Being on call is not the same as working. You have freedom in this position, but using it effectively means you have to take certain steps. The following are a few suggestions to ensure that you can handle being on call.
You need to be reminded of when you are on call, and when you are not. Your days can easily melt into one, so allow your calendar to keep you grounded. This is a lot easier nowadays since you can have a calendar on your smartphone, which can be synced to all smart devices as long as there is a Bluetooth or WiFi connection.
You may be on call but that does not mean you are always going to be available. Life is full of surprises, and you need to make sure you are ready to screen a particular call or text. Your on call position does not mean you cannot sleep or take a restroom break. These are mere examples, but there are many other instances where having a professional response ready would be a good thing for you.
Yes, most people have a smartphone to help them stay in touch, but smart devices are not as reliable as you may think. Cell towers are not everywhere, so there are areas where reception might not be too strong. You should also remember technology like WiFi is not available inside certain buildings or underground, should you ever find yourself in a subway. This makes having a pager important so that you can return a call as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to buy a pager or radio set-up from a company like Altech Electronics or someone similar in your area to help prevent this type of dead zone.
It is important that you have hands-free technology when you have an on call position. There are instances where one of these devices will make things easier for you. A call could happen at any given time; for example, you can be driving when a call comes in. Normally, you would have to reject the call, but hands-free technology allows you to communicate while keeping both hands on the wheel as you are meant to. Those who do not like to discuss business while driving can respectfully say they will return the call as soon as possible.
Hopefully, some of these tools and suggestions will help you with your new position. Be sure to talk to others in similar positions as they may have additional wisdom for you to use. Try to learn as you go along because some of the best lessons are learned through experience.
How do you handle being on call? Give us your advice in the comments below.