A frontline worker’s day-to-day experience, in a hybrid world, changes all the time. These workers aren’t just sitting at one station or always on the floor—they need the ability to stay connected as they move within the hybrid workplace. They need flexibility in where, how, and when they work, along with effortless ways to work seamlessly with their peers.
It’s critical that frontline workers are empowered with the right tools to give them a sense of purpose, the flexibility to adjust to the new day-to-day realities of a hybrid world, and the knowledge to make on-the-ground decisions to improve business outcomes. These tips will help keep your team connected and engaged if your company is new to an all-remote or hybrid environment.
Tools: Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace
Microsoft 365 (formally known as Office 365) and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) are the most commonly used suites of business productivity tools. These productivity solutions aim to offer a complete package of cloud-based applications and services for easier communication and collaboration.
Both suites offer several benefits to businesses of all sizes, so it can be extremely difficult to decide which productivity suite is the right fit for your business. There are, however, individual applications and management tools that are quite different from each other. A key differentiating factor that separates Microsoft 365 from Google Workspace is that Microsoft 365 apps are available in both desktop and web versions. As such, Microsoft offers licenses for “browser-based apps” and other licenses for “full installations.” This enables you to download and install desktop versions on their local devices and use them offline if required. Microsoft 365 also offers Publisher, a desktop publishing app, Access, a database app, Project, a project management tool, and Planner, a browser-based app, to organize and manage tasks.
Google Workspace doesn’t provide the installable desktop versions that you can use on your PC. However, Google Workspace does have a web-app feature that provides offline functions for Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Another key difference is storage. Microsoft 365 offers its users 1TB of cloud storage, while with Google Workspace, the storage capacity varies depending on the edition you purchase — from 30GB to unlimited storage (with the Enterprise edition).
Devices: The best business tablets for 2022
A tablet can become a powerful tool for your small business. A tablet’s large screen is ideal for demos, graphs, and images, while the portable design often makes it more convenient than a laptop. Before investing in a tablet, it is a good idea to look at what features it offers and whether those features are necessary for your business. The best tablets will enhance connectivity and portability, delivering the kind of performance you need, and remain affordable. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
- Display: 11-inch, 2560 x 1600
- Storage: 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 8GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage
- Battery life: 8,000mAh battery and 45W fast charging
- Added bonus:
- included S Pen
- 5G enabled
- Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- Display: 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 resolution
- Storage: 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a MediaTek Helio P60T processor
- Battery life: 7,000 mAh battery life, offering around 10 hours of runtime; fast to boot up in around eight seconds
- Added bonus: 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera
- Apple iPad Pro
- Display: 12.9 and 11 inches, Liquid Retina IPS screen, 2388 x 1668 resolution
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB
- Battery life: battery life of up to 10 hours
- Added bonus: there’s a dual camera on the back — a 12MP main sensor and a 10MP wide-angle lens.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Display: 12.3 inch, 2736 x 1824 resolution
- Storage: seven main configurations
- Intel 4 i3 with 4GB RAM
- (3) Intel Core i5 models with 8GB and 16GB RAM, and storage from 128GB to 256GB
Intel Core i7 models with 16GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage
- Added bonus: USB-C port requiring fewer dongles and cables
The bottom line is that frontline workers need flexible solutions that support the unique ways they work, and the right knowledge to execute on-the-ground decisions. On Android, iOS, iPadOS, and Windows 10 devices, you can configure these devices to run in single-app or multi-app kiosk mode. As part of your enterprise mobility management (EMM), Kiosk Mode enables IT teams and admins to restrict devices to running only a single app or a specific set of apps, for enhanced control and governance. Kiosk Mode is especially helpful to lock down devices that are used for a specific purpose such as self check-in kiosks at airports and technicians in manufacturing plants ensures users cannot modify device settings, access other features or apps on the devices, or use the device for unintended purposes.
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Bringing the right tools and information directly to the fingertips of the frontline workforce is essential. When your employees feel valued and are empowered with the right tools to do their jobs, they perform better and make the right decisions for your business and your customer. Need help connecting the dots, we’re here to help!