Could the smartphone go the way of the pager?

Hiring and retaining employees is all about making sure they have access to what they need to get the job done.

To attract the best talent, businesses need to make sure they are in tune with current trends, including those that involve technology, recruitment and employee retention. 

With the prevalence of smartphones and other devices it is near impossible to ban their use within the workplace. Instead, it is worth understanding the ways they benefit your business, and policing their use around these positive aspects. 

What comes after smartphones?

With smartphones being one of the most common devices carried by staff, it is difficult to imagine a world where they aren't used on a regular basis. However, as is the norm with technology, the status quo does not remain for long. New developments and trends are constantly being produced, and research has predicted the device which may usurp the smartphone in the workplace. 

Recruitment expert Robert Half believes that wearable tech, such as smartwatches, may bring a workplace revolution, and not just for providing new ways to be distracted. According to one of its surveys, up to 81 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) think the devices have the potential to become standard tools within the workplace. 

The majority of this group expect this trend to take hold within the next five years, and with the imminent release of the Apple Watch they just might be right. 

While it is reasonable to approach new and relatively untested technologies with an air of skepticism, Robert Half believes that businesses must address new developments on a case by case basis.  

"Mobility and connectivity expectations for business have grown, making the ability to gain access anywhere, anytime imperative," said Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology, John Reed.

"Emerging technologies such as wearables may help drive enterprise mobility and create a need for IT expertise to support their adoption at work."  

Will the smartphone disappear?

While a possibility, this seems unlikely, particularly in the short to medium term. Last year, smartphones accounted for 69 per cent of total mobile traffic according to Cisco US. This is because a majority of wearable tech devices on the market at the moment, such as smartwatches, are dependent on pairing with a smartphone for operation. 

This sentiment was echoed by technology research firm Gartner, which expects the smartphone market to be sustained through the dependencies of smartwatches. 

"We don't see these devices replacing the smartphone in the next five years, rather they are a complementary device to the existing portfolio of devices," explained Research Director Annette Zimmerman. 

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