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Familiar Business Tools and Practices Head Toward Extinction

Old fashioned calculatorTools for small business bookkeeping have evolved over the decades from huge ledger books and fountain pens to adding machines and calculators to today’s desktop computers and small business accounting software. In the business world, this kind of change is a constant, yet it’s always a little surprising when a piece of once-indispensable office equipment becomes obsolete, or when a common business practice disappears.

The business networking site LinkedIn recently surveyed more than 7,000 of its members in 18 countries to find out which common business tools and practices people expect to be gone from offices in the next 5 years. These are the top ten items that those surveyed expect to say goodbye to by 2017 (percentages listed are the percent of respondents who thought the item will disappear from general business use in the next 5 years).

  • tape recorders (79%)
  • fax machines (71%)
  • Rolodexes and similar products (58%)
  • standard working hours (57%)
  • desk phones (35%)
  • desktop computers (34%)
  • formal business attire such as suits, ties, pantyhose, etc. (27%)
  • corner offices for executives (21%)
  • cubicles (19%)
  • thumb or flash drives for data storage (17%)

The survey respondents were also asked which trends and tools are more representative of their business lives today. The top choices, each named by a little over half of the respondents, were tablet computers, smartphones, “cloud” storage for data and flexible working hours. On a lighter note, the surveyors also asked what amenities people fantasized about having available at work. Responses ranged from heated chairs, office skylights and a nap room to a room with punching bags and a mute button for annoying co-workers.

PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES® has been helping small businesses since 1966, and over the years we’ve seen a lot of changes in the ways that companies do business. One thing that never changes is PADGETT's commitment to provide our clients with quality bookkeeping, financial reporting, payroll, consulting and tax services. We have more than 400 locations throughout the United States and Canada waiting to serve your enterprise.

Do you have the support you need to manage your small business bookkeeping? Schedule a 30-minute appointment to speak with a local small business adviser.

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