Small- and medium-sized businesses are continuing to adopt mobile technology into the workplace in an amazing number of ways. Companies are taking advantage of both the relatively low cost of the technology as well as its low maintenance and portability in the field.
Neuroscience has supported the decades-old learning theory that most people acquire the majority of their knowledge through their eyes. The tablet, unlike text reports or audio devices, can display information in an easy to read and easy to understand format. One aspect of this type of presentation is that in many cases it crosses language and education barriers to present the information. In the world of the Internet, this is a huge advantage over other forms of visual communication.
Another advantage of tablets is that they can provide access to documents and files to employees around the globe with the use of middleware. One dimension of business and computing that has received more than a normal dose of media coverage is data security. The proper middleware gives companies that security and is also able to manage document access within the company itself. This allows controlled access to key documents at anytime, anywhere in the world.
What About Play?
One aspect of tablets that employers are often hesitant to approach is the issue of allowing employees to use their device for entertainment, mainly in the form of game playing. As was mentioned earlier, the tablet is a visual medium, which makes it a natural choice for everything from card games to interactive online competitions. Concerns over how much time employees use the tablet for play instead of work are rampant.
The best employees know that they are the happiest and most productive when they enjoy their work. Research has shown that tablets increase productivity and employee satisfaction on the job. The reasons behind this are many, but approaching work as if it were play creates an interest and enthusiasm that keeps workers working.
Including a sensible amount of access to internet games and other types of tablet apps sends a message to your employees that there is time for both work and play. Road warriors know how tedious and demanding constant travel can be. The tablet is not an all-in-one answer to the problem, but it does open doors for a more mentally relaxing environment, knowing management recognizes the need for downtime for everyone.
For all the controversy surrounding mobile technology and its use in the workplace, management’s first task is to make mobile technology a tool for increased productivity within the company. This means instead of looking at what other companies are doing, focus on how an investment in technology directly relates to your bottom line. Once that is decided, then each department can deploy tablets to the need-to-haves. IT departments need to be given sufficient notice to plan for the expansion on the company’s servers – and then decide the best middleware solution for everyone.
Maximize the advantages of the tablet and be sure to include room for play and relaxation. Create opportunities for tablet users to give feedback on what apps should be included for play and which ones are essential for work. Making tablets a key technology for your business will require adjustments and changes along the way. Stay flexible to the future possibilities, and the investment in the tablet will pay for itself in far less time than you realize.