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Mobile devices ‘changing the world of work’

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The increasing prevalence of smartphones and media tablets in the workplace is giving employees the option of working from home.

In recent years, the popularity of handsets such as the iPhone, iPad and Galaxy has soared among workers – leading their employers to consider a benefit for such technology in the workplace.

Backed by Wi-Fi and 3G mobile connectivity, employees can use their web-enabled mobile devices to access work files and documents over the internet, and keep in touch with colleagues and customers using online communication tools.

Bobby Watkins, director of Gemini Devices, said employees are appreciating the value of mobile devices in their own lives and then desiring the same functionality at work.

This is leading many employees

to bring their own devices into work, seeking to make efficiency gains, he stated.

“These devices are so personal to individuals they get used to using them,” he stated.

“The amount of consumers that have these types of devices [has been growing] – they’re easy to use and consumers have started using them in the workplace.”

Mr Watkins said the forerunner is Apple, because people want to use their iPad all the time.

He suggested that usage may continue to increase as services such as cloud computing become more widely available on mobile devices.

IT analyst Gartner recently predicted that worldwide media tablet sales will reach 118.9 million units in 2012 – up 98 per cent on 2011 sales of 60 million units.

And last month, the firm forecast a 43 per cent growth in smartphone sales, against the backdrop of a fall in overall mobile phone shipments.