Retro office communication


The ability to communicate across channels plays a huge role in the success of any business. In order to improve services and productivity, we rely on easy access to clients, vendors, stakeholders and colleagues.

With the advent of the Internet, this became easier. However, it’s important to understand how retro office communication technologies have evolved in order to better prepare for the future.

As the experts in business communication tools like SIP Trunking and unified communication solutions like Think 365, our team at ThinkTel created this infographic, “The History of Office Communications” to shine a light on this evolution from underground tubes to the telecommunications technology used today.

1850s to 1950s

In London in 1853, 900 feet of tubes were installed underground between the London Stock Exchange and the Electric Telegraph Company. These pneumatic tube networks transported canisters containing notes from office to office. The trend quickly made it’s way to New York City.

1870s to 1980s

The invention of the telephone in 1876 brought the rise of switchboard operators. These operators manually switched incoming calls to an outgoing line. Women were typically hired for this work for their cheap labour.

1970s to 1980s

Fax machines were an office staple in the 70s and 80s. Xerox was the first to patent a fax machine for commercial use. Two years later, in 1966, it released a much smaller version – still weighing in at 46 lbs. Thankfully, these clunky and malfunctioning machines are mostly phased out.

Today and The Future

Video conferencing is quickly becoming the most effective method of communication for businesses – most aptly portrayed in Back To The Future 2, in which Marty is conducting a conference call from his home office.

While technologies of the past have come and gone, these solutions have paved the way for the latest in office communication technology. Businesses that stay up to date with this technology are able to succeed in today’s marketplace and improve productivity.

Check out the below infographic to learn more about the evolution of office communications from 1850.

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