Unless you’re glued to your chair all day (blink twice if you need help 👀), you’re not always in a place where you can answer your phone. And if your phone number is tied to a landline or a traditional desk phone, you may actually spend more time away from your business phone than with it.

Luckily, avoiding missed calls can be as simple as learning how to forward calls to the next best number.

We’ll take you through the call forwarding process as well as how you can further simplify your on-the-go work life with a cloud phone system.

What’s Call Forwarding?

Call forwarding is a phone feature that lets you redirect incoming calls from one phone number to another. All the while, you’ll still be able to make your own phone calls when you need to.

On your average workday, call forwarding can come in handy when you’re running errands around town. Instead of letting your office phone continue ringing endlessly, you can reroute your calls to your personal cellphone and easily pick up each one. At the end of the workday, you can end call forwarding, so business calls won’t interrupt your life after hours.

Or, when you have an important meeting planned, you can forward calls to an available team member and provide your undivided attention at the event. Your team member can make sure whoever’s on the line gets the help they need, so you won’t come back to a full voicemail.

A GIF from the TV show "The Orville"

Call forwarding can also be your go-to feature when you’re trying to zen out on vacation. Just set up call forwarding and you won’t even have to hear your phone ring! 🧘🌴

How To Forward Calls on Traditional Phones

If you’re still using a traditional office phone but are constantly on the go, call forwarding may become your best friend. Don’t get tethered to your desk phone — reroute your calls to a mobile phone number or to another team member. 

The method you need to use will depend on the type of desk phone you have. If your office has its own internal phone network, reach out to your IT department for instructions on how to forward calls. But if your phone is on a landline, you can forward calls with these four steps:

  1. Dial *72.
  2. Type in the phone number that will receive your forwarded calls, including the area code.
  3. Press pound (#).
  4. Wait for a confirmation tone before hanging up.

All of your calls will automatically be forwarded to your chosen phone number.

Ready to take calls on your landline again? Just dial *73, wait for the confirmation tone, and you should be all set.

Many service providers even allow you to set up conditional call forwarding, which only forwards calls when you don’t answer or your phone line is otherwise unavailable. Your provider can tell you the proper activation and deactivation codes for this advanced feature.

How To Forward Calls on Smartphones

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You’ve upgraded from a traditional business phone to a mobile phone — congrats! 📱 You no longer have to worry about missing business calls just because you’re out running errands.

However, call forwarding can still be useful when you’re too busy to answer or you’re off on your dream vacation. Though there’s no way to exclusively forward business calls if you’re using one phone number for both business and personal purposes, it can guarantee some time away from answering calls.

But before you dive into the setup phase, you need to find out if your phone runs on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network or the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network.

Don’t let the big words scare you — we won’t get into the technical side of things. All you need to do is Google which network your carrier uses or ask your carrier directly. Hint: You probably have a GSM phone if you use AT&T or T-Mobile and a CDMA phone if you’re on Sprint or Verizon.

Once you know if you have a GSM phone or a CDMA phone, jump down to the right call forwarding method for you.

iPhones on a GSM Network

It’s easy to forward calls to another number when you have an iPhone. There’s no need to remember or dial any codes. Just follow these steps:

  1. Head to your Settings app.
  2. Select “Phone.”
  3. Tap “Call Forwarding.”
  4. Toggle on call forwarding.
  5. ​Enter the phone number that will receive your forwarded calls.

When you want to turn off the call forwarding feature, simply toggle it back off, and you’ll receive calls on your iPhone again.

Apple doesn’t offer a built-in conditional call forwarding option, but depending on your carrier, you may be able to set it up by dialing a code, just like you would on a landline.

Androids on a GSM Network

GSM network Android phones are living in the future. 🔮 With these devices, you can easily choose from four different call forwarding options without making a single call. 

