While tablets such as the iPad and Microsoft’s new Surface have received much publicity and interest from consumers recently, it would appear that in the working environment at least, smartphones are still the preferred mobile devices when it comes to carrying on with activities while out and about.

The finding, from a recent survey conducted by YouGov, followed the questioning of more than 2,000 employees whose roles entail office-type work.

According to the survey, when asked what they use to continue performing their work role during periods away from the office, the largest proportion of respondents – 21 per cent – said that the smartphone was their mobile tool of choice.

Laptops were the next most popular piece of mobile equipment – with 19 per cent saying they preferred to use this device to carry out work-based tasks while on the move.

Tablets however came in far behind both smartphones and laptops in the popularity stakes among workers needing to carry out tasks when away from the office – with just four per cent saying they liked to use these devices the most.

Interestingly, according to the survey, tablets even fell behind that most traditional of mobile work tools – pen and paper – in terms of preferred usage. Scribbling things down using a ballpoint was favoured by 12 per cent of respondents.

Among the barriers to effective use of electronic mobile devices cited by those surveyed, 21 per cent said that lack of adequate battery time was their most major problem, while 20 per cent bemoaned their inability to access the web when on the move.