How did the telephone impact business?

Expert Answers

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The major way in which the telephone affected business was to make it easier to do business.  The telephone also had some impacts on the types of employees that businesses needed. 

One impact that the telephone had was to change the types of workers that businesses had to hire.  Before the telephone became widespread, businesses needed to physically deliver messages to one another.  They employed messengers for this process and those people became unnecessary after the invention of the telephone.  When long distance telephone calls became more possible, telegraphs and telegraph operators became expendable as well. 

The more important impact on business as a whole was to make business more efficient.  Before telephones became widespread, instant communications between people in different parts of a company, as well as between companies, were impossible.  This made for less efficiency.  A person would have to spend time writing a letter or a memo to communicate with someone else.  Alternatively, the person would have to travel to see the other person.  This was much less efficient than being able to simply pick up the telephone on their desk and instantly communicate verbally with the other person. 

Thus, the main impact of the phone was to make business more efficient.  People no longer had to spend time traveling to talk to others.  This was part of the general trend towards more efficient business practices in the late 1800s.

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