BYOD Trends, Millennials, Have Little Use for Desk Phones: Report

A new BYOD study found that 50 percent of workers would rather user their personal smartphone, even when sitting beside a desk phone.

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) adoption rates are being driven upward by savvy workers, and "especially Millennials," who are all about "cutting the corporate cord," Ring Central said in a Nov. 14 report, announcing the findings of a commissioned Dimensional Research survey of 300 IT professionals.

A great majority of corporate employees (86 percent) use their personal smartphones to get work done even outside business hours, the survey found. Further, half of the people polled said they'd prefer to use their personal phone, even when sitting next to a desk phone.

"Mobility and BYOD are fundamentally changing business communications by allowing employees to communicate about work matters when, where and how they want—even during personal time," Ring Central President David Berman said in a statement.

"Mobile devices are turning into true business tools and are transforming the workplace as a whole, from shifting traditional business hours to changing how employees interact via voice, video, text and other business applications," Berman added. "We believe that all these changes are making legacy on-premise phone systems obsolete, as they do not meet modern business needs."

The survey also found 70 percent of respondents to believe that office phones will eventually be replaced by mobile phones. Millennials were most inclined to believe this, with 74 percent saying desk phones were headed for File 13, versus 69 percent of Gen X-ers and 66 percent of Baby Boomers.

Forrester, in a February "Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends" report, declared the BYOD trend as only just begun. It also found that 64 percent of the 10,000 information workers it surveyed said they use their smartphones at their work desks.

The report advised enterprises to mobilize the key applications that employees use.

"Having apps on tablets and smartphones means that employees can carry their work in their pockets ... and work from any location: Meeting rooms, coffee shops and homes are just the most obvious new offices," said the report.

Smartphones Over Desk Phones

In an April survey, also conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of Ring Central, 70 percent of respondents said they found their current desk phone lacking, with 23 percent complaining that their phones don't integrate with business applications such as CRM, 23 percent finding them difficult to manage and set up, and 33 percent saying they're too expensive.

Nearly everyone surveyed (92 percent) found the benefits of a cloud-based phone system to be compelling. Mentioned benefits included reduced costs (cited by 60 percent of respondents); the ability for employees to use smartphones for business (55 percent); the ability to easily expand, as necessary (52 percent); and the pleasure of ditching ongoing maintenance costs (45 percent).

While an improvement over traditional desk phones, it's hard to imagine, the Millennials agree, anything besting personal smartphones.