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3 Reasons Desk Phones Are on Retirement Fast Track

Chatter around the "death of the desk phone" has been on the rise for a few years, but the desk phone's impending demise has been greatly exaggerated, I think.

Even with the recent development of quality mobile and Web phone technologies, workers at most organizations still rely on their desk phones daily. As we learned in a recent RingCentral survey, 83% of 505 employee respondents have desk phones. And while they may be in fact ready to let those desk phones die -- 57% of respondents said they make work calls using mobile devices and more than 50% said they believe the desk phone is indeed in decline -- employers aren't quite ready to do away with desk phones.

However, as workplace technologies continue to advance, I believe the desk phone is headed out the door. But this will come via retirement as opposed to immediate death. Here are a few shifts happening now that are prompting the desk phone's inevitable exit.

Early Retirement
When companies hire employees today, I don't believe they should start them off with desk phones. A better investment comes in handing employees shiny new mobile devices or tablets, or better yet, supporting them as they continue to use the devices with which they feel most comfortable. Chances are new hires would prefer to use mobile or Web technologies, and, as long as those technologies can compete in quality with the desk phones then companies shouldn't hold them back. This means providing assigned business phone numbers and access to the corporate directory and other PBX features right from mobile phones.

We might be years away from the retirement of the desk phone, but technological advances have created a simple and reliable user experience, making it feasible for workers to use Web and mobile technologies to do their jobs. The quicker businesses shift to support employees' preferences for mobile, desktop, and Web technologies, the quicker we'll see the desk phone at a museum, instead of buried in dust on the corner of a desk.