Topic: What is the best Home Office Phone for your needs?
So, you have your own room and your office furniture is assembled and ready to start – what’s next?
Once your office space is ready, it’s time to start marketing your home business: you need a good telephone.
And, since you will probably type or write a lot while on the phone, you should make sure that you get one of the best speakerphones for your home office.
But first things first: your home office needs its own landline number. Nothing is more detrimental to your business than giving the impression of being unprofessional.
In some circumstances (for instance, a quick chat with a well-established client), it is no problem to receive a call while in the kitchen with your children. Having this freedom to work while being accessible to your family really is the point of a home business, after all.
But when you are just starting out, the last thing you want to do is come across as unprofessional to new and prospective clients.
Your office needs its own number
- 1 Your office needs its own number
- 2 What is the optimal phone for me?
- 3 Office Phone for your needs
- 4 Desk phone and Mobile Handheld in one
Before you and your client develop mutual trust, in my opinion, it is imperative that the first calls you have with your prospective client take place in a quiet room – and, most importantly, that incoming calls cannot be mistaken for being of a personal nature.
Imagine that you slept in and your spouse or child answers a business call…and they tell the business caller in all honesty that you are still taking a shower … this actually happened to me. It isn’t the ideal first contact with a client.
In most cases, you absolutely need a telephone number that is used solely for business purposes…and a door you can close.
Of course, it depends on your type of business: if you are an author, it’s not generally a big deal if your publisher calls and is answered by your family. But if you are trying to get new clients for your Realtor business, well, that might be another story.
So, with telephone lines and additional phone numbers being very affordable these days, get your office its own telephone number. Check with your service provider for special offers for a second number to your existing line – you may be able to get your business phone number at a very low rate, or even free!
Once you have acquired a dedicated business phone number, all you need is your business phone. So, what is the best phone for your home office?
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What is the optimal phone for me?
Here are my criteria for my personal best home office phone: it must be a desk phone with a speaker, for several reasons.
On the one hand, I can type in the telephone number with – well, one hand. Sure, that’s also possible with a mobile handset…but desk phones can provide a few more advantages over their portable counterparts as well.
The speakers and microphones in desktop phones often have a better quality, so that communicating under stress (for example, in a tense situation when you need to concentrate and understand exactly what the client is telling you, without the added annoyance of a crackling speaker).
High-quality sound and microphone performance is mandatory.
Why I am looking for the best speakerphone
Also, a desk phone has much more stability: when you use the speakerphone feature on a cordless phone and lay it on the table to do something with your hands, the phone rocks around from your movements and makes a clicking or clunking noise that you aren’t even aware of on your end of the line.
Finally, there is one other major reason that I personally prefer to use a desk phone over a cordless phone: I do not want to have the radiation that a cordless phone constantly emits next to my head. Like most people in the developed world, I have had my fair share of radiation exposure from electronics for years – and being a bit worried about that, I would never use a cordless phone for my desk. I would be simply using it too much.
Why I prefer a cord
A phone with a cord is just as convenient, or even more so, for my business needs, and makes me feel safer. So even though I do have a cordless phone with speakers for home use, actually quite a good model from Gigaset, I much prefer the desk phone for daily regular use.
For my home office, I also like a phone with a clear display and Caller ID. When you know who is calling before you even pick up the phone, you can be sure to always answer the call appropriately.
An answering machine is also a necessary feature for my ideal home office phone, because even when you work from home, you may not be available to answer each and every call. An answering machine ensures that you won’t miss any opportunities to connect with your clients.
For my ideal home office phone, I’m willing to pay up to $150 – it’s well worth the money to have optimal call and speaker quality, and all of the features I need to make my business run smoothly.
Office Phone for your needs
So, now that you’ve got an idea of my ideal home office phone, let’s find the best home office phone for you. If you are anything like me, you mostly will stay at your desk in your home office most of the time.
If you are anything like me, you mostly will stay at your desk in your home office most of the time … But, you might also want to carry your phone around in the house. Perhaps you need to do calls from the kitchen on occasion (with familiar clients). Maybe you share my concerns about the electromagnetic fields, so would like to use the desk phone as often as possible – but also find that it’s going to be necessary to conduct calls away from your desk as well.
If you see the advantages and disadvantages of both the desk phone and a cordless phone, then maybe you need both to ensure smooth sailing for your business calls. A desk phone and a mobile handheld will both ideally have a speakerphone, so you can have your hands free for other tasks while talking.
Do I like to move around while talking? Absolutely. As long as the sound quality is adequate for a given call, I use the mobile handset on speakerphone. But, most often, I sit at my desk and use the desk phone.
Desk phone and Mobile Handheld in one
Luckily, we can combine the best of both worlds with products which offer two phones in one: They are desk phones but come with a handset or the capability to add a handset later, so you don’t have to decide.
Okay – now, let’s talk specific brands: what office phone is the best, in my opinion?
Panasonic products have always been a great buy for me. And yes, there are several intriguing Panasonic desk phone or combination models to choose from.
But to begin with, I suggest we do a standard search, to be open to something new.
From the start, there are very interesting products from AT&T and Panasonic on the first page of search results. But you can’t rely on the order of products in search results for finding the best quality phone.
I did – and still do – a lot of research about the different phones on the Amazon marketplace. I have actually read many disappointing reviews, even for phones which have an average rating higher than 4 stars. So it took more than a fast, basic search to come up with a high-quality, reliable office desk phone.
Sure, there can always be problems with the phone you order, even with the highest rated products. Luckily, on the off chance that you get a defective product, you have the option of utilizing one of the things I like about Amazon: their customer support.
Best Home Office Phone December 2016
Update November 2016: The Panasonic that I originally recommend below, way back in 2012, is still one of the best home office phones. But it now has a successor, which is a newer model that comes at an even better price:
No products found.
Best Phone 2012-2016
Having read all these reviews, I would go for the Panasonic KX-TG4771B Dect_6.0 1-Handset 1-Line Landline Telephone.
No products found.
This Panasonic phone is an office desk phone that comes with one handset. It features the newest DECT technology and comes with the DECT Eco mode, which reduces the communication between the base station and the handheld when resting on the base station – meaning decreased electromagnetic pulses between the two parts.
The phone has an 18-minute digital answering system included, is expandable up to 6 handsets, and you can adjust the volume of the handset. It also has a display with the Caller-ID capability and a speakerphone function.
Its features and specifications include:
- Number of phone lines: 1
- Comes with one cordless handset; can connect up to 6 handhelds
- Eco Mode: Yes
- The handset can connect to a Headset (!)
- Can do conference calls
- Voice Mail: Yes
- Answering Machine: Yes
It’s priced around $80, so well within my budget.
The reviewers (1400 reviews and over 600 answered questions at the time of this writing) like the phone very much, except for a handful of 1-Star ratings (mostly due to the phone being dead on arrival or a long wait for delivery). Most reviewers have expressed satisfaction with their purchase of this phone.
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