Electronic communications have come along way. It began in 1867 with the invention of the typewriter, which eliminated the need for handwritten business letters and documents. Then the invention of the telephone in 1876 reduced the need for face-to-face meetings. Today we have numerous types of new technology, which enable us to do business faster and more efficient than ever before. These technologies include fax, e-mail, teleconferencing/videoconferencing, and voice messages. Each of these forms of electronic communications has advantages and disadvantages, and requires the use of proper workplace etiquette.
Facsimile transmissions, which are more often called fax, are an important form of electronic communications in the business world even though they are used less frequently than telephones and e-mail. Fax capabilities have many advantages. The most important advantage is the widespread availability. A fax is inexpensive to send and generally costs no more than the price of a telephone call. Faxing information saves time and money. A fax can be used to send just about anything. With a fax machine it is easy to send drawings, charts, graphs, words, and pictures that would take far longer to explain over a telephone.
Disadvantages of sending faxes include the inability to send two-sided sided, or duplexed, documents automatically. Another problem is that a low quality or dark original may not transmit well. Confidentiality is also an issue when the fax machine is located in a common office area (Ford & deMontravel 2001). It is important to use care in deciding which documents are appropriate to send through a company fax machine. If a personal document...
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...e information down (Ford & deMontravel 2001). When receiving voice mails always return calls as soon as possible. It is best to avoid leaving upsetting messages in a voice mail or answering machine unless necessary (Ford & deMontravel 2001). Do not leave long distance telephone numbers on an machine and instead inform the recipient that another attempt will be made to contact them (Ford & deMontravel 2001).
Fax, e-mail, teleconferencing and video conferencing, and voice messages are all forms of electronic communications that are essential. It would be impossible to operate a competitive business without such means of communication in today's fast paced, global, and technologically advanced business environment. It takes training to use these impersonal ways of communication correctly to build lasting relationships that are key to success in any business field.
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