Harvard Phases Out Office Landlines. Is Your Workplace Next?
Rather than maintain its landlines, the university is opting to subsidize cell phones for employees at its new online learning initiative.
America's oldest university has a penchant for trying new and innovating things. One example: HarvardX, the university's fancy new online learning and research platform. Jonah Newman of Marketplace talks about HarvardX as if it were an ambitious new startup, which makes it fitting the way he goes on about its new digs:
"When the team at HarvardX began setting up its new offices in Cambridge, down came the walls and the cubicles, in came the long tables and shared work spaces. And out went the landlines. Or most of them anyway."
Nothing says "dragging education into the 21st century" quite like abandoning technologies of old. And, like it or not, your landline is quickly becoming about as pragmatic as the Pony Express. Harvard's IT department, in dealing with an aging system that gets used less and less each year, has made it a goal to ease the university community off wired phones. Thus, as HarvardX's offices are new, the decision was made not to fit them with landlines. Instead, the University gives employees $50 per month to subsidize their cell phones.
Such an approach probably wouldn't work for every office. Many are highly dependant on their Shoretel or Cisco system, especially if customers are calling in at a high rate. Another issue that arises is the blurring of the line between "working" and "not working." The nice thing about having an office landline is that you won't be bothered with work calls when you're on your own time.Still, it's difficult to imagine that 50 years from now we'll still be employing the same system of receptionists fielding and directing calls to unattended office landlines. It also feels like it won't be long until the landline goes the way of the phone booth.
Keep reading at Marketplace
Photo credit: Gajus / Shutterstock
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
A 2019 ranking of all 50 states' education systems shows the Sunshine State serves its college students well.
- Florida may be the butt of many jokes, but its higher education system is second to none.
- However, the state's PreK-12 education lacks comparatively, giving Massachusetts the top spot for the best education overall.
- Americans believe their state governments should prioritize education, but much work needs to be done to catch up to other countries.
Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.
- Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
- The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
- The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
Mega-rich entrepreneurs are taking us where no human being has gone before.
- During the first golden era of space exploration, we went to the moon. Then we sort of dropped the ball for 50 years.
- The problem is space travel is very expensive, especially the way governments do space travel.
- Because it costs $10,000 to put a pound of anything into orbit around the planet, we need to have an infusion of public and private funds. That's where billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos come into the picture. With their help, we have new energies, new strategies, and new plans to go back into outer space.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.