Are Fax Machines Still Important?
Fax machines were once a vital part of any office, but business owners have begun to question whether a fax machine is still relevant, or whether it is an outdated piece of bulky office equipment. Technology has improved immensely over the past decade and gadgets are becoming smaller and more mobile, and people seem to have no excuse for being out of touch – Facebook, email, text messages, Twitter, Instagram and many more ensure that we are always an arm’s reach away from friends, family and colleagues.
But where does this compact, fast technology leave the fax machine? Fax machines are generally thought of as bulky pieces of office equipment that stopped being in-vogue in the early 2000s, when fax-to-email started becoming the newest office trend. For many years, some companies have been eschewing the use of fax machines for fax-to-email. After all, fax-to-email allows you to send and receive faxes to and from your email inbox, as well as giving you the ability to access your faxes from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Some smart phones even support fax-to-email. Back in 1999 who would have thought you could send a fax directly from your phone? So are fax machines really as outdated as postcards, telegrams and landline telephones?
The one biggest factor that will ensure fax machines continue to be used in offices worldwide is the fact that they are still the quickest and easiest way to send important documents that need to be printed out or signed. Technology hasn’t improved to the point where we can sign documents over the internet, so without fax machines, the only other option would be to have documents posted or couriered, which is far more expensive and time consuming than simply sending a fax.
In very few circumstances is fax-to-email enough. Most companies use fax-to-email in conjunction with a regular fax machine, as faxing a signed document is easier and faster than printing out a document, signing it, scanning it and emailing it back.
For the foreseeable future, fax machines are still extremely important in the day to day functioning of companies.