Here’s how:

  1. Head to your Phone app.
  2. Tap on the three-dot menu icon, and tap “Settings” or “Call settings.”
  3. Tap “Call forwarding.”
  4. Choose one of four options: “Always forward” to automatically forward any call, “forward when busy” to reroute if you’re on a call, “forward when unanswered” to reroute anytime you don’t answer, or “forward when unreached” to forward if you don’t have a phone signal, your phone is turned off, or it’s in airplane mode.
  5. Enter the phone number that will receive your forwarded calls and confirm.

To turn off call forwarding, just tap on whatever option you enabled and select “Turn off.”

Smartphones on a CDMA Network

CDMA phones don’t have built-in call forwarding options. However, you can still forward calls by following these steps:

  1. Dial *72 plus the 10 digits of the phone number that will receive your forwarded calls. So, if you wanted to forward your calls to (212) 555-0000, then you’d dial *722125550000.
  2. Press the call button.
  3. Wait for a confirmation tone before hanging up.

The code to call for turning off call forwarding will differ based on your phone service provider. For example, you’ll dial *720 if you’re on Sprint or *73 if you use Verizon.

Simplify Business Calls With a Cloud Phone System

A GIF representing travel to the future

You know how we mentioned that GSM Android phones are living in the future? Well, there’s another solution that may be even further ahead of our time: the cloud phone system.

Also known as VoIP phone services, cloud phone systems like OpenPhone make it easy for you to make or answer calls from anywhere, on any device — even on your computer — with no call forwarding needed. All you need to do is download an app and log in to your account. Then you’ll start receiving calls on that device.

When you do need to set up call forwarding for your busy days or your time off, you can do so right on your business phone app. 

The best part is, when you take your mobile phone on vacation, your business and personal calls won’t be tied to the same phone number. Your cloud phone system will forward the business calls you receive through the app, but you can still get calls on your smartphone from family and friends through your personal number. 🙌

How To Forward Calls With OpenPhone

A GIF showing how to forward calls in the OpenPhone app

With OpenPhone, you can easily set up call forwarding to any U.S., Canadian, or toll-free number using your mobile app, desktop app, or browser.

When you’re on the OpenPhone mobile app, simply open the app and follow these four steps:

  1. Tap on your account image in the upper left corner.
  2. Tap “Manage” next to “Your numbers.”
  3. Select the phone number you want to set up call forwarding on.
  4. Tap “Call Forwarding,” and enter the phone number that will receive your forwarded calls.
  5. Hit “Save.”

When you’re ready to stop forwarding calls, head back to “Call Forwarding” (step 4 above), delete the number you’re forwarding to, and hit save.

Setting up call forwarding on your desktop is just as easy. All you need to do is log in to the web app or browser, then:

  1. Head to the “My Phone Numbers” tab on the app, or tap “Settings,” then “Phone Numbers” on a browser.
  2. Select the phone number you want to set up call forwarding on.
  3. Scroll down and tap “Forward calls.”
  4. ​Enter the phone number that will receive your forwarded calls.
  5. Press the “Forward” button.

You can stop call forwarding at any time by going back into your phone number’s settings and tapping “Stop” next to “Forwarding to.”

Bonus: Forward Calls You’re Already On

With a cloud phone system, you don’t always have to set up call forwarding ahead of time to reroute incoming calls. If you pick up a call and realize it’s for another team member, use OpenPhone’s call transfer feature to seamlessly send customers over to the right person.

To transfer a call, follow these simple steps:

  1. Answer the call.
  2. Click the “Transfer” button.
  3. On desktop, type the name or phone number of the person you want to transfer the call to. On mobile, choose from one of three options: select a team member, search and select a contact from your address book, or type the phone number you want to transfer the call to.

Give a Cloud Phone System a Test Run

Call forwarding can be an extremely helpful feature when you’re getting business calls through your landline or smartphone. But when you want to be able to answer important calls from any device, even when you’re on the go, cloud phone systems can eliminate much of the hassle of forwarding calls. And when you do need a break, you really can get one with an app that separates your business and personal calls for a healthier work-life balance.

Sign up for a free trial of OpenPhone to give yourself the flexibility you need to operate like the ultra-modern professional you are.

Author

Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.

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