Buh-Bye, Rolodex; Hello, Tablet

LinkedIn survey predicts the office trends and tech that will come and go in the next five years

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

Sorry, fax machines, Rolodexes and tape recorders. Your office days are numbered.

The networking site LinkedIn recently surveyed more than 7,000 of its members to see which business tools and trends are on their way in—and on their way out—within the next five years. Expected to go the way of the telex machine and the dial-up modem are, in order, the tape recorder, fax machine, Rolodex, standard workweek, desk phone, desktop computer, formal business attire, corner office for managers and execs, cubicle and USB thumb drive.

As for what new trends and tech will most likely be common in the workplace by 2017, the survey predicts tablets, cloud storage, flexible working hours, smartphones, telecommuting, video conferencing, Web-based documents, laptop computers, enterprise social networking and Web mail instead of e-mail clients.

LinkedIn connection director Nicole Williams says the Rolodex is a dying office item because today’s networking devices are more than “a plastic contraption jammed with business cards.”

“Your survival is based upon the relationships you form—and this isn’t a contest of popularity but of influence,” she says in a release. “The number-one question I’m asked when people learn I work with LinkedIn is, ‘Do I have to accept all the connection requests that are sent to me?’ The answer is no. The second most frequently asked question I get is, ‘How did you get this job?’ The answer is: through a trusted connection. The point here is, regardless of how cute (thinking chimpanzees) and talented we are, we all need a Jane Goodall in our lives. Professional survival requires a community to support our growth, invest in our development, watch our backs, sing our praises and fight for us when we need it.”

Just don’t try to do it via fax.

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