Landline telephones in their prime were the communication medium of the 20th-century office. With the advent of the Internet and the development of video and chat devices, the traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. As work becomes more flexible and communication becomes more mobile and diverse, the office itself is transforming into a more complex environment. This article will take a closer look as to why the end of the landline telephone system is approaching.
The Current Status of The Office Phone
A landline phone runs through a traditional phone system, provided by copper wires from a local or national telecommunications company to the property. It’s an aged technology that has gone through very little advancement in recent years. In a 2015 RingCentral survey of 505 U.S. based knowledge workers, 83 percent were issued a desk phone with their own personal phone number, and 65 percent preferred using that equipment to make and receive business calls. Only 30 percent preferred using their mobile phone for such calls.
Shift To Newer Technologies
According to Jack Turner, author at Tech.co, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a phone system that revitalizes the way many businesses interact both internally across departments, and externally with their customers. VoIP is inexpensive and highly scalable for companies looking to grow. It runs through the Internet and can allow most communication to be virtualized in cloud networks. This alongside instant messaging, chat applications and collaboration tools such as Slack have pushed the mode of communication technology in a new direction.
Craig Borowski, a Content Analyst at Software Advice, mentions in an article on the end of landlines how cultural preferences have been “moving away from analog and towards digital technologies for decades.” Millennials have contributed the most to this shift, with their increased awareness of technology and grasp of tools needed for faster communication. It’s also shown that some groups of Millenials actually stray away from older phone use, as a 2015 survey of 2,000 U.S. workers revealed that of the three most essential methods of communication in companies – phones, face-to-face communication, and email – only 6.5 percent of respondents between ages 25 and 34 say they’re comfortable using a phone.
Most businesses have already begun to opt out of desk phone setups for wireless connections. A 2016 IDC Canada estimate showed that more than two-thirds of Canadian organizations switched desk phones with wireless connections for at least some of their employees, and approximately one-third of all employees going entirely wireless.
Multi-Modal Comms For All
Now, businesses have far better options when it comes to long-distance meetings. Integrating video conferencing capabilities into an office used to be a costly practice, and involved plenty of expensive equipment and technical knowledge. As technology has evolved, so has their overall usability. Key examples include – Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Facetime.
Businesses now have access to better, cheaper and more manageable forms of online messaging services and video conferencing tools. These tools have now become the new medium in the workplace, as the learning threshold to master them has been greatly reduced, thus allowing them to become more popular across all types of industries. So what does this mean for the traditional office phone? Though many businesses have already made the switch from the old systems, companies that have yet to change will be able to gradually shift to digital and in most cases, without great expense.