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Death of the business card? More and more workers ditch the status symbol

More than half of those who have previously used cards have given up their use since the beginning of the pandemic, the survey, conducted by Ipsos for City A.M., suggested.
More than half of those who have previously used cards have given up their use since the beginning of the pandemic, the survey, conducted by Ipsos for City A.M., suggested.

The once-vital business card looks set to become a thing of the past in the UK after new survey data revealed a sharp decline in their use.

More than half of those who have previously used cards have given up their use since the beginning of the pandemic, the survey, conducted by Ipsos for City A.M., suggested.

The data reveals that despite the return to in-person schmoozing and face-to-face work meetings, Brits are becoming less interested in maintaining the age-old custom – making the card one of the most obvious working-life casualties of widespread shift to work-from-home.

Fewer than 15 per cent of those of working age under 34 have ever doled out an 85mm by 55mm piece of card with their name and number on it – a dramatic shift from the days when business card holders were a must-have office accessory.

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Reacting to the survey, Jeremy Rees, chief executive of Excel London, which is one of the capital’s largest conference and exhibition venues, told City A.M. he has also witnessed a decline in their popularity.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a significant decline in traditional business cards in favour of more tech-savvy and sustainability-focused ways of connecting,” Rees said.

“A far greater use in technology has allowed delegates to connect well in advance of their event through pre-event surveys, mobile applications, and social media applications,” he said. “Event organisers are now ‘matchmaking delegates’ through their personal interests and business goals and maintaining this before, during and even after the event itself.”

He added: “For now, business cards still have their place, but delegates are finding smarter, more personal ways to meet and stay connected.”

Of those who have previously used business cards, over half (52 per cent) have not given one out in over four years, the survey, which was carried out by Ipsos last month, found. Just under a quarter (23 per cent) of people that have used them have done so in the last 12 months.

Over two thirds of current users (65 per cent) said they were very or fairly unlikely to use them in two year’s time, per the survey of just over 1,000 Brits last month.