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Written by
Katy Ratican
23 Aug 2021
3 minutes

The effects of phone calls after work hours

Extended workdays can have a negative impact on employees and small business owners. Learn how a smart piece of technology can solve the problem
Work phone calls after hours

Phone calls after work hours were always an unwelcome idea. Both businesses and employees knew that an after-hours phone call should only be the last option. But how do you deal with phone calls after work hours when the concept of work hours itself has changed?

The ‘always available’ syndrome

While remote work has demonstrably enhanced productivity, it has also added excruciatingly long working days for some employees. What was supposed to deliver a better work-life balance has led to a situation where workers have to be reachable beyond their scheduled hours.

In the past, an employer would usually hesitate to call a team member after work hours unless it was extremely urgent. But the pandemic changed that. Now that many employees are working from home, they are considered always available.

This adds significant pressure on workers, so they take phone calls after work hours and at weekends.

If left unchecked, frustrated employees will opt for greener pastures that offer greater freedom and flexibility. After all, the Great Resignation is apparently coming.

It affects everyone

If you’re a small business owner, in all likelihood you don’t have an extended team to take care of your calls. You may not have an outsourced customer support unit as well. This doesn’t mean that you can be lax about after-hours work calls.

It could be an aggrieved customer or a client with an urgent query. If they don’t get an answer, they might become disgruntled and even go on social media or online review platforms. Needless to say, that could negatively impact your brand identity.

The not-for-everyone solution

The traditional solution to the problem has been a business answering service. Here, you outsource your call and text management to an agency that would regularly update you.

But this isn’t for everyone. It may not be budget-friendly, especially for small businesses, early-stage startups, contractors and freelancers. It’s also cumbersome to set up and it may take a day or two to become operational.

So, is there a cost-effective and smart solution to the problem of phone calls after work hours?

Second-line apps

If you opt for a second-line app, you or your employees don’t have to worry about banning phone calls after work hours. They are easy to download and set up and you get several value-added features that will help you to streamline your after-hours communication.

Even a single missed call could mean the loss of a potential business opportunity. But with second-line apps, you won’t have to miss them during after-hours. You can set up auto-reply texts to callers, which will show them that you respect them enough to respond to their calls. It can also direct them to your website or to chat support if they’re customers.

In short

If not controlled, phone calls after work hours will deplete the morale of employees and leave small business owners frustrated. A virtual number is a smart and practical way to deal with calls after work hours while being professional and engaging. It will boost your team’s efficiency and deliver that much-needed work-life balance.

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