U.S. general contractors’, electricians’, plumbers’, and HVAC specialists’ use of smartphones on the job has increased 35 percent over the last year, new research by EMA Contractors, a specialty group of integrated-marketing-communications agency Eric Mower + Associates, shows.

Sixty-eight percent of the contractors surveyed said they use smartphones for work, while 22 percent—nearly 54 percent more than the previous year—use tablet computers.

Smartphones were named the fastest-growing technology device in the building and construction space by 56 percent of the respondents, followed by tablets, named by nearly 20 percent.

According to the survey, convenience is the primary driver of technology-device usage, as smartphones and tablets are being used by contractors to stay connected to co-workers, distributors, and vendors/subcontractors; increase productivity; and save time. Being able to check specifications and compare products and prices also is important, as is having more information more readily accessible.

To learn more about EMA’s “Connecting With Contractors” study, contact John O’Hara, EMA partner and leader of EMA Contractors, at johara@mower.com.