Rumors of the desk phone’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The seismic shift in the workforce from office to mobile has been apparent. Grab a latte from anywhere in town and you’ll notice employees and entrepreneurs alike taking care of business right there in the shop. Much of the shift is attributable to advances in communication technology and cloud services. Today, 89% of organizations allow their workers to bring their own devices to work, and smartphone handsets surpassed computers for data traffic back in 2013.
Additionally, millennials typically prefer text messaging and appear to actually be afraid of making phone calls. 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.
With these advances one would assume the office desk phone has been made obsolete. Recent data, however, shows otherwise. According to a worldwide survey by Cisco and Forrester, seven out of 10 workers still spend four to five days a week assigned to a desk, 88 percent of all phone calls are still made from a desk, and more than half of work-related calls are actually made using a desk phone. Furthermore, in a recent RingCentral survey conducted in May 2015 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.
It’s possible for us to conclude that both realities are true: there is a clear shift toward mobile communication tools in the workforce, and the office phone still plays a huge role in for many businesses.
The desk phone hasn’t died, it has been reinvented, not simply as a tool with an abundance of useful features, but as a seamless partner to the mobile device.