I answer my phone at work with hello, but I have been told by a friend that is very unprofessional, I should answer with my just first name/last name, maybe adding @my workplace.

It seems very stiff to me, what is the best way to answer the phone at work?

P.S. Obviously there is no recommendation from the company, or I would not be asking this question. This is in the US, and I am asking not just for the current company but also in general, should I move to another company. I am not a representative of the company, and I mainly answer internal calls from colleagues.

  • 3
    People down-voting already are welcome to suggest improvements
    – user
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 16:56
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    Do you have caller ID? When my colleagues call me their name appears, so I just answer "Hi Dave" (unless it's not Dave, in which case I use their actual name). Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 17:11
  • Does your friend work at the same place? Do what is common at this company, not what friends recommend. What for should you add "@my place"? Don't do stupid things until explicitely required by management.
    – puck
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 9:38

4 Answers 4


I used to work at a large company (household name) and none of us ever got calls from outsiders, just from within the company. We all answered by just saying our names. One person, who had previously worked in sales, always answered with all 9 syllables of the entire company name (including "Canada"), a pause, and then her name and "speaking." It was exhausting waiting for my time to speak.

While it may not matter at work, I have a habit of never saying "hello" because that cues telemarketing software to route the call to an agent. Whereas if you just say your name or the company name, you will hear only silence for as long as you're prepared to wait. This makes it worth your while to lose the habit of answering any phone with "hello."

In a work context where you've been given no guidance, I would say go as short as possible, so not "good morning, Long CompanyName Canada, Logistics Department, this is FirstName LastName, how can I help you today?" but not starting with Hello either. Your name doesn't seem stiff to me, but if it does at your company, you can add something cheerful after it, or use just your first name, probably "this is FirstName" or "FirstName speaking" will work.

  • +1 for the exhausting waiting! I would feel like responding "ok you are still working here" or "hey I'm working there too" to a colleague at the same company who answers the full thing :-)
    – puck
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 9:43

what is the best way to answer the phone at work?

The best way is the way recommended by management. It varies depending on the locale, the company culture, the nature of the business, the desires of management, and the nature of the caller (internal versus external, for example).

If you want to know the "best" way to answer the phone in your particular situation, ask your boss.

  • My boss does not recommend anything, actually I would like to know how I should answer when he calls me (he never said anything to me)
    – user
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 16:58
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    @user ASK HIM!!! Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 16:58
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    The question has been clarified - this is about calls between colleagues, for which I wouldn't expect there to be a policy (written or unwritten) in most places. Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 17:11

Follow your company policy, or the example set by someone who regularly answers the phone.

Failing that, be friendly. State the place called, to affirm the person dialed the correct number. State your name, so they know with whom they're speaking, should they need to call back.

If this is an external call, use the business name known to the world. If it's an internal call, use the department name.

For example an external call might go:

Thank you for calling __________ (business name). My name is _________ (your name). How may I help you?

While an internal call might go:

___________ (department name), ________ (your name) speaking.

Obviously external calls need more professionalism. Internal calls need just the facts with a polite delivery.


In the absence of any protocols just keep it short and informative.

'Engineering, Kilisi speaking' or something similar. 3 words lets them know that they have the right section and who they're speaking to.

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