How To Manage Phones When Hot-Desking (Options and Facts Included)


A typical hot desking environment usually entails multiple company employees sharing a limited number of desks, so a good question is how are incoming phone calls handled. With official business calls coming in for different employees at different times, how are the calls handled when employee desks are ever-shifting. Carrying around personal landlines is not a feasible solution, so an alternative approach is to be considered.  The answer is much simpler than most will think. It involves adopting a centralized call redirection model.

So how do companies manage phones while hot desking? An answer is many call redirection platforms and virtual telephones. Virtual telephone services allow users to access their official phones and their contents from any standard landline installed in their current workspace. A typical example of virtual telephones is the PBX [which stands for private branch exchange].

Practical Solutions to Managing Phones in a Hot-Desking Environment

It has been established that the PBX is the modern and the only way to manage calls and other telecommunications needs in a hot-desking environment. With the introduction of modern technology suddenly old PBX devices don’t appear as desirable. People like to settle for PBXes that redirect calls without all the stress of rewiring and upgrades.

What Exactly are PBXes [private branch exchange] and what do they do?

o   It traditionally entails a small box that is installed on site that receives and redirects calls and messages to devices that are connected to it.

o   It uses an elaborate system to distribute the incoming calls amongst the employees.

o   It also performs other complex actions like call transfers, call scheduling, and auto attendants.

o   However, with the integration of the internet into PBX has caused its abilities and meaning to change. The use of a physical apparatus has become unnecessary. All these services are now offered without the additional cost and maintenance a physical device usually requires. The services have been rebranded as Virtual or Hosted PBX.

o   Although most services don’t refer to themselves as PBX services, they still offer the full range of services that a PBX company offers.

o   What a PBX does allows you to take your work phone and its functionality around with you.

o   Services that are provided by PBX companies include calling, receiving calls, voice mails, scheduling calls, etc.


Related Open Sourced Workplace Articles:

– Quick Guide to Hot-DeskingOpens in a new tab.

– Psychological Impact of Hot DeskingOpens in a new tab.


Ten Facts about PBX [private branch exchange]

·       PBXes usually come in four forms, and they were specifically designed to handle situations that arise from a disorganized work model like a hot desking environment.

·       The system is capable of redirecting calls, accessing to voicemails and messages, amongst other things. A system like this can be very expensive if you don’t know what you are looking for.  It’s always advisable to select the Hosted PBX system.

·        It offers the most coverage to pay ratio. Not only does it provides actual network coverage, but it can also allow complete access to other telecommunications features, meaning access to all telecommunicating functions, which includes making and receiving calls, rerouting calls, scheduling calls, etc.

·       Without access to an effective PBX system a hot-desking system is not feasible, the inability to communicate with the clientele could cause an overwhelming reduction in productivity.

·       The PBX and its numerous services address the ever-changing workspace; the two systems go hand in hand.

·       It’s a well-known fact that without the security flexibility that a business telephone system like PBX brings, hot desking would not be feasible.

·       A hosted desktop can be up and running in less than a day.

·       Calls from clients or anyone else can be rerouted to a personal Smartphone.

·       Proper communication can increase productivity since there won’t be any delay or misinterpretations when using a PBX.

·       It’s always better to go with a hosted version; all the other models are deficient in one way or the other. The VoIP technology that hosted PBXes uses is much flexible than the traditional model but require an enormous amount of wiring in the form of Ethernet cables. Plus the additional expenses of SIP trunking or PRIs [primary rate interfaces]. The only alternative is the virtual PBX, and it has its faults. This system also employs VoIP technologies without the stress of equipment and upgrades. The network providers provide the services online, and control of the features can be handled by the user via browsers. The system is ideal but costly in the long run as they do not provide network coverage like the Hosted PBX.

Types of Office Management Devices [PBXes]

With the advent of modern technology numerous forms of the PBX has emerged and has offered more economical and efficient solutions to the disorder that a hot desk environment might induce, they are:

·       The IP PBX: this form of PBX that uses the IP technology and signals that are present in most analog phones. Unlike the traditional system, it doesn’t require a physical device, only Ethernet cables. In a hot-desking setup,  an IP PBX enables calls to be taken anywhere in the office, and at home even, the calls can be easily rerouted all that is required is an analog phone and an Ethernet cable. This system, however, means that each employee might have their own analog phones that they might have to lug around.

·       Hosted PBX: This form of PBX is the most popular because of its functionality and flexibility. It runs on a virtual setup and does not require any physical setup, so less money is spent. The service usually runs on the internet. The calls or messages are recorded and transferred over the internet to any device that is supposed to be connected to the Local Area network. Rerouting of calls and other primary functions can be done from a browser or Smartphone. In fact, it’s possible to take calls from home and other essential tasks with the help of Primary Rate Interfaces [PRIs}. Of course, there is a little extra required to install this device but aside from that things are relatively smooth.

·       Virtual PBX: this is somewhat like the Hosted PBX only lighter, it possesses all the key features of the hosted PBX, the only thing that makes it different was the absence of network coverage by the service providers, this alone makes the system impractical. In the end, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

With sophisticated setups like PBXes, it is possible to actively manage the communication that goes on inside and comes in into the company. The hosted PBX is the ideal setup; it incorporates all the features of modern technology and merges it with the systems that the traditional PBX is established on.

Other options aside from the PBX

·       There are other options aside from the PBX, but none of them are worth mentioning because none of them are as efficient as the PBX.

·       Are there options aside from the PBX? This is a common question amongst those who dabble with the hot desking framework, and the answer is always the same. There are no other better options.

Hot Desking With Cell Phones

o   This process involves using the PBX  by configuring it to work with your mobile phone. This process does not affect the quality of the service.

o   It is possible to use your mobile phone as the only means of receiving and conducting all communications related tasks.

o   It is possible to conduct all the needed tasks without ever needing to use a landline.

How does payment for the services work?

o   Payment for the services is just like paying for any other bill. For more modern models of PBXes, a fixed monthly stipend is paid to the service provider.

o   Generally, it’s not expensive; they are relatively better than the alternative which is the company providing personalized cell phones for all its employees.

o   This solution would entail forfeiting all the added advantages that come with a modern PBX.

How immersive is the Private Branch Exchange system?

o   That’s a good question; most companies would like to know if the service they are about to pay for covers all the sectors of corporate telecommunication needs. Their abilities range from saving voicemails to conference calls.

o   It’s far better than the landline system; calls can be routed to mobile phones if the recipient is off-site.  This shows flexibility.

How long does it take to get the system running?

o   This is a popular question; it normally takes less than a day to get the system ready.

o   This, however, extends only to the more modern models.

o   As regards to repair time or upgrade downtime, there are instances where upgrades and other relevant system checks take less than a day.

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