Whilst working from home is nothing new, the working environment as we know it is on a path to radical change. Advances in cloud computing, portable technology and the ability to outsource business at the click of a button now means that enterprises in the UAE have less and less need to be tied to a fixed traditional office space.
Companies have started to ditch the expensive overheads of swanky offices and cumbersome IT equipment and are instead adopting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept enabling staff to choose their preferred device and work remotely. As the line between the work environment and home becomes blurred and consumer’s needs change, so too does technology and for the working professional, portable devices are the way forward.
Worldwide tablet growth is undeniable with IDC reporting a growth of 139.1% in tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2013. Even in the Middle East and Africa, the tablet market posted better than anticipated overall market growth of 129 percent year on year by the end of 2012. No longer just used for personal use, tablets now allow you to switch from using them as an entertainment hub to a business tool. Tablets like the Samsung GALAXY Tab (10.1) allow you to create, view and edit a variety of documents in Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel with the help of the Polaris Office application. Users can also host group video calls with up to 10 people via Google+ Hangouts, making conference calls hassle free, wherever you are in the world.
IDC has also reported that demand for mobile connected devices is on the rise, stating that by 2015, the world’s mobile worker population is expected to reach 1.3 billion. This represents 37.2% of the total workforce with the most significant gains coming from emerging economies such as the Middle East.
As life on-the-go continues to be fast paced, the devices we carry continue to get thinner and lighter with ultra-thin notebooks, tablets and laptop/tablet hybrids the favoured choice for both business and leisure users. Last year Samsung released the thinnest notebook in the market, the second generation Series 9. Perfect for working on the go, notebooks like these are becoming lighter and more powerful to meet the demands of full working day.
Taking this one step further Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC Pro combines the power and productivity of a notebook PC with the convenience and portability of a tablet. Weighing in at just 877g and measuring 11.89mm thin, this hybrid is the perfect size to carry to external meetings and is complete with an attachable keyboard for delivering documents and presentations back at the ‘office.’
The consumerisation of IT and the rise of BYOD in the workplace will continue to increase as a trend in the Middle East as hand held technology becomes more accessible to consumers and provides them with higher levels of productivity. Technology vendors are already focusing on bringing more devices to market to satisfy this consumer demand, enterprises will have to start adopting ways of working that addresses the needs of their increasingly mobile workforce.