The imminent demise of the desk phone is a frequently debated topic, and one that impacts a large percentage of the working population. However, rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated. With benefits such as ease of use, reliability and cost-effectiveness, the desk phone is alive and well. However, with mobile phones becoming ever more important (and truly the lifeblood of millennials), it only makes sense that the desk phone would evolve or risk extinction.
The shift towards mobile: cell phones at red lights and… in the bathroom?
Research shows that the younger generation especially is more dependent upon cell phones than the older generations might realize. According to a survey of more than 2,000 adults, “93 percent of millennials admit to using their phones in bed, nearly 80 percent in the restroom and 43 percent while stopped at a red light.” Because millennials are so receptive of and accustomed to technology — almost 90 percent say their phones never leave their sides — this technological reliance is molding the workforce, and the desk phone, in tangible ways.
Privacy and boundaries between work and personal life
Cell phones have become an intrinsic extension of our person, and it’s now common, and even expected, to be reachable 24/7. Even though we’re expected to be available at all times and places, we are reluctant to give out personal numbers and contact information to business contacts. We like a wall between our personal and professional lives. That’s why we have one set of contacts on Facebook and a different set on LinkedIn.
Mobile and the desk phone: an unlikely pair
So what impact does increased reliance on cell phones have on the value and use of the desk phone? Rather than disappearing, the desk phone is evolving. Desk phones can now do so much more than simply make a phone call, including integrating with mobile devices. Indeed, the relationship between the two should be described as symbiotic rather than competing.
Workers today cannot be tethered to a desk in an office. We live in a work-from-anywhere culture and millennials especially value flexibility in work schedules and locations. That means that employees who need to be reached are always on the move, working from home, attending a conference, in a meeting or on a business trip.
There is a solution, and it’s found in the evolution of the desk phone. Cloud-based PBX systems deliver an end-to-end communication experience that marries the mobility and ubiquity of cell phone use with the professional advantages of a desk phone. For example, Ditto Mobile App lets employees sync their mobile device to their office phone so that calls ring both devices simultaneously. Employees are then reachable while traveling, working from home or off-site, without having to give out their personal numbers. Callers appreciate that the employee is always accessible and reachable at one number. Visual Voicemail lets employees read transcripts of voicemails left on a desk phone from anywhere, so they’re not having to call-in to retrieve messages.
This dynamic duo of the mobile and desk phone, in addition to benefiting the employee, make the employer happy with reduced costs and a boost in business productivity.
To learn more about how cloud-based PBX systems integrate with mobile phones to create a powerful communications duo, call us at 855-213-4374 or a request a quote.