• How to choose the right devices for local government workers

Enabling modern ways of working, including more mobile working, has been an important shift for public sector organisations. You’re striving to deliver efficient and connected services to your communities but are also under-pressure from diminished budgets.


It’s therefore fundamental that the devices you choose to support your transformation have the security, functionality, and performance that enable all your colleagues to be the most productive they can be, wherever they are. In fact, a recent report from independent thinktank New Local Government Network (NLGN) suggested that ‘nothing has a bigger influence on the quality of service delivery and overall impact than the culture and practices of the workforce’.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of your workforce, their challenges and the type of device that’s going to suit them best for collaborating and boosting productivity. We’ve also suggested the type of Surface device that would suit each role, providing your team with a familiar and consistent experience, up-to-date software and apps, and the versatility they need whilst incorporating simplified deployment and management, enterprise-grade security and premium support – because you’ve got other important tasks to focus on.


Field caseworkers, inspectors, police and fire & rescue officers

Their roles are mainly in the field, providing support, guidance and emergency response to the community. Their ideal device helps them collaborate more effectively with their colleagues and get their work done, wherever they are.


My device needs

  • Accurately document events and record information in the field, and in the office
  • Staying productive without reliable Wi-Fi access
  • Staying connected to all your essential apps, programs and documents on the go
  • Connecting easily with colleagues and teammates remotely
  • Speedy built-in LTE connectivity1 to connect to the internet when wi-fi isn’t available
  • Is lightweight, durable, and easy to carry with other tools or equipment
  • Can capture onsite photos in HD and allow direct annotation
  • Is versatile and powerful enough to function in any situation
  • Easy to take notes in the field, and share information from

Recommended Surface device: Surface Go with LTE Advanced

The ultimate 2-in-1 device: portable, affordable and ideal for workers in the field. As with all Surface for Business devices it comes with Windows 10 Pro giving your team access to all the productivity tools and apps they need so they can catch-up on their email in Outlook, keep in touch with colleagues via Teams, share and review information via OneDrive or Dynamics, for example. 

Team with the Surface Pen to collect signatures on documents on the spot, take HD pictures with front- and rear-facing cameras, make calls via Teams, and transition from tablet to a full laptop when they need to do some more formal reporting. And the last thing you need is your battery giving up in the middle a task when you're out and about, so you’ll keep your team happy with a battery that lasts all day2

See the full specs, live price and stock on the marketplace 


Elected officials, legal staff and support officers

These workers are busy, whether they’re working in the office, at home or in public meetings. They need a device that not only works hard and helps them stay productive, but also looks smart and professional.


My device needs

  • Taking notes while attending public forums
  • Collecting and organising evidence
  • Working with large amounts of information across many teams 
  • Keeping connected to email and colleagues, even on the go
  • Effectively present and communicate with government employees and the public
  • Connecting with colleagues, even if they are remote 
  • Taking and consolidating notes into a single, unified location


Recommended Surface device: Surface Laptop 3 for Business

Keep things productive with collaboration powered by Windows 10 Pro; work with colleagues using Office co-authoring, OneDrive document sharing and Microsoft Teams. Used with the Surface Pen, they can capture notes in public forums or meetings, and easily mark-up document changes.

This high-performance device not only look great, to create a professional impression, its thin and elegant design means it can be taken from meeting to meeting easily. And with a battery life of up to 11.5 hours3 they can stay on task whatever they’re doing.

See the full specs, live price and stock on the marketplace


Developers, data scientists, financial analysts

Behind the scenes these teams are working with complex data and code to provide information and insight to internal teams and the public. They need a powerful device which can still work wherever they are.


My device needs

  • Creating and manipulating complex data and code
  • Draft complex reports and recommendations
  • Keep sensitive information secure
  • Connecting and sharing information easily with colleagues and teammates remotely
  • High-performance and collaborative capabilities 
  • Built-in security
  • Easy to take to meetings or work remotely from


Recommended Surface device: Surface Laptop 3 for Business

For these workers, it’s vital that their device can carry out complex analysis and run critical productivity apps concurrently without stalling performance. Do all this and more with the Surface Laptop 3 with the latest 10th Gen Intel® Core™ Processor, improved graphics, and up to 32GB RAM and 1TB of storage4

Windows 10 gives them access to the latest collaboration and productivity apps and software, so they can keep in touch with colleagues via outlook and teams, share documents through OneDrive, or create reports in PowerPoint or Word. And the sensitive data that they’re using or creating can be protected with BitLocker, discrete TPM chips and the option to remove the hard drive5

See the full specs, live price and stock on the marketplace


City planners, architects, illustrators

These roles are all about vision and being able to easily communicate their vision to colleagues and communities to help them understand it. They need a device with an accurate and clear display, that has the power to run graphical software programs.


My device needs

  • Create high-quality visuals and designs 
  • Sharing information and collaborating with remote colleagues
  • Presenting vision to colleagues and community
  • High-performance capabilities to run graphical software
  • Ability to connect different tools to help work productively
  • Collaborative capabilities


Recommended Surface device: Surface Studio 2 for Business

For your creative and visionary workers, this device allows them to see their work in 4K detail on a 28” PixelSense™ display. It also adapts for their working preference; move effortlessly from Desktop to Studio Mode with a zero-gravity, counterbalance hinge. Use with the Surface Pen and Surface Dial to increase productivity, including easy mark-up and customisation of documents or collaborative sketch drafting.

See the full specs, live price and stock on the marketplace 


Teamwork makes the dreamwork

According to the report by the NLGN the main motivation that public sector staff said for choosing to work in local government is to make a difference in people’s lives. But in the current climate this can only be achieved with investment in the right technology, hand-in-hand with a commitment to more collaborative working practices that will help create a more modern, productive and efficient workforce. 

Find more guides and information about modern mobile working in the public sector here

Watch now: Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue improves communication and keeps people safe with Surface



1. Service availability and performance subject network. Get in touch for more details about us for details, compatibility, pricing, SIM card, and activation. See all specs and frequencies at surface.com. Availability of data plans for eSIM varies by market and by carrier.

2. Surface Go: Up to 9 hours of battery life for local video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in June 2018 using preproduction Intel®Pentium® Gold Processor 4415Y, 128GB, 8GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors.

3. Surface Laptop 3: Up to 11.5 hours of battery life based on typical Surface device usage. Testing conducted by Microsoft in September 2019 using preproduction software and preproduction 13.5” Intel® Core™ i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM and 15” AMD Ryzen™ 5 3580U Mobile Processor with Radeon™ Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface® Edition devices. Testing consisted of full battery discharge with a mixture of active use and modern standby.  The active use portion consists of (1) a web browsing test accessing 8 popular websites over multiple open tabs, (2) a productivity test utilizing Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and (3) a portion of time with the device in use with idle applications. All settings were default except screen brightness was set to 150nits with Auto-Brightness disabled.  Wi-Fi was connected to a network.  Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors. 

4. System software and updates use significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage. 1 GB= 1 billion bytes. I TB = 1000 GB.  SeeSurface.com/Storage for more details.

5. Hard drive is not user removable. Hard drive is only removable by skilled technician following Microsoft provided instructions.


The vital link: keeping emergency services connected



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