While carrying a smartphone might seem like a default choice for a businessperson, smartphones and the broadband service that they use are also very expensive. Nevertheless, even in cost-conscious companies, smart phones are frequently standard issue. The benefits they bring, including increased access to data nad easier communications more than justify their costs.
A cell phone lets you talk to people. Smart phones let you communicate without having to be available at the same time as the other party. While asynchronous communication was once the norm before the invention of the telephone, tools like advanced text messaging and email give you the speed of a conversation with the timing flexibility of a letter. Given the increasingly busy lives of most businesspeople, this is a significant benefit.
Video of the Day
Smartphones are also revolutionizing synchronous communications as well. Many have front-facing cameras built in that, combined with high speed broadband access and Internet telephony service such as Apple's FaceTime app, enable video calls with co-workers, prospects, vendors and clients. The ability to see the facial responses and body language of the person with whom you are communicating adds impact to your conversations and, with hope, allows you to achieve better results.
Access to Corporate Data
Smartphones frequently provide more than just a Web browser. Many allow you to connect to your company's Intranet and access networked storage through something called a virtual private network, or VPN. Android phones often come with a VPN client pre-installed. Cloud-storage apps also let you access your data anywhere and at any time. While the small screen and limited smartphone keyboard may not be as good as a full-sized notebook computer or a tablet, it's still better than nothing.
As work and personal life continue to blend together, you probably have a lot to keep organized. While most cell phones have address books and calendars, smartphones can sync them with your company's servers, with social networking sites and with other data repositories. This gives you the ability to know where you need to be at all times and to be able to reach anyone in your network.
Eliminating Down Time
As business devices get smaller, your ability to work productively increases. The invention of the luggable computer in the 1970's let you take work home on the weekend, while notebook computers can come home with you every night. Tablets can go everywhere that you have a briefcase or large purse, and smartphones can go anywhere as long as you have a pocket in which to keep them. This allows you to take advantage of even brief periods of time -- waiting for an elevator, for example -- to be productive.