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The evolution of the office phone

The evolution of the office phone

Communication in office culture has changed considerably over the last few years. Our love of instant messaging platforms like Skype, Slack and Whatsapp has meant that we rely less and less on the standard office landline to communicate. But however convenient and quick these platforms may be, there will always be the need for direct conversation in business, and as such the ‘office phone’ will continue to exist — but not as we have always known it.

The first office phones: a brief history

The telephone began primarily as a business tool — it took a while before people came to own them as personal devices. Telephones would connect businesses via physical power lines known as direct lines, enabling companies to communicate more efficiently and in greater detail than with the preceding telegraph device.

In 1977, AT&T lost its monopoly on telephone design and manufacturers began to develop different models on a much wider scale. Before long, the landline telephone was present not only in every office, but at every desk.

Today, this is still the case in many offices — but we are edging into yet another new era of connectivity.

Hung up on landline?

Whether it’s open-plan offices that put our desks on display or sleek new tech that does away with excess bulk — our physical places of work are becoming less and less busy. Combine this with the continuous advancements in mobile technology and the landline telephone comes to seem rather obsolete. In fact, a recent survey by Deloitte found that fifty-nine per cent of US consumers used their personal smartphone during normal working hours “very/fairly often.”

But despite their bulkiness and being overshadowed by modern messaging platforms, there are still elements of the traditional office landline that we prefer. For one, we tend to like that degree of separation between our work and personal lives. We don’t want everything on one device, but it can be complicated to manage two separate mobile phones. But does that mean we will continue to rely on landlines in offices? Not exactly.

The future work phone

New technologies like Dual SIM are making mobile a more work-friendly tool. Dual SIM gives you the convenience of having two cellular connectivity providers on a single phone, meaning you can have separate providers for personal and business.

At Truphone, we believe the future of the work phone will be mobile. In our own offices, we have done away with landline desk phones completely, and with customers all over the world using our Dual SIM plans, a shift towards the purely mobile work phone is a trend that is only set to grow.

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