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Millennials Rethink the Desktop Phone

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Paging Application No Jitter published an interesting article that launched a lively industry discussion. The article “Why Millennials Like Deskphones” suggests that since Millennials are relatively new to the workforce, they seek stability and a desk phone represents permanence.

Nemertes Research analyst Irwin Lazar had another take, saying that the Millennials he works with are frustrated by the proliferation of multiple apps that essentially do the same thing. Because of this, the desk phone can serve as that grounding common platform.

Whatever the motivation, Millennials have emerged as advocates for desk phones. Considering the influence they had in driving the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, businesses would be wise to take a closer look. Simply slapping an old-school “hard phone’’ to every desk is probably not the best answer, however. As Lazar points out, Millennials want solutions that help them as opposed to simply adding more superfluous options.

Desk phones should embrace smart devices

Most people have a very strong attachment to their smart device. Some even describe a sensation of being naked in public if they don’t have their device on them. And since integration is the key to better communications, why not find ways to leverage smart devices with desk phones?

ShoreTel Dock, for example, merges the desk phone with an iPhone or iPad. Together they deliver the ergonomic comfort and high audio quality of the desk phone with mobility features including IM, online directories, presence and Web conferencing. As an added bonus, it also charges the devices. This has proven to be especially popular among today’s Millennial workers.

Desk phones should extend beyond the office.

While we all want the convenience of multiple phone devices, no one likes the complexity of multiple phone numbers. The goal is to make it easier to connect, not more challenging. This boosts productivity and can improve customer satisfaction.

Businesses should consider features such as ShoreTel FindMe that allow a call to follow an employee from desk phone to mobile device. Callers don’t need to try multiple numbers and the employee is more accessible.

While many have predicted the demise of desk phones for many years, Millennials are now sparking a renewed interest in them. This creates a new opportunity to leverage desk phones to boost productivity, collaboration and employee satisfaction. And in the process, they can enhance the work communications experience.