Phone Systems for Offices: How They Work

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Phone Systems for Offices: How They Work

on Thursday, 27 January 2022. Posted in Industry News

Learn about different types of phone systems for offices, how they work, and how to find one that suits your company.

There are various types of phone systems for offices, and finding the right one will help your business save money, become more efficient, improve customer service and, ultimately, boost return on investment. At Virtual Landline, we're here to help you find a system that's tailored to your company so that you can thrive.

What types of phone systems for offices are there?

On Premises systems 

There are two main types of on-premise phone systems for offices: multi-line and PBX systems.

Multi-line telephone systems

With multi-line systems, each employee in an office will have their own phone with their own extension. This allows companies to easily divert calls to the relevant team or employee. Multi-line systems are popular phone systems for offices because they improve efficiency and customer service, helping callers get to the right department quickly. In offices that use them, it’s common for incoming calls to go through an individual handset, where an employee will transfer the caller to the relevant department.

Unsurprisingly, multi-line phone systems require multiple lines. Each phone requires a separate line, which makes installation, maintenance and scalability more expensive. If a customer calls while a phone is engaged, they'll either be notified that the number is busy or be sent through to voicemail. In this way, it becomes easier to miss calls, and potential customers may be left with a bad impression of your business. To remedy this, some multi-line systems have a 'rollover' option, which diverts customer calls to different lines within the company so that calls aren't missed.

While multi-line systems are equipped with call handling features, such as call forwarding, these often aren’t automated, and need to be manually activated.

PBX systems

PBX systems function in the same way as multi-line systems. What distinguishes the two is that PBX systems come with automated features that don’t require an employee to activate them. For instance, incoming callers to PBX systems are likely met with an automated voice which asks them to select from a list of options, thus directing them to the department they desire. Offices utilise PBX systems to be more efficient and cost-effective, as they won’t need to employ a receptionist to manually transfer calls.

Making internal calls is easy with PBX systems - employees simply type in the extension of the person they want to call (this may be a three-digit number). To make calls using the external line, employees usually have to dial a specific number (for example, 9) before the number they’re trying to contact.

VoIP systems

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems make calls over the internet, as opposed to traditional telephone lines. They require minimal hardware, as you won't need to install any new telephone lines in your office to use them. Adding new lines to VoIP systems is easy and inexpensive (if it costs anything at all), making them great for expanding businesses and growing offices. They're cheaper than traditional systems and don't demand businesses sign up to lengthy contracts. Plus, VoIP systems allow companies and their employees to be far more flexible; whether employees are working at home, in the office or elsewhere, VoIP systems allow you to take calls to mobiles, landlines, and other devices, so you’ll never miss a sale or inquiry again. Manage your VoIP system via our app - all you'll need is a VoIP phone for each user.

Benefits of using VoIP as your office phone system:

  • VoIP systems come with call management features like call forwarding, call routing, transfers, video conferencing and so much more. Plus, use of these features isn't limited to the office; whether you're working from home or out on a sales pitch, you'll benefit from improved connectivity.
  • It's easy to set up and manage, and only requires an internet connection.
  • It's cost-effective; other than phones and a router (if you don't have these already), you won't need to buy any hardware. Plus, you'll save money on maintenance costs, while upgrades are carried out through the cloud, rather than having to pay to call someone out.
  • VoIP is the most scalable of office phone systems, and will likely be the dominant system of the future.
  • Cloud-based systems are reliable and secure.
  • VoIP call quality is excellent.
  • Once your broadband or data plans are paid for, all calls are essentially free - including international calls.
  • Contact remote staff via their computers, tablets or mobiles. 

What to consider when choosing a phone system for your office


One of the most important things to consider is cost. All systems will likely involve a set-up fee, but VoIP systems will get you most value for money when it comes to monthly payments.

Scalability and your business goals

If you have no intention of expanding and no desire for your office to grow, then multi-line and PBX systems may be as appealing as VoIP. However, if you have ambitions of your office getting bigger, then VoIP is the best option, as adding new lines is cheap and easy.

Customer service

Customer service is essential, and neglecting it is guaranteed to harm your business. Incoming callers who have a good experience are more likely to convert than those who don't, so consider how automated features, flexibility and call quality can influence what customers think of your company.

How can Virtual Landline improve your office phone system?

We sell virtual phone numbers that can improve the perception of your business, make work in your office more efficient, and boost your productivity and return on investment. Virtual Landline Office is a multi-user office VoIP system; it's flexible, comes with lots of great features, and costs just £8.95 ex VAT per user, per month. When you choose our phone system for your office, you'll get a main business phone number, additional numbers for each user, and a wealth of fantastic features. Handle calls on multiple devices, including mobile app, desktop app and desk phones; get call recordings sent to email; seamlessly transfer calls or add employees to conversations; and so much more.

To sign up to Virtual Landline Office today, call us on +44 (0) 203 488 0088, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Virtual Landline - how do our phone systems work?

Using our virtual numbers and phone systems is simple - just sign up, choose your number, fill out your registration details and you’re ready to go! Use the free Virtual Landline app to make and receive calls.

Learn more about how it works here.

More phone numbers on offer at Virtual Landline

As well as our fantastic office phone system, we offer a variety of virtual numbers that can benefit your office:

  • Local numbers - Get a phone number with a specific area to give the impression that your business has a presence in the associated location.
  • Freephone numbers - Get an 0800 number today so that callers can contact you free of charge: it's a great way to boost incoming calls!
  • National numbers - Customers can call national numbers (also known as 0330 numbers) at the standard rate; for businesses, they're a cheaper alternative to freephone numbers.
  • Memorable numbers - Find a number that your customers will never forget and watch your incoming calls skyrocket.

Find a tariff that suits you.

Why choose Virtual Landline for your office phone system?

We’re trusted nationwide for our virtual numbers and phone systems, and our case studies are full of successful businesses who’ve benefitted from our services. Clients who choose us reliably improve their efficiency and productivity, boost incoming calls and increase their ROI, to name just a few reasons why you should choose Virtual Landline.

For all these benefits and more, sign up today.


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