E-mail Killed the Chat Show Star

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street journal recently – wireless carriers are getting creative in the way they charge customers for voice calls. They need to as the average length of a person to person phone call has almost halved in 6 years from 3.03 minutes to 1.78 minutes.

It reminded me of this op-ed from New York Times about 15 months ago on how people don’t talk on the phone much anymore. I’d like to think I started the trend with ‘The End of the Phone’ but it’s unlikely!

It may seem like the end of conversation, which funnily enough was at odds with a subject occupying some UK HR bloggers recently. Gareth Jones thinks that conversation is the new currency whereas Rob Jones points out that it’s the old currency, it’s been the lifeblood of organisations since well before the days of Don Draper. We’re just going back to being human, as Doug Shaw puts it.

All of which took me back to my very first job in a 150 person accountancy firm. This wasn’t the days of Mad Men (no jokes) but still if you wanted to speak to a colleague you either picked up the phone and dialled their internal extension or walked over to their desk. If a partner wanted to see you they phoned you and told you to come and see them with a specific file. Most days any number from 5 to 50 may drop by the pub for a lunchtime glass of shandy or sandwich, whilst small groups from different departments would gather in nearby cafés. A lunch break was just that! A break to get out the office and usually chat. Continue reading “E-mail Killed the Chat Show Star”