Tape recorders, fax machines top office equipment on way out – LinkedIn study

26 Sep 2012

Tape recorders and fax machines are the top 2 office tools heading for extinction, a survey by business social network LinkedIn reveals.

LinkedIn surveyed more than 7,000 professionals around the world as part of its ‘Office Endangered Species’ study, asking them which office tools and trends will most likely no longer be seen in offices by 2017.

Top 10 items and office trends that are becoming rare and could even disappear in the next five years. Percentages are amount of respondents who cited that response.

  1. Tape recorders (79pc)
  2. Fax machines (71pc)
  3. The Rolodex (58pc)
  4. Standard working hours (57pc)
  5. Desk phones (35pc)
  6. Desktop computers (34pc)
  7. Formal business attire like suits, ties, pantyhose (27pc)
  8. The corner office for managers/executives (21pc)
  9. Cubicles (19pc)
  10. USB thumb drives (17pc)

Source: LinkedIn’s ‘Office Endangered Species’ study

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents said tape recorders, and 71pc said fax machines were on their way out.

The Rolodex (cited by 58pc of respondents), standard working hours (57pc) and desk phones (35pc) round out the top 5.

In terms of office tools that are becoming more ubiquitous, globally, 52pc of professionals selected tablets, 54pc chose cloud storage, and 52pc selected flexible working hours and smartphones.

More than half (52pc) of professionals in the US said tablets are the office tools ruling the planet.

“It’s no surprise to see the Rolodex gathering dust as the pace of technological innovation rapidly makes many workplace practices and tools redundant,” said LinkedIn’s connection director, Nicole Williams.

Office dream tools

Survey respondents also indicated what dream tools they would like to see in the office.

Top of the list, as named by 25pc of respondents, is a clone or assistant to help them throughout the day. A quarter of respondents also said a place in the office that provides natural sunlight would be a dream; and 22pc opt for a quiet place in their office where they’re allowed to take a nap.

Nineteen per cent of respondents also wish for quiet – in the form of a mute button they could use on their co-workers.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic