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Old 05-20-2020, 01:33 PM
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If you work in an office, do you still have a direct phone line?

I'm considering getting rid of mine. My company uses e-mail or direct messaging (texts) for its primary form of internal communication. That's just how the company culture has evolved. 95% of the calls I get on my office phone are from unsolicited cold callers trying to sell something to me. I've gotten into the habit of just letting calls roll over to voicemail. If the call is legitimate (i.e. a know business contact, etc.) then I will return the call.

I've resisted just getting rid of the direct phone line (I also have a company mobile number, which so far hasn't gotten into the cold-call-ethos) simply because I do use it for joining conference calls, calling others, etc. But with the advent of Microsoft Teams meetings, etc., I could just use my mobile for the other calls I'd make.

Hopefully my mobile number doesn't find its way into the hands of calling lists that get sold around.
Old 05-20-2020, 01:36 PM
Musicat is online now
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Hopefully my mobile number doesn't find its way into the hands of calling lists that get sold around.
Calling lists aren't your main concern. Spammers and other crooks don't use them; they just dial every possible number, then do it again. If your number exists, it will be called.
Old 05-20-2020, 01:43 PM
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When I was first working as an engineer in the 90s, much of my job was working with customers and I was on the phone a lot, so much that I bought a headset to use with it. Email was kind of new and not used as much.

I my last job (which ended two weeks ago), there was a phone on my desk but I could go months without using it. There were a couple of co-workers that would call me on it but mostly we communicated by email, text or cell phone.
Old 05-20-2020, 01:44 PM
Gus Gusterson is offline
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We do have phones sitting on our desks. Only two people ever called mine - my wife and a co-worker who called people even though we all sit within 50 feet of each other. I finally got her to accept that instant messaging has replaced office-to-office calls. My wife learned that if she wants to reach me she should call my cell phone.

The company is planning to rent new office space. I assume that they won't bother with installing phones except at reception.
Old 05-20-2020, 01:56 PM
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My company has no assigned permanent spaces - our facilities are 100% hotelling, which means you have to go into a reservation system and book a cubicle if you're going to be in the office. So there's no phone number for that desk.

However: we have assigned phone numbers that are permanent. When we sign in at the office that day, calls will be routed to a phone on the desk of wherever you're sitting. I could also have it auto-forward to my cell phone when I'm not at the office.

So I guess my answer is "sort of".

I virtually never go to that office; when I do, I'm usually in a conference room with others, so I don't route my phone to my "desk" (and I've never routed it to my cell phone either).

I am frequently on conference calls with people from all over - and even if they work for the client "at headquarters" they all use their own phone numbers, not a client number. It can be entertaining to try to figure out who the callers are "OK, who's got area code 813?"
My COVID-19 mantra: "People. Are. Morons."
Old 05-20-2020, 01:57 PM
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Since I work at a helpdesk, the phone is essential. I handle at lest a dozen calls a day.

My direct line still gets calls from people. Often, I leave my number.
Old 05-20-2020, 01:59 PM
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Yes. Federal DoD facility, and they insist every desk has its own line, even if it doesn't belong to anyone. Almost all of my interaction is done via email. On average I receive about one phone call every 2 months, usually from one of the older Luddite faculty.
Old 05-20-2020, 02:05 PM
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I haven't had a company-owned phone at my desk in over five years. In theory, I have a phone number assigned to me by the agency for use on VOIP on my computer; I have never used it. I just use my cell phone (on which I have unlimited minutes), though increasingly, our calls are done using Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Old 05-20-2020, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Calling lists aren't your main concern. Spammers and other crooks don't use them; they just dial every possible number, then do it again. If your number exists, it will be called.
I'm not talking about spammers or crooks. I'm referring to sales people that are selling B2B that are calling me to pitch a sales opportunity, such as consulting, advisory services, etc. that I've never met, or heard of their companies.
Old 05-20-2020, 02:12 PM
hogarth is offline
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Yes, I have a direct phone line. Our team is sometimes required to provide urgent support to employees in other offices and often talking on the phone is faster than typing in a messaging app.
Old 05-20-2020, 03:37 PM
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No. I guess we used to but, at some point before I arrived, went down to a couple "main" lines and the front desk just routes them. Most of the calls are handled there without anyone else being involved anyway.
Old 05-20-2020, 03:43 PM
FinsToTheLeft is online now
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We use Microsoft Teams, everyone has a Direct Dial number and a headset. I would say that less than 1 in 10 of my outbound calls are to a phone number vs Teams/Zoom/WebEx.

Phone numbers cost me less than $5/line/month and it means my staff arenít giving out their personal number.
Old 05-20-2020, 03:51 PM
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When I was working I and many others in the office just transferred calls on our extensions to our cell phones. Cell phone numbers were listed in the company directory so employees would often just call between cell phones. No outside calls went directly to our extensions though, an operator would receive the calls first and then transfer them, 24/7.
Old 05-20-2020, 03:53 PM
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The last time I had an office, it was in a big cubicle-farm room with a dozen other grad students. There was one phone for the whole room, and that was enough.
Old 05-20-2020, 09:12 PM
China Guy is offline
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nope. my company gave up on phone lines 10+ years ago. Either virtual or your personal cell
Old 05-20-2020, 09:23 PM
filmore is offline
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I have a desk phone and I really like having it. I hardly ever use it for traditional phone calls. I'm on a lot of conference calls and it's helpful to have a dedicated communication device that isn't tied to my computer's speakers. I dial in for audio rather than using computer speakers. That way I can have the volume of my speakers set one way for computer-sounds (or muted) and my phone communication isn't affected.
Old 05-20-2020, 10:01 PM
Melbourne is offline
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When I was in High School, I wanted a job like my dad had, with a desk, a telephone, and a filing cabinet.

