Business Phone Calls and the Art of Corporate Culture: A Reference Guide

It sits there every day, waiting. It's an office mainstay, the traditional communications lifeline, and while increasingly supplanted by mobile alternatives, the office desk phone still has an outsized influence on corporate culture. Here are seven office insights — and key staff qualities — you can learn from business phone calls.

A woman making business phone calls.
You can learn a lot from traditional desk phones, such as consistency and collaboration.

1. Consistency

Search for articles about the end of the desk phone and you won't be disappointed. The rise of cloud technology has prompted some companies to cut the cord on traditional telephones. For example, KPMG has shelved desk phones in favor of laptops and smartphones, according to the Financial Post.

However, the humble office phone still provides a critical feature more advanced devices sometimes lack: consistency. When staff members pick up a desk phone, they hear a strong dial tone. Calls connect easily, lag is nonexistent, and workers know they'll have the same experience every single time.

In office culture, this same drive for consistency is critical: Employees who consistently complete projects on time and under budget are invaluable to the organization.

2. Clarity

Ideal business phone calls teach a lesson on clarity, as well. Your phone service should provide a stable, reliable connection while the parties on both ends quickly get to the point. Calls don't waste any time or resources, and projects move forward. This is the ultimate goal in day-to-day office activities: Employees are clear about their intent, say what they mean, and address issues head-on.

3. Brevity

Why use 10 words when you could use five — or two? The business phone is a great stand-in for this corporate culture tip. With so many enterprises building multiple offices worldwide, international calling costs are now par for the course. While necessary to ensure HQ and satellite locations are on the same page, long phone calls quickly get expensive.

As a result, it's in the company's best interest for staff to learn the art of brevity on business calls: Say what needs to be said, obtain the requisite information, and then hang up. In everyday office culture, this is a valuable skill, since everyone's time is valuable, and time is the one resource your company can't manufacture. Brevity both brings down costs and reduces task timelines.

4. Collaboration

Collaboration is a key skill for employees. A person who's not willing to work nicely with co-workers is not a good fit for the corporate culture. On the humble desk phone, this takes the form of unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS). Why settle for just voice calls when you could also conduct video meetings, collaborate on multiple documents, and make recordings of the call for later use? Think of it as the desk phone version 2.0, complete with UCaaS features that help get the job done.

The office phone is more than just a holdover from decades past, and business phone calls offer critical insights into corporate culture best practices.

5. Multitasking

In their heyday, business desk phones were wonders of modern engineering, able to juggle multiple calls simultaneously while handling yet another incoming call, and offering each caller a dedicated line. Although this multipurpose function has largely switched over to cloud solutions, the clear culture message remains: Doing multiple things at once — and doing them well — is the hallmark of a great employee and a superb office phone system.

6. Integration

Desk phones are everywhere. They fit into the office environment, they're functional, and they're never out of place. What's more, employees have no trouble using these phones to make calls, collaborate with colleagues, or replay voicemail messages. This is the ultimate corporate culture achievement: the reliable, indispensable employee who knows how to get things done, is easily approachable, and always willing to help. New business phone VoIP technologies help make office phones more versatile, while equipping staff with the right tools — including dedicated phone lines that follow them from desk phone to smartphone to laptop — can help improve corporate impact.

7. Flexibility

While not every company will toss desk phones in favor of mobile alternatives, companies can't afford to ignore the growing impact of cloud-based VoIP, UCaaS, and always-connected devices for enterprise communication. Ideally, anything employees can do with their desk phones they should be able to do with their smartphones or laptops — this includes making video calls, collaborating on documents, and transferring data to another device. Just as the flexible, adaptable employee is an invaluable asset to any organization, communication tools that go with staff instead of tying them to a single physical location are critical components of the digital-first future.

Lessons from Business Phone Calls

The office phone is more than just a holdover from decades past, and business phone calls offer critical insights into corporate culture best practices. It's a shared connection: From consistency to collaboration, multitasking to flexibility, lessons from the office phone can help employees master the art of corporate culture.

Are you ready to empower your desk phones and enhance corporate culture? Contact a Vonage Business consultant.

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