Tablet devices have changed the way consumers read. Whilst there’s a lot written about their presence in the workplace, there’s very little about how exactly this is helping to facilitate improvements in productivity. In light of this, we’ve listed some uses below:
- Giving employees access to relevant information on any device, wherever they are, regardless of connectivity.
Part of the problem with communicating via traditional channels, such as email, is that they can easily be ignored. Employees on the road (particularly salespeople “in the field”) simply cannot access it in the first place. However, Mobile devices and tablets have changed this – The app-centric ecosystems of these devices mean that, in many cases, developers can ensure important communications are accessible offline as well as online.
This may not seem like a huge deal until you put yourself in the shoes of a salesperson who is on the road. He is going to go into a presentation tomorrow and correspondingly needs sales material that has recently been revised since his absence to present to a key prospect. In this sort of common scenario, having an assurance that your materials are accessible offline and are easy to download in their most up to date form saves precious time.
- Making corporate communications enjoyable to read
This is a more general point, and it relates to a trend seen in the consumer market since the uptake of tablet and e-reading devices. Namely, people are reading more as a result of them. A new survey by UK charity Quick Reads indicated that adult readers tend to engage for longer with a book if they’re using an e-reading or tablet device for example. Most crucially, 48% of adults said the technology helps them to read more and according to another study, this time by the National Literary Trust in the UK, mobile and tablet devices are facilitating a shift in preference to reading on screens amongst young people. Similar studies from the United States, by Pew, echo this. In one, The Rise of e-Reading, it mentions that:
Some 41% of tablet owners and 35% of e-reading device owners said they are reading more since the advent of e-content. Fully 42% of readers of e-books said they are reading more now that long-form reading material is available in digital format.
In short, mobile and tablet devices are helping to increase the amount that people read. Which is a good thing.
The same principle is applicable to corporate communications. For a long time, these documents have been placed in what are essentially big, desktop-based repositories such as Intranets and Sharepoints. These are great tools for collaborative content, but the sort of “managed” content that’s pushed out from above to employees below, for example, newsletters, departmental communications and so on rarely gets read simply because these environments aren’t particularly enjoyable for reading per se.
Mobile devices have changed this. The introduction of managed devices and Bring-Your-Own-Device schemes has given corporate communications managers and directors a golden opportunity to reach out to employees, .
- Riding the growth of MOOCs to make L&D fun again
MOOCs, or “massive online open courses” are a more recent trend primarily used for tertiary education, however, we’ve seen increasing success with their use in the corporate training sector as of late.
Software Advice, an online resource for employee training technology, recently conducted a study that found that MOOCs help companies retain Gen Y graduates and cut down on costs associated with high turnovers of employees. Companies themselves echo these positive sentiments, viewing MOOCs in a generally positive manner according to most surveys.
Mobile and tablet devices are helping to propel this trend for a number of reasons. As mentioned above, they’re helping on-screen text be read in a more visually aesthetic, engaging manner.
Alongside this – video content is being viewed more regularly (video exceeded 50% of mobile internet traffic last year according to Cisco). Most MOOCs are, of course, a mixture of written and video material – so tablet devices are a good fit for presenting MOOCs. Market results seem to be reflecting this, with the massive success of the Khan Academy, and other apps on both iTunes and Google Play.