The Rolodex is first up on a list of office tools that may soon become obsolete. Invented in 1956, this rotating filing system for business contacts remained a fixture on most office desks well into the computer age. But some 58% of the 7,000 professionals surveyed by LinkedIn say the devices will likely be seen only on exhibit at the Smithsonian within the next five years.
Fax machines: The demise of the fax has been predicted for years, but these office workhorses may finally be put out to pasture, according to 71% of those surveyed. Indeed, they are No. 2 on LinkedIn’s soon-to-be-extinct list. Some of those who regard their paper-eating ways as environmentally unsound have even filmed themselves smashing their faxes to make their point.
Desktop phones: Now that email and instant messaging have rendered most phone conversations unnecessary, 35% of professionals say the desktop telephone will soon be merely decorative. This may not be as far-fetched as it sounds, especially if home phones are anything to go by. Only a decade ago, 97% of American homes had a landline, compared with just 74% of homes today, according to a study by Pew Research.
Tape recorders: When Mark Spoonauer, editor-in-chief at LaptopMag.com, wants to record an interview, he uses the record function on his iPhone. Smartphones are already replacing digital recorders. It’s no wonder that some 79% of those surveyed by LinkedIn say tape recorders will soon be obsolete.
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