Do You Still Need a Phone on Your Desk?
February 17th, 2016 by adminThe traditional office is evolving. Teams that were once highly localized now have members around the world. Correspondence that used to go through postal channels or fax machine is now available in the blink of an eye. And then there are phones. As of 2015, more than 64% of U.S. adults own a smartphone. When you include users who have a mobile phone that is not a smartphone, you encompass nearly all adults in America. Cell phones have changed the way that we communicate with everyone from friends and family to coworkers and businesses. So it stands to reason that if you have a cell phone, you might be a little perplexed as to why you also need a phone on your desk at work. After all, can’t your smartphone do everything your mobile phone can do?
Weighing the Benefits of a Desk PhoneDesk phones are not without their benefits for both employers and employees. For instance, some employees prefer to have a work phone that allows them to better segment their work and personal lives. That is, when they are not sitting at their desk, they become less reachable. Many desk phones also have features that may not be available on mobile phones, like easily accessible company directories, conference calling, and usable speakerphones. Employees who work in support may also find desk phones more comfortable due to their compatibility with headsets that make it easy to talk and type for long spans. Of course, there are also reliability arguments. Landlines do not work according to the whim of the corporate internet connection meaning they virtually never go down and can even continue normal operations during a power outage.
What Happens if You Cut the Cord?Despite the benefits of a desk phone, many companies are still opting out of the traditional phone system in exchange for a mobile phone based workforce. Getting rid of desk phones entirely is more common in smaller businesses but can be an enticing option for any company looking to cut costs. This would mean relinquishing the benefits of a desk phone and having to pay for all employees to have a cell phone. IT departments may also express concern about this options since giving business calls over to personal mobile devices can present a security risks. Further, the possibility of combining work and personal phone calls in one device, while eliminating the convenience of the desk phone’s functions can be less than ideal for employees.
Landline AlternativesIf your office is not quite ready to get rid of desk phones altogether, there are alternatives that give employees the freedom to use mobile phones with the reliability and comfort of a landline. For instance, a VoIP phone system allows a business to keep the hardware benefits of a desk phone but uses broadband internet to connect calls instead of dated infrastructure. These systems may be bundled with existing internet service payments, making them more affordable than a separate landline. The best of these types of alternatives have both mobile and desktop options in order to meet the needs of a changing workforce. These types of systems can allow employees to segment work and personal calls on their mobile devices so that they do not have to give out their personal phone number to customers or clients. Additionally, VoIP mobile applications can have much of the same functionality of a desk phone including easy access to conferencing features and internal company directories, all while providing a higher level of network security to keep the IT department happy. Ultimately, the right phone system choice depends on an individual company and its needs. When you are able to come to understanding about how your employees actually use their phones and what they need in a phone system, the right choice will become obvious.
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