Tablets: Popular But Not So Productive

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 10-02-2013 Email Print this article Print

Productivity is the most important metric for companies that want to improve their cost-effectiveness in the office. And for some IT decision-makers, investing in tablets would seem like a good way to increase productivity. But a new survey of 336 people from nonprofit benchmarking researcher APQC reveals that in the enterprise environment, tablets fall short of laptops in terms of their ability to make employees more productive. "The primary objective of this benchmarking survey was to understand how individuals are using tools to be more productive at work and in their lives in general," says Jonathan Kraft, research program manager at APQC. "The results were somewhat surprising in that the tool which has seemingly garnered the most attention over the past year—the tablet—is at this point not viewed as favorably in making people more productive." Not only do the APQC results show how certain products are used in the enterprise, but also the extent to which those products are improving business processes. And much to the surprise of many folks, the improvement to business processes is not at easily measurable as once believed.

  • Tablets and Productivity

    Tablets are fun and useful, but when it comes to increasing productivity, just 17% of business employees say their productivity increases from the use of tablets like Apple's iPad.
    1-Tablets and Productivity
  • How Effective Is A Laptop?

    A surprisingly high number of employees—68%—say that a laptop is "totally effective" at making them more productive in the office.
    2-How Effective Is A Laptop?
  • The Surprisingly Popular Smartphone

    And 38% of employees saying their smartphone is "totally effective" at increasing their productivity.
    3-The Surprisingly Popular Smartphone
  • Tablets: Useful But Limited

    Just 20% of workers say that tablets “totally effective” at making them more productive, a relatively low number.
    4-Tablets: Useful But Limited
  • Desktops Outrank Tablets

    They might not be mobile, and they might lack the flair of tablets, but desktops are viewed as more effective at increasing productivity than tablets, according to 27% of employees.
    5-Desktops Outrank Tablets
  • Laptops: A Constant Office Companion

    When it comes to tech usage in the office, 94% of people say that they use their laptops at least twice per work week. Nearly 90% of employees use their laptops each day.
    6-Laptops: A Constant Office Companion
  • Hard-Working Smartphones

    90% of employees use their smartphone at least twice during the work week. Separately, a majority of employees—85%—use a smartphone each day for work.
    7-Hard-Working Smartphones
  • Tablets: Popular But Used Less Often

    Despite their popularity in the consumer space, just 52% of employees say that they use a tablet at least two times in a regular work week. And only 31% of people use a tablet each day in the office.
    8-Tablets: Popular But Used Less Often
  • The Most Popular Software Is…

    A whopping 91% of employees say they use calendaring each day of the week, substantially higher than the 61% of folks who use productivity software, such as Microsoft’s Office and Apple’s iWork.
    9-The Most Popular Software Is…
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at


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