You may scoff at the idea of 'endangered office products' but ask yourself this: when did you last use a hand-held calculator? Is a scanner still an integral gadget in your office? Is your filing cabinet gathering dust in a corner?
Office supplies firm Pixmania Pro has enlisted a panel of specialists to sift through sales data for popular and 'iconic' office products to see which ones will stand the test of time in years to come. They found that many office stalwarts are approaching total extinction.
Here's the definitive list:
1. Desk phones
2. USB sticks
3. Blank CDs
6. Filing cabinets
7. Paper in-trays
8. The office notice board
9. Post-It notes
10. Water coolers
Interesting, isn't it? Desk phones are declining the fastest, mostly because of the rise of smartphones. Who wants to be tethered to a desk when VoIP or a plain old mobile can let you roam free? Over a quarter of consumers have already abandoned ye olde desk phone. Could they be gone forever in a year's time?
In second and third place are USB sticks and blank CDs. The increasing use of cloud networks, which allow users to remotely access and store files, is expected to spell the end for these once essential PC accessories. Their days are already numbered: the rate of small companies signing up for cloud-based services has doubled in the past six months.
Paper products are no longer in vogue either. Scanners, in-trays and filing cabinets are finding themsleves increasingly unloved. The 'paperless office' is on its way; these are the casualties. Messaging through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as company intranet and email, have also rendered the office notice board - and even Post-Its - defunct. Digital communication is faster, and less subject to the vicissitudes of squiggly handwriting.
Finally, the humble water cooler makes tenth place. Filtered water is seen as better for the environment and plumbed in systems offer significant cost-savings for savvy business owners. Goodbye water cooler moment, hello tap chat.
Think there's life in the calculator yet? Got a product's to add to the endangered list? Do share.