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Stuck in the 80s: 70 percent of German firms still use fax machines

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Stuck in the 80s: 70 percent of German firms still use fax machines
File photo: racorn / Depositphotos.
17:02 CET+01:00
A new survey of how German businesses communicate shows that a large majority still admit to using the Cold War-era technology - and quite frequently, too.

German firms are getting more on board with new technologies, but still largely hold onto the out-dated fax machine, according to the survey by German digital association Bitkom released this week.

A surprising 70 percent of respondents said they use fax machines “often” or “very often” at their business, both for internal or external purposes. And for smaller businesses of between 20 to 49 workers, this proportion was even higher at 77 percent.

In fact, faxing was the most preferred method of relaying information behind landline phones and email.

This report could lend support to The Local's hypothesis that Germany is still stuck in the 1980s.

The survey was conducted by polling 504 companies with at least 20 employees.

Percentage of companies that say they use each method "often" or "very often"

While the fact that more than two-thirds of German businesses still use the less than cutting-edge device may seem high, it was a drop of 9 percent from when the survey was performed last year.

Landline phones and email were the most popular forms of communication with 100 percent of respondents reporting that they used these methods frequently.

Online meetings and video conferences increased in use with 52 percent of companies saying they often held such virtual chats, compared to 40 percent in 2016.

Smartphone use also increased from 51 percent to 58 percent.

And German companies seem to be late adopters when it comes to social media, as less than one in four said they used social networks to interact, though this was an increase from 2016's 15 percent.

The least used method of communicating was through company blogs or micro-blogging sites with just 3 percent of companies reporting that they often use such platforms.

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