Nonprofits are the glue that holds communities together. Many nonprofits have staff routinely out in the community. As a result, many of these individuals rely on personal cellphones for communications with clients, the community, and their fellow staff. While using personal cell phones for work communications may be convenient, it can have a major impact on work/life balance for employees, as well as have negative implications for your organization. Below are our top reasons to not use personal cellphones in the nonprofit workplace and our suggested solution for quick, easy communications both in the office and in the field.
The Top 3 Reasons Using Personal Cellphones for Nonprofit Work Doesn’t Work
- Being too accessible affects work/life balance- Using your personal number increases the likelihood that your work and home lives will slowly become one. Nonprofit workers will see after hour calls from clients and feel compelled to answer since they are so passionate about their career. The typical 9-5 workday can easily turn into an on-call 24/7 day when personal cellphones are the primary mode of work communications. This leads to work fatigue because workers feel they can never fully “unplug” and enjoy their weekend or vacation. Nonprofits want to retain the great talent they have. Giving your employees their own work phone line that only rolls over to field workers only during business hours is a great option. It allows your employees to stay on top of important client work during business hours but gives them the ability to fully unwind at the end of the day and enjoy their personal lives.
- Not Having One Contact Number Creates Confusion- Using personal cell phone numbers for communications between nonprofit employees and those they serve creates complications when employees leave their jobs. It will be difficult to notify all past and present clients, donors, community influencers, co-workers and other important business contacts that the person has left and given them a new cell phone number and point of contact to call. The last thing any nonprofit wants is for people to feel frustrated trying to reach an employee in your organization and not reaching them or hearing back from that individual within a reasonable time period. Having a centralized phone line that all employees share and have their own extension is the best way to make sure that your organization doesn’t lose touch with key individuals once an employee leaves your organization.
- Using personal cellphones makes it harder for supervisors to keep track of employee work- It is difficult to determine whether an employee is using their personal cell phone for work or for pleasure. According to a survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, the average office employee spends 56 minutes per day using their cell phone at work for non-work activity. That’s 43% more than the 39 minutes most managers said they thought occurred. It is important to give employees a separate work phone line so that you can track employee engagement and give employees accountable for their performance both in and out of the office.
Why a VoIP System is the Best Communications Option
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution for nonprofits, as it ties all communications together in a single phone line, which can be accessed through an office line or on a cellphone when employees are out of the office. VoIP eliminates the need for traditional landlines and allows employees to access their work number. through an internet or Ethernet connection, regardless of location. VoIP provides strong advantages including the following:
- Clients call all nonprofit staff through the main phone line.
- VoIP can roll over calls to employees cellphones only during business hours, allowing them to have better work/life balance.
- VoIP allows management to send important messages to all employees and volunteers seamlessly in times of crisis
- Easy to manage voicemail and notifications via email or text that messages are available or need attention.