Mobile devices have come a long way since the early days of Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and today they can be a great assistance to businesses. They can help your employees stay in contact with the office and allow for better time management. However, whilst there are a lot of advantages there are also disadvantages too such as employees working longer hours. There are a range of mobile devices that your workforce can take advantage of, so which one to choose?

BlackBerry devices are most commonly utilised for business purposes as they allow you to get your email pushed through so you have permanent access to your inbox. Attachments such as Word documents can also be opened and edited on the go, making quick amendments easy to do. It is these major plus points that make smartphone devices such as the BlackBerry appealing to business people, especially those who are away from the office for long periods of time.

There are a number of other mobile devices that are also making strides into the business market. The iPhone, most commonly thought of as a consumer smartphone is also appealing to enterprises. The iPhone can be tied into your Exchange network and email can be pushed to your iPhone. Again, there are a number of third party applications that allow you to open and edit attachments and the larger screen size allows the consumer to read more of the document or email.

Netbooks are also becoming popular and offer a laptop experience but at a fraction of the cost. Netbooks are designed to be internet friendly, they have WiFi capabilities and most telecom service providers offer deals allowing you to surf their 3G networks. This allows the remote worker to download their email or access the internet. Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other business tools can be loaded so the netbook has all the utilities to become a productive tool.

Mobile technology is constantly changing; just when the latest netbook hits the market, an even better machine hits the shelves the next day. At the end of the day it is all about productivity. Can your workforce be more or less productive using mobile technology? Or does it become a distraction, responding to every email no matter what time of the day it is?

Be aware of your legal obligations, ensure that whatever the mobile device it is used responsibly and in moderation. Monitor staff usage and if you find that your workforce are emailing clients late at night then it may be time to have a word.

Mobile technology does seem to pose more advantages to the modern day business. Working hours are no longer 9am – 5pm, so embracing technology is becoming a necessary way in which to operate in modern day business.