WORKPLACE / JAN. 11, 2015
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Coca-Cola Retires Voice Mail System to Improve Productivity

coca cola office

Since the invention of voice mailing, leaving a message after the tone hasn’t always been ideal for everyone.

Now, one American beverage company is changing the way they receive missed phone call messages.

Soda manufacturing giant Coca-Cola located in Atlanta, GA has decided to remove the use of voice mail.

Offices at both the company’s technology plaza and headquarters disconnected voice message from its landline phones in November.

Communication experts say that Coca-Cola is one of the first corporations to realize how useless, invaluable, and time-consuming a voice mail system is in contemporary times.

The younger generation’s usage of texting has mainly been the reason behind this perception.

Research from 2012 shows that only 26 percent of cell phone users in their 20s and 30s rather talk than text.

Furthermore, smartphones provide better alternatives including text voice mail.

Leaving voice messages can be annoying, but searching through loads of voice mails can be even more of a hassle.

Most modern-day mobile phones list the name of the callers next to each voice message. This makes it easier for a person to manage multiple messages and choose which ones they want to listen to or delete.

Some anti-voice mail supporters feel that if a caller is in desperate need to get in contact with someone, then they will use other means of communication like text message or email. If the call is that important, then they will call back until they receive an answer.

Voice mail is just a waste of time for most professionals who are refusing to use it, and evidence is starting to reveal this to be true.

Data retrieved by Vonage revealed that voice mail messages decreased by 8 percent between October 2013 and April 2014.

A 2013 survey also found that only one-third of workers in the U.S. actually listen to voice messages left from business contacts and fellow colleagues.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan researcher Michael Schrage says that Coca-Cola’s decision to terminate voice messaging made complete sense, considering the fact that certain technology loses its relevance over time.

"This is inevitable; corporate voicemail is to the 21st century what the telegraph is to the 20th century," said Schrage, who mainly conducts research for the School of Management’s Center for Digital Business. "Something that was once seen as valuable and indispensable is now seen not only as worthless, but as so inefficient it must be removed."

Coca-Cola employees assume that this is one of many efforts to reduce costs outlined in the company’s 2019 business proposal.

In October, the company announced that its savings program would be working towards cutting at least $3 billion in yearly expenses for the next four years.

However, Coca-Cola officials say that getting rid of voice messaging has nothing to do with cutting company costs, but workplace performance.

Chief Information Officer Ed Steinike said that eliminating this method of communication would help "to simplify the way we work and increase productivity."

While most of Coca-Cola’s headquarters has removed itself from traditional voice mailing, 6 percent of the company’s employees has decided to continue using office-based messaging system.


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