I was in touch with a former colleague of mine the other day and they sent me a picture of my old work desk phone. It was still logged into my account and with a divert through to my mobile phone.
The office had hot desking because there wasn’t enough space for everyone to be in at the same time. We had email account size restrictions and people walked around with secondary hard drives plugged into their laptops as local and network storage wasn’t adequate enough to schlep all the documents on to a file server. There wasn’t a cloud-based equivalent of a file server in use 3either.
Yet my former work desk phone remained logged in because no one was bothering to use it. So they have a surplus of desk telephones, when there was a shortage of pretty much every other resource the knowledge worker needed.
Often times, people still used the land line number which followed them due to the Cisco VoIP PBX, but they diverted it to their mobile handset. The culture was very much based around conference calls, international teams would dial into a bridge number and be connected. You would see people pacing the common spaces such as corridors or reception and participating in conference calls on headsets wired into their smartphone.
At the point of my project finishing they were just starting to roll out Skype for business. I suspect that this wasn’t going to change dramatically the use of mobile handsets, just the nature of how the call got to the recipient.
Mobile infrastructure manufacturers have been expecting this for years, they rolled out pico-cell products aimed at enterprises to deal with reception dead spots in metal framed office buildings. What really seemed to have spurred things into action is the rise of all-you-can-eat voice tariffs.