Lamenting the Lost Art of the Office Telephone Conversation

Very interesting article in the New York Times on the shift from telephone calls in the workplace to e-mail correspondence and cell phone conversations. While it makes the office a quieter workplace, workers have lost the fine art of handling the telephone conversation:

“At first glance, there are reasons e-mail seems a boon. It leaves a paper trail. It allows you to formulate responses, rather than having to think on your feet. And if anything has gone wrong, we prefer not to be aurally assaulted. Every time you answer a phone call, you introduce uncertainty into your day.

But this attempt at self-preservation is counterproductive. What else is lost when we skip the call? It

One Response to Lamenting the Lost Art of the Office Telephone Conversation

  1. Dr. Pete says:

    Personally, I’ve noticed that the people who never pick up the phone also have a relatively high probability of being people who passive-aggressively CC everyone in their office when they’re upset. In my experience, the momentary consequences we avoid by not picking up the phone usually balloon into much larger consequences later.

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