Tablet Users at Work Report Improved Productivity: CDW

A survey of tablet owners’ workplace habits suggests the devices are improving productivity across a variety of industries and helping make office life better overall.

It is not a shock to hear tablet use is growing in the workplace, as businesses adopt bring-your-own-device platforms and look to squeeze more productivity out of an increasingly mobile workforce, and a CDW survey of 610 respondents from business, education health care and government suggests tablets are a major asset—and their use is taking up more than a quarter of their total computing time.

Among survey respondents, a surprising 59 percent said the tablet they use at work belongs to them—suggesting the BYOD trend has spread across all industries and affects businesses of all sizes. About a third (34 percent) said their tablet was company owned, while 7 percent claimed dual ownership.

“The poll reveals increasing comfort level with mobile work, as well as the great utility of tablet technology for employees in all types of organizations,” CDW’s director of operations and ecosystem development for mobility solutions Joe Woods said. “We also see in the data a growing acceptance of personal devices in the workplace, which signals that the appropriate security tools and protocols are in place. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they use a personal tablet at work.”

The majority (56 percent) of respondents have had their tablet for just a year, 32 percent have possessed a tablet for two years, and just nine percent have had a tablet for three years. The survey indicated the most critical applications were, unsurprisingly, email and a Web browser, followed by office and productivity suites, while photo and video editing capabilities were deemed not so important. Social media was way down in sixth place among “can’t live without” work applications.

The ability to collaborate with coworkers, creating a more enjoyable work environment, and the capability to access information on the go were among the top reasons workers like their tablets. Sixty-eight percent of respondents also use a desktop, 62 percent also use a notebook PC, more than half (53 percent) carry a smartphone, 22 percent carry a cell phone, and just two percent pack nothing but their tablet.

Tablets turned out to be a major productivity enhancer and time saver (just 6 percent of tablet users surveyed said they were “pressed for time”), with users spending an average of 2.1 hours daily on their device for work purposes, but spending 26 percent of their total computing time on the tablet. A whopping 84 percent of respondents said tablets make them better multi-taskers, and the average user gained 1.1 hours in daily productivity by using the device.

“Perhaps most surprising is what we didn’t find; significant differences in tablet adoption and use across industries. Among all segments, employees are using tablets at about the same rates and for the same functions, and achieving about the same productivity gains,” Woods added. “Historically, some industries are early adopters, while others prefer to implement new technology once it has matured and been proven in other organizations.”