Get your phone system ready for the summer

The great British bank holiday season may be over, but school holidays are creeping up on us and it seems like almost everyone has some time off scheduled over the next few months.

Although Christmas is considered to be the holiday season, managing your team absences over the summer holidays can be more of a headache than in December. It can be a real challenge trying to carry on with business as usual with sporadic long weekends, skeleton crews and everyone fighting it out to book the school break off.

If you’re worried about keeping up your customer service standards when half your team is on the beach, take a look at our advice below to ensure your business is still operating effectively through the summertime.

Out of office voicemail

If you are a sole trader or run a family business, you might not have anyone to cover when you're away. If this is the case it's important to have a robust voicemail system that lets your customers know how long you're going to be unreachable, and if possible give some advice if their query requires urgent attention. It's easy to collate all your communications in one place, so why not use a voicemail system that forwards your messages to your email inbox. Access your recordings on your return alongside your emails, all in one place.

Find out more in our docs.

Call Forwarding, Presets and Time-based Routing

If you aren't on your own, there are other options available:

Call Forwarding

The simplest way of managing your calls when you are out of the office is using call forwarding. This can be done directly from your handset, allowing calls to be redirected to other extensions, voicemail or external numbers.

Find out more in our docs.


Setting up presets are particularly beneficial when you are managing a number that may be associated with multiple users, none of which may be available for a specified time. The preset will forward calls to that number on to another group, number or voicemail box. It can be done remotely from within the phone system interface so there is no need to configure all relevant handsets separately.

Find out more in our docs.

Time-based Routing

Perhaps the most complex means of re-routing calls is time-based routing. Save your customers time during out-of-office hours and holidays by automatically diverting them or greeting them with a different message based on specific time parameters. You can ensure your callers are not needlessly waiting for an answer when nobody is available - for example, you can configure the system to play a message apologising that the office is only open between 9am and 12pm at all other times. You can also redirect calls to a particular department if a particular shift is under-staffed.

Find out more in our docs.

A little bit about the author

Adam is the managing director at aTech Media. A software developer & designer by trade specialising in Ruby & Rails - with over 130 open source repos. When not computer-ing, Adam enjoys a bit of baking, Formula 1 and playing FlightSim.

A couple of other posts like this one

New enhancements to our greetings features with SSML

We're delighted to announce the addition of a new enhancement to our text-to-speech greetings feature - the ability to further customise your greeting by adding pauses, abbreviations and acronyms and...

Fine-tune your preferences

There are a number of cookies we need to use in order for our website to work properly. These cannot be disabled.

However, you can disable non-essential cookies for the third-party services we use, to help us provide better customer support, measure the performance of this website and run more effective marketing campaigns.

We use Google Analytics to measure the performance of our website. We do not store any personal data and your IP address is anonymised.


We use a live chat service called Natterly so we can privide support to you where available. Various cookies are stored so chats remain active when you change page.


We use various tracking cookies to help us measure the performance of our marketing campaigns and show you content and promotions we think you’d be interested in.

Allow all
Update your preferences

Hello there!

This website uses cookies in order to provide you with the most relevant information. Please accept cookies for the best experience.

For more details see our Privacy Policy.

I’m OK with that
Cookie preferences