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What you should ask when buying mobile devices for mobile workers

We live in a world where we can't function without relying on the help of our mobiles for almost everything. 

From ordering food to planning a journey, mobiles aren't just for contacting people anymore. This has led to a dependency on our technological friends of which is a reason for the growth of them being used in the workplace.

Within field service industries and the development of workforce management software, more people are buying devices for their employees to increase greater efficiency, productivity and cost savings. But how do you know what the best phone to buy is?

mobile devices for mobile workers

What to ask buying mobile devices for mobile workers:

  • What should the battery life be?
  • What about the camera quality?
  • What operating system is best?
  • What should the data usage be in a contract?
  • What price should I pay?

What should the battery life be?

One of the most important factors when purchasing devices for mobile workers is its battery life. These days battery life is more important than ever due to increasing mobile data usage, larger screens and demanding apps. After all, what is the point of using all these business improving apps and high quality cameras if the phone is going to die before the end of the day?

As a general rule, you should choose a smartphone/ tablet with a battery capacity of approximately 3,000 mAh (meaning: how much electric charge the battery can provide, which is easy to find in the phone specifications) when purchasing them for your workers. This battery size should last for the entire day and ensure your workers can perform their daily tasks efficiently.

Choosing a phone that has removable batteries allows your mobile worker to change batteries when they are running low. They are also a really cost effective method of replacing the battery without replacing the entire phone.

As removable batteries may be hard to come by in modern day smartphones, there are many other ways you can keep your phone charged, such as:

  • Portable chargers
  • In car charger
  • Phone case chargers

Also a simple but effective way is to not use your mobile for anything other that work purposes - so get off social media!

What about the camera quality?

With modern day businesses relying on workers to provide photographic proof of job completion and safety compliance, cameras are a necessity amongst field service teams.

Nowadays, the typical smartphone/tablet will have a basic camera that will be fully functional and good enough for most field service teams. But as a recommendation, anything above 8 megapixel should be more than adequate (this can be found in the phone specifications).

What operating system is best?

The big Android, Windows, IOS debate yet again! With field service teams being very much hands on they will need a phone that's durable, reliable and functional.

When debating operating systems, Android dominates the market and with good reason, due to it having a wider range of products than any Windows or IOS phone. But also in terms of design, compatibility, specification and price.

Reason on why android is the best for mobile workers are included in this article: Why Android have the right devices for mobile workers.

So when choosing an operating system for your workers, choose Android for more hardware choices, durability and more affordable options.

What should the data usage be in a contract?

With industries adopting mobiles for business practises and the rise of mobile workforce management software, it’s important you have enough data for your operations to be carried out properly.

Workers will need enough data to be able to complete their jobs and for the business to run efficiently. It is important you know how much data is required on average per job will and how many jobs your workers carry out over the month.

Using MyMobileWorkers management software as an example, the average job for a business would use 250kb worth of data. However having photos would increase the data usage per job to 2mb.

This basically means on a monthly basis most companies would be able to get the lowest data contract of approximately 1GB.

When purchasing devices for mobile workers you need to make sure your workers aren’t using any data they shouldn’t. This article explains how to control your workers data usage: How to keep control of mobile workers data usage.

What price should I pay?

We all know how boring budgeting can be, but be sure to make one and stick to it. With that being the first step, you can then go online (or in store) and compare prices between different sellers.

Once finding phones within budget, shortlist these options and compare the specifications of each product before making a final purchasing decision. This technique will allow you to pick the best devices for mobile workers whilst being affordable.

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