A future office relic – the landline phone.

In recent years past, a common complaint of the office worker was that they carried two separate cell phones – one for office and one for personal.  It allowed them to keep their lives separate.  However, the one thing that never came up was that they actually had four (4!) separate phone numbers that people could use to contact them:

  • Home Landline
  • Office Desk Line
  • Personal Cell Phone
  • Work Cell Phone

That’s a lot of communication points.  It also makes it very hard to reach people as some people in your life may have access to all 4 numbers – which one should they call at any given time of the day?  Most people don’t want to play phone roulette  while hoping to reach the person they are calling.

It’s not breaking news that home landlines are going away rapidly.  Younger persons are very likely to not have one at all.  And even the older generations are moving just to cell phones.

I believe the next change will be the disappearance of the work desk phone.  It’s a significant cost to businesses to provide 2 phones to many of their employees.  And as more employees have some level of mobility available to them (either working from home or being able to sit in different places in an office) they are more likely to give out their mobile phone instead of their desk line.  As use of the desk line drops, increasing numbers of companies will think about dropping them.

But the biggest barrier to this issue is the absolutely terrible mobile connectivity available in many buildings.  But that is a problem which can be overcome without too much issue.  The technology largely already exists with mobile hotspots, wifi calling or carrier provided portable network equipment.  The cost of dropping landlines likely justifies this new hardware or technology.

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