Smartphones and Human Productivity Part 2/2: Awareness

Mobile devices are changing the technology landscape in the modern office. What kind of changes are smartphones specifically having on human productivity? We are looking at this question in two parts. In our last blog article we looked at how mobile devices impact networking. In part two, we will take a look at smartphones and human awareness.

Does Constant Connectivity Make People More Aware?
Smartphones have one major benefit over previous cellular phone systems. They are essentially computers in the palm of your hand. This provides users with a wealth of information available to them instantly. Some would say that the access to this information should make people more aware about what’s going on in the the world around them. The theory of ambient awareness suggests that since more people are connected to one another via the Internet, they have a tendency to know more about what is going on in the world than at any other time in history. While this seems reasonable, there are some qualifications.

The first is that the user is only privy to the information from the people he or she follows socially. For example, if everyone on your various “friends” list is a chef, chances are you will get a fair share of kitchen-related news. Another is that a user is limited by the amount of time they spend on the site. With smartphones, manufacturers have integrated this social networking capability into their offerings, making it easier than ever to be connected. Chances are, if something major happens, and you have your phone set to receive notifications, you will know about it.

Another consideration is that the use of a smartphone has the opposite effect. This theory suggests that by spending all that time staring down at the device, users have a tendency to block out the world around them. This theory centers on the belief that smartphone users are just consuming media, nothing more. This was one reason why many U.S. states have passed laws limiting the use of communication devices while driving. While it’s reasonable to assume that some people could become more distracted by smartphones, most people are able to manage just fine and make the device work for their benefit.

How Productive Can a Person Be on a Smartphone?
Two big questions for businesses concerning smartphone utilization are:

  1. How much work can be accomplished with the use of a smartphone?
  2. Is it enough to integrate smartphones into the business plan?

Productivity is usually a result of the individual with the device. The smartphone may not have the mobile computing capabilities a laptop has, but it has enough options to do some of the more fundamental tasks you would ask of your employees. Obviously it is a superior communications tool. It’s mobility alone makes the device useful, but what other work can you get done on a smartphone? There are mobile applications for many major productivity softwares, providing users the resources to use the phone as a dynamic hub in which to do business. If people can spend all day writing text messages to their sweetheart or tweeting all day, they can manage to use the word processor application. With newer devices, a user can be as productive as he or she wants to be.

If you deem that making smartphones available to your staff makes sense for your business, you’ll need to consult with Think Tank NTG. As the Northwest Indiana leader in IT-related services, Think Tank NTG can provide you with a roadmap to integrate a comprehensive mobile device management solution that allows you to securely manage your company’ss devices and the data on them. We can also offer assistance implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy to manage company information on phones your employees bring from home.

A smartphone can benefit almost any person in numerous ways, but this is especially true if the user doesn’t allow the device to get the best of their time. For more information about a mobile device management solution for your business, or to talk with a trusted consultant about BYOD, call us today at 800-501-DATA.

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