February 25, 2015

Can you ditch your desktop?

Is it time to cut the cord? A growing number of executives are doing just that – leaving their desktop PC behind for tablets and smart phones. In just three years, the number of executives who reported using a desktop computer dropped from 76% to less than half, according to an annual C-suite study by Forbes Insights and Google. While laptop and notebook computers continue to lead office devices overall, a total of 46% of execs who have a laptop said they are now also using tablets.

It’s a trend that’s changing the way teams communicate. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen remarks that communications have gotten shorter to accommodate the tablet format. “When I get the massive file, the first thing I’ll do is send it back and say tell me the key points that I actually need to understand,” he says. Starwood has also gone to paperless meetings, with executives taking notes and reviewing data on their tablets.

So is your team ready for the transition to an all-mobile world? At Convo, we say “no problem!” All it takes is the right tools.

Ditch your desktop - studies about where you're using mobile devices.

The right tool for the right job

The advantages of working on a tablet or mobile device are easy to see:

  • lighter weight
  • more portability
  • less distracting in meetings than sitting behind a screen
  • a nearly endless variety of apps to help with productivity

Of course, there are some tasks that require more processing power than tablets and mobile devices currently offer, like complex rendering or video editing, but for the most part, many of our daily office activities can be done on a mobile device:

  • email messages
  • browsing the web for information
  • participating in meetings and taking notes
  • reviewing reports and documents of all types
  • marking up the documents you are reviewing

The prevalence of cost-efficient cloud storage is also making it easier to make the switch. With the ability to access files and share them remotely, there’s less need for storing files on a desktop.

On the Convo team, most of us have laptops, especially for programming and graphic design, but many of us use our mobile devices almost exclusively. It’s a great sense of freedom to just carry your phone or tablet on the way out of the office, without having to lug home a laptop. We can easily stay connected with colleagues in different time zones, work on files together, and answer quick questions without having to sit at a desk. It makes our time away from the office feel, well, away.

One unexpected advantage: focus

One of the biggest advantages of working on a mobile device is, perhaps surprisingly, greater focus. Because the device works best when viewing one screen at a time, we can concentrate on the task at hand, and we’re less distracted.

Most experts argue that the key to having strong focus is the elimination of distraction. Big screens, and multiple screens, add more real estate to switch between programs, but too much space only creates room for more potential distractions. A lot of people use multiple screens to separate “work at hand” from “things to monitor” like email, instant messaging and Twitter. The theory is that this allows you to focus on the “work at hand” monitor, but in truth, the constant interruptions from the other monitor cause you to lose focus, if even for a few seconds, and break the flow of your thinking. It’s part of the reason that our attention spans have dropped from12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It’s been often cited that this is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish.

Here’s where a collaborative tool like Convo is a huge advantage. Instead of needing multiple programs or windows open at once, Convo brings everything together in one easy to navigate platform. Best of all, all the data you need, from files to instant messaging with your team, transitions seamlessly between your desktop and mobile device. That makes it easy to get untethered from your desk—without missing anything.

If you’d like to see how Convo can help your team get unchained from your desks (and desktops), visit us here.

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