These days it's difficult to imagine a workplace without tablets and smartphones - but they didn't always have a place here. IT departments now look for ways to specifically integrate personal technologies into the workplace, while ensuring a high level of employee productivity remains. This is referred to as the consumerization of IT. In 2014, Forbes published an article outlining "How Enterprises are Capitalizing on the Consumerization of IT." The article summarizes a 2014 study done by IDG Enterprise, showing that "83% of organizations are planning to invest in mobile technology in the next 12 months, with the majority of spending being for tablets and training (49%)." In simpler terms, tablet support in the workplace is expected to increase significantly.

Although a tablet can't completely replace a computer, it can act as a great extension while you're away from your desk. With instant access to email, super fast internet browsing and tons of other useful tools, getting work done while on the go has never been easier.

Here are a few others ways in which tablets are transforming the workplace:

Increasing Work Flexibility

It's the 21st century, and a work-life balance has never been more important. Not everyone can be in the office 40+ hours a week, and some people may be more productive while working from home, or even after hours. Tablets offer the freedom to work where and when you want, without compromising work quality. Laptops can be too big and smartphones too small, which makes tablets the perfect alternative. They are slim enough to fit in a purse or briefcase, and with wireless capabilities they keep you connected even when out of the office. There's no set up required - only a tap of the screen and you're ready to go. A tablet can also serve as a second monitor, making multitasking easy. On the software end, tablets offer increased options for cloud-based business apps that let you store files, as well as collaborate with other team members.

Improving Business Presentation

Whether you have an important meeting at head office, a quick client meeting at a cafe, or a booth at a trade show - tablets can improve the way in which you present information. They can enhance and better the experience for both clients and colleagues with rich content, high resolution images, vibrant colours and engaging videos. With access to user-friendly, hands-on demonstrations, tablets offer a quick and easy set up. It's also a great tool for collecting and organization information. Plus, from an outsiders perspective, it's important for businesses to stay up to date on technology trends in order to remain competitive in their industry.

Simplifying Communication

Tablets can expand and enhance the number of ways in which employees communicate both with clients and co-workers. Not everyone spends their workday sitting at their desk, so workplace communication channels aren't always possible. Calls and emails are frequently missed, which can put a hold on decision making and other important business processes. A tablet is extremely lightweight and portable, with no necessary accessories or set up required, making it an easy on-the-road option. It also provides you with instant access to video conferencing, email and file sharing. This helps to bridge the communication gap within the workplace.

Most tablets feature a built-in camera too, which allows for quick and easy sharing of photos. Simply take a shot of a document and email it off in less than a minute!

Although laptops have most of the same capabilities, tablets are much more portable and versatile, saving you some time and making life that much easier.

Encouraging Sustainability

There's no question that tablets help to reduce the need for printing documents. They can be used to collect information, access digital instructions and more. They can also be used to sign contracts with digital signature apps such as DocuSign and SignNow. In 2012, Uberflip published an infographic showing that the growth in tablets is causing a "steep decline in the use of paper, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a decrease in water consumption for the production of electronic devices." Three years later, and this data is still relevant.

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