I've got a desk. I've got a phone on my desk. I've got a filing cabinet. All of my work, all of my calls, all of my documentation, is on my computer. I use the desk to put the mouse on, the filing cabinet to lay stuff on top of, and the check that the phones are working.
Old 05-20-2020, 10:13 PM
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I include my phone number on my syllabi but I tell my students that I will answer my phone if it rings, though I can never remember how to get to my voice-mail. Regardless, I tell my students to use my email, since "email is the official communication policy of the college". I get perhaps one phone call a year from a student, and a few more from textbook sales-people (and I tell them that I'm on my way to class and hang up).
Old 05-20-2020, 11:26 PM
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Technically, yes. In fact, last I checked I even had a fax number. However, I've used neither of them for about a decade, and the phone requires a headset and a computer now. Even a decade ago, I only ever used the phone for the occasional outgoing call (since cell coverage sucked inside the building).

Primary comms have been email since the late 90s. Today, Webex and Slack have made a showing, but I'd say email is still primary.
Old 05-21-2020, 05:20 AM
SanVito is offline
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I have a landline phone on my desk, but it's not direct dial aside from internal calls. All external calls get fielded by reception and patched through. So I don't take the calls I don't want (recruitment agents, am looking at you).
Old 05-21-2020, 10:55 AM
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Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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My university is going to "soft phones." Meaning that we all still have a direct number assigned to us, but no physical instrument. We can route the calls to our personal cell phones or to an app on our computer.
Old 05-21-2020, 12:37 PM
madmonk28 is offline
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I have one on my desk. Anytime it rang it kind of startled me, usually it was the front desk telling me the person was in the lobby for my meeting.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:02 PM
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In office, I have a phone at my desk. Here at home I use VOIP. We used to have county issued phones in our home offices, they were removed and replaced by cell phones, then they were replaced by the CISCO softphone. We all have two lines, one for clients, one for internal calls. I receive many calls a day from clients. The ONLY people who call internally are the county attorneys. It's a given - if I email an attorney a question, they will call in response. I'd be just fine if the internal line was removed.
We have started a new push to get clients to contact us through email or through web messaging. I'd say maybe 10% of my clients now exclusively contact me through email/ web messaging. Another 10% email / web message then follow up immediately with a phone call to verify I received said email / web message.
Old 05-21-2020, 01:07 PM
aktep is offline
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I do. (Did? my employment status is in limbo and at any rate I haven't been in the office in months.) It was vitally important until a few years ago, when everyone I used to talk to on the phone started using chat, email, or videoconferencing, instead. About the only phone calls it ever gets anymore are from vendors, and I never answer it. (Incidentally, based on the messages left, these vendors don't realize they've been sent to voicemail?)
One of my staff members moved desks but did not put in to have his extension moved with him. Eventually, it came out that due to some complication, his extension couldn't be moved, anyway. Faced with a number of options, we just decided he didn't need a desk phone.
The company uses an old PBX that's on it's last legs. When money is available, they will convert to VOIP. Its expected that more than half of the desk phones will not be replaced.
Old 05-21-2020, 02:20 PM
LurkerInNJ is offline
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We have 2 phones and they ring off the hook. No matter how often I tell clients to use e-mail and that I am not going to "write it down" because while we need everything in writing, it needs to be in their writing and not mine, they still call.
Old 05-21-2020, 02:22 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
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Yes, even though I am retired and use to come to my office only once a week (haven't been there this year). I guess McGill owns the entire exchange (the three digits following the eara code) no one ever makes spam calls to it. At least I never got any. Almost the only people who ever call are my wife and my office mate's. The latter often starts out in Hugarian until I stop her.
Old 05-21-2020, 08:26 PM
Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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I work with an office of about 15 people. Each person has their own direct phone number. Then there is a branch office phone number. There is also a phone number shared by me and 2 others, to support one specific customer. So yes, I have my own work phone number. No way am I letting the company use my personal phone #, even if they offer to pay for it. If I ever leave the company, they would own the number and I'd have to get all my friend and family to change to the new one.

Sometimes picking up the phone and calling a supplier or a customer can occasionally be the best way to do it. Especially now, when so many of us/them are a bit starved for adult conversation, it makes me a real person and not a random anonymous entity. I just get better results when I sometimes call. Today I think I answered about 8 calls and placed another 5 or so. That's a pretty typical day.
2 + 2 = 5, for very large values of 2
Old 05-22-2020, 10:14 AM
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I have a phone on my desk and a direct dial number. A year or so ago they switched us all over to Skype enabled phones which are integrated into the network. (The network cable essentially goes from the jack through the phone to my laptop.) So even though we all have phone numbers, we mostly call each other thru Skype instead of dialing out on the phone.

Of course since I've been working from home the last two months, I just plug my headset directly into a USB port on the computer and that's my "phone" now.

Oh also, when we switched to Skype phones we all got new phone numbers too. So I had to give up the number I've had for 20+ years. After a year with the new number, I still can't remember it half the time.
"We can all sink or we all float
'Cuz we're all in the same big boat"

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Old 05-22-2020, 11:40 AM
Just Asking Questions is offline
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Yes, and I am far from a luddite.

I have a real solid wired desk phone with a real number. And people call it all the time. And I even call people!

Many people do have dedicated company cell phones, but it isn't mandatory, and I don't want tom be reachable 100% of the time. Like those fools that take (!) calls in the bathroom stalls.

Right now, as I am working from home, I have it forwarded to my home number. Which is also a get-u-ine hard lined Bell phone,


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