How rugged devices can boost productivity

Why every business needs rugged devices to get the job done

When you look at businesses that embrace rugged devices, a theme soon becomes clear: they use rugged devices to solve business problems. And in doing so, they simultaneously improve the productivity of their employees and satisfaction of their customers.

Easy to use, hard to break.

That is what people who work on the front line want from their devices, but all too often they are given tablets and phones that struggle to survive in tough working conditions. Or they “make do” with their own devices, leading to frustration, security risks and breakages.

65% of office workers live with damage to their phone’s case or screen. Meanwhile, 27% of workers suffer the daily annoyance of a smashed display.

At the same time, businesses are becoming more reliant on mobile workers. Before Covid-19 struck, there was a slow but steady shift towards home working: in 2015, 4.3% of UK employees worked from home, and that had crept up to 5.1% by 2019. During the early lockdown period, that figure leapt to 60%.

We don’t yet know what long-term impact Covid-19 will have on our working arrangements, but we do know that successful businesses will need to adapt — and adapt quickly. Not only will managers have seen that remote working can work well, even improving productivity, but so will employees.

The future certainly isn’t going to be less mobile.

Against this backdrop, we are seeing the emergence of a new generation of rugged phones and tablets. Cast away the image of thick, rubberised devices held by workmen in high-vis jackets. While there is still a place for such tools, recent developments to screens and manufacturing mean that phones and tablets can be both rugged and sleek.

There is an obvious corollary to this: while rugged devices have previously been the preserve of a handful of industries, they should now be actively considered by every business in Britain.

What is rugged anyway?

The word “rugged” is often applied to phone cases that add some extra protection to the corners of a screen, perhaps with some impressive-looking rubber for good measure. However, when an equipment manufacturer such as Samsung calls a product “rugged” it means something quite different. Explore Samsung’s rugged devices.

It means that the device in question has been subjected to a barrage of tests to ensure it will survive in extremes of heat, cold, altitude and environment. These tests go far beyond the norm you might see on a consumer device, where at best you can hope for protection against water and dust ingress. A rugged device is built to last.

In particular, a rugged device will have survived tough testing under the US military’s MIL-STD-810G certification. It will have survived drops from waist height onto concrete. It will have been tested in salt fog, settling and blowing dust, and icy conditions. It will have been immersed in water, blowing rain and dripping rain. It will have coped with vibrations, ballistic shocks and transit drops. It will have persevered in temperatures as cold as -40°C and as hot as 80°C, along with extreme humidity.

No matter how good the “rugged” case you buy, it is no substitute for the real thing.

Download White Paper ” Rugged Goes Mainstream”

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