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News & Views


Mobile frustrates workers

Mobile computing may be improving productivity by freeing-up the workforce from labour intensive and repetitive activities, but there can be no doubt that mobile workers are feeling the frustrations of working with their current handheld mobile computing devices.

Research by Panasonic TOUGHBOOK ( shows that as well as demotivating the workforce, these issues are having a huge cost and customer service impact on the business.  The research reveals that on average over 63% of workers felt their handheld device was more prone to failure than other technology devices they used.

But in this fast-paced business world, device users were certainly not treating their handhelds with kid gloves.  Workers reported device damage was caused by a wide variety of issues from drops and spills, to being left in freezing or melting hot conditions to being run over by vehicles!

On average, the handheld mobile computing devices with bar code readers fail more than 2.5 times a year and take 2.6 days or more to replace or repair.  Top reasons for failures included Battery problems (39%), Touchscreen issues (32%), Device stopped working properly (24%), Broken screen (22%), Buttons stopped (15%), and Bar code reader failure (24%).

Even when their devices were operating effectively, mobile workers still found them frustrating, citing that the most annoying things about their handheld device were slow or inaccurate bar code reading (16%), unable to use wearing gloves (18%), too heavy (15%), poor battery life (18%), and poor screen sensitivity for signatures (10%).

Commenting on the findings, Jan Kaempfer, General Manager of Marketing for Mobile Solutions Business Division – Europe, says: The pressures are high in the business sectors where these bar code scanning handheld devices are used because every second counts.  The work environment is also often difficult and exposed, which has an impact on the number of device accidents and failure rates.  As a result, it is more critical than ever that technology buyers understand the device design factors that will have the biggest impact on their workforce and their business.”


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