desire to continue working full time at home, most are attracted to a balance of the two, working in office some of the week, and at home for the rest; hybrid working.


 

So, what is hybrid working?

2020 made it clear to us that it was no longer safe to travel to work everyday amidst a global pandemic. Remote working took over, and many adapted to working at the kitchen table or makeshift office spaces in their homes, dealing with interrupting pets and children. This strange new way of working left us wanting to get out into the world again, eager to escape the over familiarity of our homes during lockdown. But now that things are open again, where does that leave the world of work? Do we return to the office, acting as if nothing changed? Most people would agree the world of work has fundamentally changed and the way we work, how we work and where we work ought to be rethought.

Say goodbye to sweaty tube commutes and the traditional 9am-5pm work schedule. Large numbers of companies, big and small, are embracing the hybrid work model, allowing employees the freedom to choose how and where they work.

The hybrid work model is a balance of working on-site and at home, a combination of the old style full time office work and the COVID era full time remote work. Perhaps, the best of both worlds; hybrid work is the new remote work.

Overall, the hybrid work model is appealing to those who are unsure if they are ready to fully return to the office in 2022 – or if they ever want to return full time again.


 

What can we gain from hybrid working?

Hybrid working allows employees to work in whatever environment they feel most comfortable in; some may shine working from home, others may enjoy the office environment. The combination of the two, not only gives more autonomy to the employee, but also increases employee productivity and satisfaction. A recent survey conducted by Envoy demonstrated that 47% of employees would be likely to seek different employment if their current employers would not offer hybrid work.

Flexibility and Productivity

The hybrid work model abolishes the traditional 9-5 office model giving employees the freedom to work when suits them. This doesn’t mean that employees all around the world are slacking off. In a hybrid work model, the flexibility allows people to work around their lives, which seems to be a major flaw in the office model. It seems the office model neglects to take into account that some people work better early in the morning, while others are more productive in the evening; or some work better in a social environment, and others better solo.

Health and safety

Health and safety is a big one. Envoy also reported that 66% of employees are worried about their health and safety when asked about returning to the office. A hybrid work model encourages less people in the office at one time, lowering the change of sick employees passing on their illness. Many companies have also begun to require lateral flow testing, health screenings or proof of covid vaccinations, before allowing people to return to work. It also allows a sick employee to stay home, and still work, protecting others, and reducing absenteeism.

Mental health

In some cases, the hybrid model has had a positive impact on employees’ mental health by getting rid of some of the stresses that go along with the traditional in-office work model. It has also, due to flexibility, given employees the freedom to practice wellness to improve their mental health throughout the workday. However, there are limitations, for some, having to work from home means isolation and a lack of inspiration; which is why the hybrid model works for both.

Physical footprint

Many companies are focused on eliminating or cutting down carbon footprint and going green.

Hybrid work relies on technology, so requires companies to switch to cloud based technologies and VoIP’s. E-waste is a huge part of the global climate crisis, as technology is manufactured in the thousands, as quickly as it is disposed of.

Instead of buying tens, hundreds or even thousands of physical handsets for employees, employers can remove their physical footprint by using a remote work phone, allowing their employees to use their office landline or mobile numbers in and out of the office.

Devyce offers a ‘Teams Package’ for companies, big and small, wanting to eliminate their physical footprint and cater to the new hybrid way of working. Employers can purchase as many numbers as they need and give them out to their employees, as well as monitor the calls on the Portal. Centralising calls, inbound and outbound calls, in one place can also benefit the employee, allowing them to work more productively and concisely with a remote work phone.


 

Are there issues with the Hybrid Work Model?

The hybrid work model is fairly untested, as an evolutionary adaptation of remote working, so there are some issues that ought to be addressed. Just as employees are learning the new rules of hybrid working, so are employers.

Equality

Will an employer be able to ensure fairness and equality in offering a hybrid model to everyone in their team? Or will some people have to continue to work entirely at home or in the office? This could cause resentment or upset among employees, affecting productivity or morale.

Some people may want to adopt the hybrid model but be unable to work from home, due to space constraints or WIFI issues; working from home may not be productive for them at all, therefore, would they be able to work in the office everyday of the week, or is that out of the question?

Ability to Collaborate

It can be harder to collaborate with team members or bounce ideas off one another over Zoom. How can we learn and connect with each other over the computer? Would someone struggle to have their voice heard in a meeting online?

Remote employees may feel disconnected from their coworkers, causing difficulties achieving work goals. A remote work phone number, separate from their personal number, can help connect people to their coworkers, even from home, without mixing work and personal too much.


 

Making the most of hybrid working

Adapting to hybrid working can be difficult and there might be some growing pains. Considering the pros and cons, both employers and employees have the opportunity to make the most out of this new way of working.

For example, ‘rituals’ at home can help separate the day out as if you were in an office. When going into work, you get up, get dressed and commute everyday, in the same fashion, so the same could be done when working from home, while being able to add new elements to your routine to boost motivation even more.

Creating a clear separation between work and home can be tricky when those two overlap for half of the week. It may be difficult to manage the boundaries between work and personal life when hybrid working; measures have to be taken to make sure employees can switch off at the end of the work day and leave, although not physically, the working day behind. Devyce supports this ethos, with its ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature, in which you can pick and choose what days and times people can reach you on your Devyce number, allowing you to switch off from work despite being in the same environment.

Hybrid working is new to all of us, but, in a way, we are familiar with each section of it. Office working is traditionally how we work, and remote working has been how most of us have worked since the beginning of the pandemic; doesn’t it make sense to combine the two? Considering the pros and cons, would you be keen to adopt the ways of hybrid working?

Is hybrid working not only the new normal, but the future? The world of work has been redefined by the pandemic and the outcome is a fairer, greener and more efficient hybrid way of working.

Devyce offers a remote work phone number to support the new normal of hybrid work; see our pricing plans here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

Sources:
https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/flexible-working/planning-hybrid-working#gref
https://envoy.com/blog/what-is-a-hybrid-work-model/
https://timewise.co.uk/article/make-a-success-of-hybrid-working/
https://billieapp.io/2021/10/12/the-benefits-of-a-hybrid-work-model-and-why-its-here-to-stay/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/01/03/the-great-redefinition-of-work-in-2022/?sh=35d59c7d4d9b
https://nypost.com/2021/12/19/how-to-navigate-a-part-home-part-office-setup/
https://www.orielpartners.co.uk/blog/hybrid-working 

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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