One of the pros of a mobile workforce is that employees want to use their own devices. One of the cons of a mobile workforce is that employees want to use their own devices.
Mixing business with personal device use puts security concerns at the forefront, but it can also save companies the expense of providing employees with phones and other devices.
Companies shouldn’t completely do away with their employee computer and device budgets, though, because most employees can’t do all their work on a smartphone.
So, what technology should you provide for in-office use and out-of-office use?
How Tablets Support a Mobile Workforce
Tablets certainly have their place in the workplace. They can be used in meetings and presentations, and they can be used as a means to control the equipment in meeting spaces.
Overall, however, Deloitte has predicted that tablet use will decrease to 165 million tablets worldwide — 30 percent less than in 2014. They may be fun and handy to use, but they aren’t exactly necessary.
Pew Research Center reports that 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That means more employees than ever have the option to communicate for work via their private devices.
"Sales of tablets in 2017 will be fewer than 165 million units globally, down 10% from the previous year and down 30% from 2014’s peak of 230 million units," Deloitte reported.
It’s easy to send emails and even conference call from a smartphone. With browser capabilities, the availability of work apps, and more work being done in the cloud, smartphones can do most of what a tablet can do. The laptop can cover whatever capabilities are missing or impractical from the smartphone.
For those reasons, tablet purchases are now being reserved for specific kinds of uses like controlling equipment, posting on social media, and taking to live events.
How Laptops Support a Mobile Workforce
There’s no clear-cut answer for which device is best, as people base their habits on personal preference. As this article in Search Engine Land explains, people prefer certain devices for certain kinds of activities. Some may prefer conducting research on their tablets or smartphones but then may want to finalize a transaction on a desktop or laptop.
Overall, there’s not a lot that a laptop can’t do. However, a desktop computer costs less and is easier to upgrade, meaning you get more power for less money. And, a comScore report revealed that 80 percent of retail conversions happen on a computer.
Laptops make the most sense if your goal is to support a mobile workforce. They allow mobile employees to get more work done while on the road, and they also save the day when someone at home needs to supply the missing link to an important project.