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Thinking of Switching to a Tablet at Work? Here's Why You Should Reconsider

If you work a 9-5, you likely use either a laptop or desktop. With the rise of mobile devices as primary devices, though, many workers also carry around a tablet -- and it's intriguing to think about asking whether you can make the switch to a tablet as your primary device for work, too. Before you jump into this deep end, it's important to think about whether using a tablet for work is reasonable. For many of us, our current setup may make the most sense and was designed this way for a reason. However, if you think you'll be more productive with a tablet, consider the following before you make the switch.


(Photo Credit: intelfreepress/Flickr) 

Can you really get things done faster?

One of the great things about a tablet is also one of its burdens; the small screen. On your laptop or desktop at work you have the capability to work with additional screens, or even just minimize windows to work on projects that require viewing different content side-by-side. On a tablet, you only get to see one app at a time -- and switching between multiple apps can be distracting and cause you to lose focus. If you know you'll only be working in one or two apps throughout the day or at a time, a tablet may be the right choice for you. 

Can you really reduce how much you carry?

While your desktop obviously stays at the office, a laptop can be a pain to carry back and forth from home to work. While I can fit my Macbook Air covertly into my purse and take it straight to happy hour with me, not every laptop is so sleek and lightweight. The appeal of a tablet to many 9-5 workers is that you can easily tuck work away into your back pocket on the way home without carrying a big briefcase along with you. However, if you find you also need a bluetooth keyboard, mouse, and a trifold stand to easily work with a tablet, the convenience of carrying a tablet instead of a desktop is now a moot point. Unless you already have a tablet you can take a trial run with, consider how many "extras" you'll need to work comfortably with one.

Will a tablet really perform better?

In addition to consider the small screen, it's also important to consider the specs of a tablet compared to your laptop. Will the battery drain faster? How does the audio and video compare to your current setup in the event you need to connect to conference calls? And the bottom line: For the added cost of the tablet and the apps you need, does it do anything significantly better than what you already have? If these answers don't align with a resounding need for a tablet, you may want to reconsider your desire to switch from a laptop or desktop to a tablet for work.

All that said, if you believe a tablet is more cost-efficient and will help you work more efficiently -- and ease the burden of bringing work home -- a tablet may be the right choice for you. Just be sure to ask your boss what he thinks about the switch, and especially about bringing your own device to work. They may have policies that you need to know about before you start using your own tablet instead of their desktop or laptop.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you made the switch from a laptop or desktop to a tablet at the office? What advice do you have for others considering the transition? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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