Hard-line old-school telephones are evil, annoying and outdated technology that, for some reason, people just can't let go of. Especially in an office environment. In today's era of cell phones, e-mail, video conferencing and web searches, it seems to me there is no real need for them anymore. They have gone the way of the 8-track and VHS, but businesses simply don't realize it yet.
Telephones were invented over 140 years ago. How many technologies that old are still required office equipment? Other than pens, pencils and paper, nothing jumps to mind. (Furniture does not count as technology here.)
I have no fewer than 3 work-related phone numbers (desk, crackberry and the main office #). Eliminate the hard-line phones, and that's just one number the firm has to maintain for me. Multiply that by however many employees a firm has and you can see a huge cost savings right there.
Maybe it's just me, but there is no noise in a business environment more jarring than the constant ringing of telephones. It's especially true in the land of the cube, where the entire room can hear any phone ringing. Not to mention that annoyingly loud co-worker's phone conversations.
Of course, if we were allowed to telecommute, then this would be a moot question. Baby steps.