More and more businesses are boarding the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ train, saving money and increasing productivity.
But as with anything there’s a right way to deploy, and a wrong way to deploy.
Pairing a personal device with a professional number is a smart idea — but using a personal device and a personal number can be a minefield.
Accidental tax evasion
Let’s start with the big one.
There are two main ways businesses cover the cost of staff using personal phones for work. Either they pay the whole contract, or they provide a monthly allowance towards the cost.
Ok, so, what’s the problem?
If a business contributes to staff personal expenses — like a phone bill — that’s a ‘Benefit in Kind’ which employees need to pay income tax on. Failing to declare these benefits is tax evasion, and HMRC frowns upon tax evasion.
Would HMRC really pursue something like this? Yes, they do, on a regular basis.
There are a couple of ways to deal with this. You can take a fine tooth comb to each employee’s phone bill and only pay for the business calls. I hope you’re feeling patient.
You can secure a separate phone number for them, on the same device, for a nominal cost. We’d back this option, obviously.
Coming across as unprofessional
Compared to tax evasion, this might not seem too serious. But a business that doesn’t look professional isn’t going to get much work, make much money, or keep trading very long.
So it’s pretty serious.
Contact details are one of the first pieces of information any potential client looks at. If all they see is a personal mobile number, it signals a small operation without the resources to secure premises or a landline.
Compared to a competitor with similar product and pricing, the business with suspect contact details won’t stack up.
Freelancers in particular cite finding new clients as their biggest problem, bigger even than maintaining a reasonable cash flow.
But with CircleLoop, the local and national landline numbers you need come as standard, putting any business on even footing with the big players.
Falling off the Work / Life balance
Working hard to build your business is admirable, but everyone has their limits. In fact, the link between occupational stress and poor health is so strong that the NHS officially advise against taking out-of-hours call and emails.
Workplace technologies have grown so quickly that the workforce hasn’t been able to set appropriate boundaries. Our clients can set call routing behaviours based on the time of day, sending out-of-hour calls to a mailbox or a different number. Without needing to turn off your phone, you can be sure that no work calls are coming your way.
With the ability to redirect work calls after hours you’ll be happier, and you might even live longer. We’ve built this as a key feature of CircleLoop because we know it’s the kind of flexibility that modern SMEs absolutely depend on.
Protecting your privacy
There was a time when privacy meant closing your blinds in the evening. Now, privacy is a topic that infiltrates every aspect of modern life.
While most of us are discreet with private contact details, we advertise our work number as widely as possible. Personal phones also make performance monitoring murky for leaders. Keeping on top of staff/client interactions can be an important part of management, but with personal calls in the mix, it’s hard to know where to draw the line.
We’ve thought long and hard about this at CircleLoop, and set up the live activity feed. With the activity feed, it couldn’t be simpler to keep on top of client interactions — without setting foot in the personal records of employees.
CircleLoop is the smart online phone system that allows you to make and receive calls with the devices you already have.
Get in touch today, and get in the loop.