#Telephones, Fax Machines and Answering Machines
The telephone is an integral part of the office, designed to communicate with others in an inexpensive and quick way. Modern office telephones are either corded, connecting the headset to the base unit or cordless, so you can take the phone with you if not at your desk. Telephones also come with the option of an integrated answering machine for use when you are not able to take a call.
Fax machines are for sending and receiving text documents. These sometimes have a printer/scanner option making it a multi-functional piece of equipment for an office environment.
Here at Cromwell, we supply brands such as BT & Brother in a range of options.
##What are telephones, fax machines and answering machines
Telephones are for use with communicating with other teams within your office or with external contacts such as suppliers or customers. Some telephones have the option of an integrated answering machine.
Fax machines are for sending and receiving text documents. Some models have a printer/scanner option making it a multi-functional piece of equipment for an office environment.
##Why telephones, fax machines and answering machines
Telephones are a quick and efficient way of contacting people. Calls can be made internally within the business or externally to suppliers or customers.
For the times when you are not available to take calls or if the office is closed you can rely on an answer machine to pick up any messages to deal with on your return.
Fax machines can be used to send documents via a telephone connection. These are also multi- tasking and can be used as a scanner or printer when connected to a PC or Laptop.
##Types of telephones, fax machines and answering machines
• Cordless - Handset separate to the base unit, so you don't have to be at your desk to take or make a call
• Corded - The headset is corded to the base unit, it is not a mobile unit and must be used in situ
• Fax Machine - *You can send and receive faxes as well as using it as the office printer or scanner when connected to your PC/Laptop
• Answering Machine - Usually integrated as an option. Can be used when you are unable to take a call or for out of office hours. Recording time differs from model to model
##Considerations when choosing a telephone, fax machine and answering machines
• Switchboard compatible - Suitable for use with the company switchboard capabilities
• Caller ID - Displays the number who is calling you on the telephone
• Hands Free - Usually a speaker option on the telephone which allows you to converse without having to hold the handset/headset
• Block nuisance Calls - Some telephones have this feature where you can block unwanted nuisance or marketing calls. The number is logged as a blocked number and you will no longer receive calls from this number.
• Answering Machine - Ensure the recording time available is suitable for your needs. You can playback the message through the handset or via the speaker on handsfree if you have a cordless telephone.
• Hearing Aid Compatible - Some telephones are compatible with hearing aids and you can boost the volume of the call.
• Number Directory - You can add your frequently used numbers into the telephone/fax machine's directory, for quick dial convenience
• Find me function - available from compatible base unit to find the missing handset
Will landline phones become obsolete? - The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is the copper cable technology that currently supplies the connection, but this is being switched off in December 2025 and replaced with fibre-optic cable/internet connection. As long as you have broadband connection you will still have access to a landline.