What comes to mind when you mention the term modern workspace? For many, it’s an office filled with an endless array of shiny new gadgets… like in George Jetson's office at Spacely Space Sprockets. While gadgets are a part of the modern workspace, they by no means fully define the concept. In its ideal form, a modern workspace is one that facilitates each task you need to complete in the most productive way possible – i.e. if you’re working alone - you have a quiet space, or working from a quiet home office; if you are working with a team, there’s a meeting space equipped with all the collaboration tools you require – whether those individuals are with you in person, or remote. To thrive in this constantly evolving landscape, you require tools that are both powerful and multidimensional. My experience in the IT industry over the past few years has given me exposure to many different devices, and one of the best I’ve found is the Microsoft Surface. When the device was first introduced, it was interesting, but not necessarily compelling enough to give it a clear advantage. Fast forward to today, and the compelling factor is not just the device, but the ecosystem that has been developed around it. Microsoft has paid a lot of attention to detail and concentrated on not just providing well-engineered devices but created an eco-system that focuses on tight integration of the operating system and hardware, as well as accessories to bolster creativity. Ideal for the office road warrior If your schedule is anything like mine, you spend a lot of time on airplanes, in boardrooms, as well as hotel rooms. When travelling, no one who knows me will be surprised to find a Surface in my bag, along with a pair of Surface Headphones and an XBOX controller (let's just keep that last part to ourselves). My current Surface of choice is the 15" Surface Book 2, which provides me with a powerful workstation experience, as well as the option to detach my screen, so I don't have to carry a separate tablet. This comes in extremely handy when I settle into my hotel room at night and want to use it as a tablet to read and research or to catch a flick on Netflix. On a plane, the portable, flexible form factor of the Surface is fantastic as it allows you full productivity on-the-go while in a confined space. Should you forget any of the accessories on your travels, no need to panic! Most, if not all the Microsoft designed accessories are universal and cross-model compatible within the Surface family. You can usually purchase items such as spare covers, pens, mice or power adapters at most tech retailers, rather than contacting the manufacturer or a large reseller and be up and operational almost immediately. The ultimate collaborative machine Along with superior design, and functionality, I believe the Surface line's innate ability to facilitate easy collaboration is what really sets it apart. Regardless of where I and my team members are, we can share our screens, manipulate data on a single document, and quickly negotiate and share possibilities in a very creative and natural way. For example, with the Microsoft Whiteboard app, you can draw on a digital canvas with the Surface Pen and multitouch display- and have it instantly visible to connected colleagues anywhere in the world – and they, in turn, can take the pen and adjust or add to that same image. This enables you to share and build upon thoughts and business ideas as if your colleagues were in the same room. Growing in use cases As a corporate work culture, we've become accustomed to carrying around a traditional notebook form-factor device. More and more, professionals and creative artists are discovering how tablet-style devices provide greater flexibility in their workflow, as well as where the work is being conducted. In healthcare, for example, there are situations where doctors and nurses perform patient visits from room to room. Healthcare professionals can now document notes and medical records with digital pen-writing capabilities on the fly, and later transpose them to a comprehensive notebook such as OneNote. The power of brand identification I think for a lot of us, the technology we carry is something we use to tell the world who we are – like with brands and fashion. Technology has become so personal. I believe my Surface sends the message that I am a leading edge, creative and forward-thinking individual. I’m part of the exciting world of tomorrow, not stuck in the ways of the past. Interested in how I’m using my Surface or the benefits of a tablet in the workspace? Feel free to drop me a line. I'd be more than happy to share my experiences and thoughts.
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