UK workers more likely to use pen and paper than tablet when working on the go

15 Nov 2012

An online survey of over 2,000 office workers in the UK has revealed that tablets are not tops for the mobile workforce, and many prefer the traditional old pen and paper to get things done.

The survey for Firstsource Solutions, carried out by YouGov, asked people what they use to get work done when on the move. Smartphones came out on top, with 21pc using these, followed closely by laptops at 19pc. But tablets didn’t fare so well with just 4pc saying this is their device of choice – particularly significant when 12pc said they use a simple pen and paper.

While this could easily be down to the penetration of tablets among those surveyed, the obstacles to working easily with mobile devices are also deterring workers. Of those surveyed, 21pc said that battery life on mobile devices was the biggest obstacle to working on the move, followed by lack of internet access at 20pc, and lack of access to files at 16pc – raising the question of why businesses aren’t quicker to switch to the cloud.

In all, 29pc of workers surveyed said they would need mobile internet access at least once a day during the working week for work purposes, but only 32pc were satisfied with the access afforded them – but with 4G now available in 10 cities across the UK, and Ireland’s 4G auction now complete, this could be set to change.

“As the traditional working environment evolves away from the office and working hours are extended to facilitate global communications, people are increasingly using their mobile devices to work whilst on the move,” said Iain Regan, global head of sales and marketing at Firstsource Solutions.  

“This new mobile world of work requires handset and computer manufacturers, as well as internet providers, to step up their game and improve their services. Not only do the devices need to be more reliable to enable people to use them in various locations, but also internet access needs to be more robust.”

Image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.