Using a Tablet for Remote Working

Tablets are often thought of as devices to be used for fun rather than work, devices for consuming rather than producing. However, the more I think about it, the more I begin to realise that they could be ideal for remote working. They won’t be for everyone, but they have many features that make them suitable.

Reasons to Travel with a Tablet

One of the main reasons you may want to take your tablet abroad with you is that a tablet is the ultimate portable computer. Nothing comes close to packing in the same power in the same size device, making them light and easy to carry around with you wherever you go.

Battery time is also impressive on the top-end devices. If you’re out and about most of the day and cannot charge it up, your tablet could last a lot longer than a laptop (although some of the latest laptops like the new MacBook Air may also get you through most of the day on a single charge).

English: The iPad on a table in the Apple case

English: The iPad on a table in the Apple case (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A tablet like an iPad will also provide you with a huge range of apps to choose from, some of which are not available on computers. However, the best option is to use as much as you can in the cloud. Not only does this get rid of the problem of a stingy storage limit on your tablet, but you can also get access to all of your favourite remote working software like Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive just like you can from any computer.

Another excellent reason to take your tablet with you is that you can use it alongside your work for other tasks. You could take it out with you and use it as your GPS, video player and even your phone, making it the perfect all-in-one device.

Why Not Choose a Tablet?

Of course, tablets have a few major disadvantages for remote workers. Small screens, for a start. If you will be staring at your screen for hours a day, you may require something larger (although the iPad’s Retina display may help to make things more comfortable).

Then there is the problem of typing. Clearly, typing on a tablet all day is not really an option if you produce a lot of content or write many emails. However, this can be overcome with the purchase of a Bluetooth keyboard.

Perhaps the major reason is file management. Many people simply could not work without a desktop on their computer. However, you may be able to adapt. For example, using Google Drive to access all of your files in one place instead of storing them on your system.

There is also the power factor to consider. Tablets are fast and getting faster, but you may need a more powerful machine depending on your job. For example, if you are a video editor a tablet is not going to cut it.

Tablets for Remote Working: What Do You Think?

Many people would dismiss using a tablet for their work, but if you think about it there are some good arguments for using a tablet when you work remotely. Do the pros outweigh the cons? It will depend to a large extent on the type of work you carry out. You may find it worth considering, however, and it could prove to be an excellent way to work remotely when you travel.

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1 Comment

  1. Susanna Perkins
    July 31, 2013

    Hi Phil,

    I bought a tablet thinking I’d be able to use it while traveling. I have to say it’s fine for a couple of days with light work, but for any serious stuff I still need my laptop. I suppose it depends on what kind of work you’re doing. If I’m writing, updating blogs, etc., the tablet’s ok. But for installing new WordPress sites and that sort of work, the tablet just doesn’t cut it.


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