The landline telephone was invented over a hundred years ago, and it has since evolved into nation-wide data networks, mobile phones and hands-free headsets, all of which can be incredible productivity tools. You can close a business deal while you cook dinner, manage your bank account on a bus, interview an applicant during your drive to work or touch base with your colleagues with both hands on a fishing pole or a golf club.
But, there’s still that old relic of a device, your landline desk phone, tethered to your desk by a primitive tangle of plastic coils, poised to light up and sound off at any moment.
Desk phones may have been cutting-edge decades ago, but today they’re fundamentally flawed. While their smartphone counterparts are taking opportunistic advantage of travel time and idle hands, the desk phone is hogging your prime productivity hours.
Nowadays, your desk phone can seem like an unnecessary paperweight, or worse, an automatic interruption machine situated right in the middle of your productive safe-haven. Often, an epiphany or an almost-finished task can get neglected, delayed or completely abandoned for a much less important phone call.
Emails allow you to address the important messages before the rest. Smartphones allow you to take advantage of time that would otherwise be wasted. But, a ringing deskphone will interrupt even the most critical work, regardless of how important (or unimportant) the phone call is.
Is your desk phone necessary and helpful? Is it a necessary evil? Are desk phones a dead technology?