While it’s no surprise that employees admit to logging in after hours and on vacation, new data reveals they’re increasingly using their personal tablets to maintain a work/life balance.
According to survey results from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples Inc., more than 60 percent of tablet owners even admit to powering on their tablet during vacation to check in with the office or do work.
Personally, we remain skeptical that tablets will replace laptops and PCs for work, but the Staples study (and iPad sales) tend to suggest that the general public loves them.
Tablets represent the latest device to bridge the worlds of both home and office, the study says, in part because of their convenience, ease of use and portability. About 80 percent of tablet owners say they enjoy an improved work/life balance because of the technology and cite the following business benefits:
- Increased productivity – Almost 60 percent of survey respondents say they get more work done using a tablet.
- Communication central – More than 40 percent said staying connected with colleagues and clients was the primary motivator for buying a tablet.
- Easy to work – About 75 percent of tablet users check email. One-third review and edit documents on their device.
Mobility Wins Over Functionality
What’s the number one motivator for owning a tablet? The winner (at more than 90 percent) is the convenience of portability. Being able to tuck a tablet into a portfolio or small bag was more important than the ability to video conference, the device’s operating system or easy access to office email and VPN. Convenience was so important to survey respondents that they also admitted using a tablet in bed (78 percent), in the bathroom (35 percent), and at a restaurant (30 percent).
We’re using tablet-like devices – a Kindle for instance – in those situations now. We’re thinking about upgrading to an e-reader like device with more functions, perhaps one of the newer units coming out later this year, mostly for that reason – convenience and portability. But the Staples study says they’re also being increasingly used for business.
With the rise of tablets being used as a business device, there is concern about security. As with any device, Staples recommends good security and data protection practices to guard against data loss or malware.
Currently, two-thirds of tablet owners do not regularly back up data on their devices. With the advent of hosted cloud servcies, data can be stored on a remote server rather than on the tablet. This way, if the device is lost or stolen, work documents and other data are not at risk. Tablet users should also install and update security software. Less than 15 percent of those surveyed have installed encryption or anti-virus software on their tablets.
Tablet Excitement Continues to Grow
This year, a multitude of tablet models have been introduced into the market, 95 percent of which are being used as a supplemental device to a laptop/PC, according to the Staples survey. However, more than 60 percent of current tablet owners think tablets will someday serve as their primary computing device.
We’re in the 40 percent that thinks we’ll need a more work-friendly device than a tablet, at least one of the those currently available. How about you? Ready to switch to tablet-only?
- One-third of tablet users say shopping is a favorite activity on the device
- Mobile banking apps may keep customers loyal
- Nearly 90 percent of tablet owners using them to shop
- Tablets emerging as preferred online shopping device
- Personal & family security important to smarthphone, tablet users
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