Buying mobile devices for your staff

If your staff spend time out of the office during the day visiting customers, suppliers or contacts, chances are they'll want the same communication tools they usually have in the office to minimise down time and increase your ability to immediately respond to customers. This guide will help you to work out exactly what you'll need.

  • The tools available to mobilise your workforce
  • What tool for what job?
  • Measuring your effectiveness

The tools available to mobilise your workforce

Featurephones or smartphones are becoming increasingly essential for workers outside the office, allowing them to respond immediately to emails, make calls, and browse the internet. If you want your staff to spend more time online, netbooks or laptops with a USB modem or mobile broadband stick will enable them to send emails, browse the internet and edit documents.

  • Featurephones like Blackberrys and PDAs allow your staff to respond to emails immediately
  • Laptops will mean your staff can maintain full productivity on the move
  • Some laptops may already have wifi modems built in

Which tool?

Deciding what to get your staff depends on what you want them to do. The key differences are screen size and computing power versus portability - the longer they spend working on data, the more likely it is they will need a notebook and broadband card.  If it's mostly reading and sending quick email a smartphone will do.

  • Screen size and computing power versus portability
  • If your staff spend a lot of time working on data, they will probably need a laptop
  • If they just need to respond to emails, a smartphone will do

Measuring your effectiveness

Work out how much time your staff spend outside the office - could they benefit from tools to help them increase their productivity? If they spend a lot of time between meetings or travelling, a smartphone or laptop to help them stay in contact will probably be an advantage. Calculating a cost/revenue per hour generated by staff members will provide a quick ROI for your investment.

  • Work out how much time your staff spend outside the office
  • Staff who spend time between meetings or on the move could benefit
  • Calculate the cost vs the revenue generated

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