No-one ever said working remotely was easy. As well as having a comfortable, quiet and well-lit space to work in, telecommuters also need the right technology to support them. We’re not just talking about having a powerful laptop, either. As more companies use apps like Skype (60%), WhatsApp (65%) and even Facebook Messenger (51%) to communicate internally, smartphones and tablets are becoming an essential work tool too.
According to the Regus Great Big Survey, canvassing over 20,000 business people, 45% of remote workers say that having the right smartphone has a big impact on their ability to telecommute. With smartphones more popular than ever, it’s definitely something to add into your work tech budget.
To help you get the most out of your money, we’ve put together a guide to some of the smartphones and tablets that we think are best for business.
Finding a good tablet for work is all about flexibility and accessibility. Your tablet needs to be easy to use whenever you’re away from your desk, whether that’s in a café, on the train or at the airport.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4: If you add the keyboard cover (which is, unfortunately, sold separately) this tablet could rival your laptop. The keyboard has been improved since older models, as has the tablet’s processor which (above entry level) is now powered by Intel Skylake. The resolution has also had a real boost, and at 2,735 x 1,824 it even beats the MacBook Air.
The Apple iPad Pro: This is the biggest iPad that Apple has ever produced. Optional accessories include a keyboard cover (again, great as an on-the-go laptop replacement) and an Apple Pencil stylus for creative users. The tablet also features new split-screen multi-tasking, which makes it easier to write and review documents at the same time. The only drawback is that the battery life is a bit short, so don’t forget to pack your charger.
When you’re choosing a business smartphone, it’s important to look at speed, storage, and the access you’ll get to all the apps you need.
Microsoft Lumia 950: With 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, this phone is pretty powerful. It also comes with a year’s free subscription to Office 365 Personal, and the rear camera is an eye-popping 20 megapixels. If you attach it to the display dock (sold separately) it can even be used in place of your PC. The iris-scanning lock screen is a nice, Sci-Fi touch.
BlackBerry PRIV: Blackberry is the quintessential smartphone-for-business brand, and has now added Android technology to its range with this handset. It also has a fold-out keyboard, perfect for anyone who prefers to blast out emails in a more tactile form than a touchscreen allows. The security features are, as expected with Blackberry, fantastic.
iPhone 7: Apple has a great offering for their business customer, from the AppleCare business protection plan to powerful productivity apps. When it comes to mobile devices, the iPhone 7 is designed to help employees work as effectively as possible. The smartphone has a 7mp front camera so you can make those important conference calls, and it’s also focused on security, making sure your work data is kept separate from your personal data.