Low Battery Life: Bringing Productivity to a Halt

October 26th, 2016 by admin

Stylized graphic of a AA battery with a green cape flying through the air

Work-disrupting messages like “please connect charger” and “plug in or find another power source” can be a huge source of frustration—not to mention a major productivity killer—for employees on the go. Nobody wants to see their phone battery go belly-up on their commute to the office, or while waiting on a call from a client.

With these situations in mind, laptop and smartphone manufacturers are working hard to keep that battery gauge away from zero for as long as possible. The average laptop battery lasted around 225 minutes in 2012, and then increased to a respectable 375 minutes by 2015.

However, even with improved battery duration, those low-power alerts can be anxiety-provoking for employees who spend long hours away from the comfort of an electrical socket.

While you always have the option of waiting around for improved manufacturing to extend the average battery lifespan, there’s a lot your staff can do in the meantime to stay powered on.

Adjusting the Settings

With a little know-how and diligence, your employees can squeeze more life out of their existing devices. For example, iPhone and iPad users can manually enable the “Low Power Mode” feature, sacrificing speed for longevity, starting at 20 percent battery life (or sooner, for even greater benefits).

Android devices offer a similar option, usually called “Battery Saver” or “Power Saving” mode. Mobile users can also turn off features like Wi-Fi, mobile data, and Bluetooth while not in use to prolong battery life. Employees who haul around their laptops should look into Windows 10’s “Power Saver” power plan or Mac OS X’s “Energy Saver.” These modes vary between devices, but can often add several hours of use to a mobile device.

Bringing Backup

Power users can keep the lights on longer, of course, by bringing along a secondary, fully-charged battery or a mobile device charger. However, this isn’t always a viable option, since some devices (including the iPhone) can’t swap batteries at all. Laptop batteries can be cumbersome (and heavy!) to lug around.

In these cases, backup chargers can keep devices up and running even when there’s nowhere to plug them in. Some portable chargers even feature multi-level energy capacities. Advise your team to store one in a briefcase or backpack to breathe new life into a dying smartphone in emergency situations.

Tech on the Horizon

While smart power management practices will always be a part of the mobile experience, improvements in battery technology could minimize this nuisance considerably. According to NetworkWorld, a startup called SolidEnergy is working with batteries that feature an ultra-thin lithium metal charge storage that replaces the currently used lithium ion counterpart. These batteries last twice as long as current ones.

Contact the IT experts at MPA Networks if you’re looking to keep your employees connected on the go. Finding the right tech tools for the job and knowing how to use them means fewer disruptions in the workplace—so you can keep going and going.

Posted in: Hardware and Software