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The Persistence of the Office Telephone

     According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, as of 2017 over 50% of residences in the U.S. no longer have a landline telephone. Instead they rely on their smart phones to carry out traditional voice communications. And why not? Most American households contain multiple smart phone users. In some instances you see family members using their smart devices to communicate under one roof! It’s easy to see why the traditional landline telephone is now an endangered species. Just consider all the things people are using their smart phones for today.

     However the desk top telephone set found in the majority of business’ is proving more resilient to change than the residential landline. The office telephone is like a slide-rule to a generation of workers who grew up with the smart phone. Although most business’ count on the reliability and security of the business telephone system.  The fact remains that wherever you have multiple phone lines and a staff that needs to communicate with one another, you have a need for an office desk top phone.

     The problem is that many new workers find it difficult to use it. Instead of an intuitive touch screen to access features, they’re confronted with multiple buttons and flashing LEDs. . Many new office workers can’t even make an outside call or intercom a colleague, essential tasks in any business. As a result many workers look with scorn at their office phone. To put it simply, people want to use their smart phones while they see the desk phone as an antiquated dinosaur.

     It is unfair however to consign the business telephone system to the technological backwater. Manufacturers like NEC have done a decent job of updating the ergonomics of the office phone.   Multi-purpose soft keys and interactive color displays can help.  But it is training workers how to use the desk phone that makes the difference. When Applied Telecommunications installs a business phone system they include comprehensive staff training.

     There is a learning curve associated with all technology, however once mastered it becomes useful and enjoyable to use. The same is true for the office telephone. Once workers get use to them they find they can usually customize them to their personal needs.  When it comes to good ol’ voice communications the sound quality alone still makes the office telephone an essential office device.

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