We all have cell phones, so who needs a business phone system anymore?

Most everyone is working remote these days. And we have become so accustomed to using our cell phone for everything... that most of us would need surgery to remove our permanently affixed mobile phones from our hands. So why not just use your cell phone for work calls, too? For 5 very good reasons. 

Don’t worry–  you can still use your beloved cell phone for business and personal calls….you just need to use it the RIGHT way. 

Here’s why you should think twice before using your cell phone for work calls,  and how to keep the convenience without the drawbacks:

1. Perception

You may be the most dignified professional in the world, and your organization could be a cutting-edge enterprise, but if you answer a business call the same way you’d answer a personal call on your cell phone, it will destroy that image in an instant.  It’s unprofessional, plain and simple. 

Even if you conduct yourself with the utmost decorum, the delays, dropped calls, static, call backs, etc. that are associated with juggling calls from the company line over to your personal line are unacceptable to customers. Rather than impressing that prospective client with your professionalism, they now have a mental image of a guy in his garage, and the perception of your organization is ruined. using a personal cell number for business is unprofessional

Simple Fix: Modern phone systems have all the fancy features you’d expect a legitimate business to have, and come with mobile applications that function just like an executive’s desk phone.  This means that although customers may be reaching you through an app on your mobile, the perception on their end is a neatly dressed jet-setter sitting in a swanky glass-walled high-rise office. 

Since they are connecting through your company extension, you can see that the call is coming from the company’s system, so you don’t blow the image when you answer.  The only thing these modern phone systems and apps can’t do is make sure your dog doesn’t bark during your company meeting– that part is up to you.


2. Security

You may be tired of hearing about cyber security, but this is one area where you need to pay attention. If  your smartphone was ever used to make an online payment, all it takes for a hacker to get your credit card info is your phone number.  All your autosaved passwords to personal and business accounts are easily accessed as well.

Simple Fix: Don’t give out your cell number!   A qualified telecom provider can set up mobility for your company’s phone system, so that employees can work from anywhere, but operate within the safe realm of the business phone system.

Keeping your personal number out of the spotlight will significantly decrease the chances hackers target you. This will preserve the safety of your personal data without affecting mobility and convenience since you only need to have one phone on you.


 3. Boundaries

What’s the fastest way to burn out and alienate your friends and family?  Be “on the clock” at all times.  If you are giving out your personal phone number, or having work calls forwarded to your personal number, your work/life balance will be anything but balanced.  Getting calls at all hours causes stress to the recipient, those around them, and that irritation will spill over into your demeanor when you answer business calls– ultimately having a negative effect on business as well.

Simple fix: Mobile business apps can have personalized schedules and “Do Not Disturb” features to make sure that work calls are handled properly and during their designated hours.  They also ensure that you know whether an incoming call is personal or business, so that both can be handled appropriately. 

 4. Liability

Did you know that clients’ voicemails left on your employee’s cellphone when the call was transferred to them is subject to compliance regulations?  If your company stores personal data (caution: voicemails, text messages, emails, etc. all count as “storing” data), you could be in violation of compliance laws and be liable for some bone-crushing fines and penalties.

Then there’s the liability that you face as to losing valuable client and company data if your teammates are using cell phones for business calls.  If that mobile device is no longer around… whether it gets lost, stolen, or your employee leaves, how will you get any of that information?

Simple Fix: You guessed it: mobile apps that are tied into your company’s phone system.  You only need to have one phone on you– but the data is stored within the secure environment of the business phone system.  Although you access those voicemails, SMS messages and emails through your personal device, they are not “stored” there, but are kept safe in a separate secure server. Make sure the phone system platform you choose, whether premise-based, cloud-based, or hybrid, is fully compliant and will offer you a BAA (Business Associate Agreement) regarding their protection of data.


 4. Functionality/ Efficiency

This bears repeating for emphasis: your cell phone is not made for business functionality. Even if you don’t have heavy call volume, the functionality you lose on a personal cell phone is a big waste of time for everyone.  There is a significant time-lag and calls are often lost when transferring to an external number, and you do not have the ability to move the call to another extension, into a voicemail box, or into another department’s call cue.

Simple Fix:  Utilize business features by directing all business calls through a professional system. Auto attendants that offer a professional greeting, a menu to direct calls to the right person, and company information  provide a professional and efficient customer experience.  They also cut down on interruptions and misdirected calls that diminish productivity.

5. Visibility

If your employees use their personal numbers to deal with customers, you are losing all visibility and tracking of crucial business data. Tracking business activities is crucial to the profitability and decision making of your organization.  When clients interact with your company through employees’ personal numbers, however, you lose all that data and insight.  And what if all those customers and contacts leave with that employee?

Simple Fix:  Current phone systems solve this problem easily. All business interactions are conducted within a consistent communication environment, providing full awareness of what’s going on, and analytics and metrics that lead to continuous improvement. Call recording, call statistics and detailed reporting and more are included in a business-class system.


During these critical times, organizations need to be flexible, mobile, and economical.  Phone systems cost less today than ever before, and they can be scaled up or down as needed.  Deploying a business phone system will give you the agility you need, without the risk and detrimental effects to your company that come with personal cell phones.


Talk to an experienced, vendor-neutral telecom advisor to find out which platform is right for you.