Whether you work for a huge company, a small business, or are self-employed, odds are that you find yourself using your personal cell phone number for work purposes. Not only is this a quick and easy way for colleagues, clients, and coworkers to reach you at a moment’s notice, it’s a bit like carrying a mini-office around in your pocket!
Sometimes, this can be a really good thing. Other times, it can be too much of a good thing.
Many people struggle to maintain that perfect work/life balance when it comes to accessibility. Some people choose to go with separate cell phones for work and personal use. But for a lot of busy professionals, the concept of adding additional devices to your life in order to simplify just doesn’t make sense. And for others, the mere thought of keeping track of multiple phones is stressful in and of itself.
Striking a balance
Being a dedicated, responsive employee and professional is important. But being accessible 24/7 isn’t always necessary or healthy.
What happens if…
- A business relationship sours?
- You change jobs, positions, companies, or careers?
- A vendor/prospect/client doesn’t understand appropriate times to reach out to you?
- Your boss is constantly texting and calling – even when your off work or on vacation?
Blocking certain numbers isn’t always possible, especially if the offender is your boss. And changing your cell phone number is a painful task.
Luckily, there is a way to have the best of both worlds. In a single cell phone, no less!
Enter Google Voice
Google Voice is a free service that gives you an additional phone number you can use to make calls. Even better is that you don’t have to make a forever commitment. You can delete the old number and get a new number at any time. Additionally, you can have your Google Voice number set to Do Not Disturb whenever you wish… without disrupting calls to your personal cell phone number!
Does this sound like just what the doctor ordered?
Here’s how to get set up:
- To get started, visit https://voice.google.com.
- Click the SIGN IN link at the top right of the screen. Log in to your Google account or create an account on this screen.
- Once signed in, you will be prompted to choose a Google voice number. If you do not see this prompt, click the hamburger menu icon at the top left, select Settings, and click to get a number on the right side.
- Enter your city and state in the search box so that Google can give you some numbers that look local to your area. Pick one of the suggested numbers that you want to use.
- You will now be required to enter your real cell phone number in order to link it to your Google Voice account. Enter your number and then enter the verification code that Google sends.
- Your Google Voice account is now set up!
Using Your Google Voice Number
- Visit the Play Store (Android) or iTunes (Apple) and download the Google Voice app. When it finishes installing, run it!
- The next steps can vary. Try to follow the prompts to get set up. Everything should automatically link, but if it doesn’t, you can always visit https://voice.google.com, click the hamburger menu at the top left, and then go to settings to view your Google Voice number and any other info you might need.
- Now for the fun part! Any time you want to make a call from your Google Voice number, open the Google Voice app and place your call. Any time you want to make a personal call, just use your phone’s basic phone app! Go ahead and test it out before using it so you can ensure it is protecting your number!
Finding your balance
Even the most committed employees, business professionals and service providers need to have structure, boundaries, and down time. If you're having trouble separating yourself from your work and your work from everything else, Google Voice can help.
Need some time away from your tiny, hand held office? Use the Google Voice settings to set your Do Not Disturb. That way, your work calls won’t come through when you don’t need them, but your personal calls will.
If you want to change or delete your Google Voice number, the settings on the Google Voice website are more thorough than what’s available in the voice app.
Now go forth and use your personal device without worry knowing you can be as connected (or disconnected) as you need to be!
Written by Josh Payette, IT professional at Raffa Financial Services
Raffa's resident IT whiz kid, Josh not only possesses infinite technological know-how, he also has killer design skills. Which pretty much makes him our resident unicorn as well. A problem solver by nature, Josh uses his endless energy and powerful programming powers to keep our various systems running at full throttle— so we can help our clients to do the same.
Photo by ocusfocus