Running a business may never be totally smooth sailing, but it doesn’t have to be a complete grind all the time either. Managing complexities with your business’ technology is a good way to ensure that things move ahead with some efficiency. Today, we look at four ways to effectively handle complexities in the realm of business technology.
Chances are, your and your employees’ lives are fully permeated with technology, from the very start of the day to the moment you close your eyes to sleep in the evening. That’s just how the world works nowadays, but there is evidence that this permeation of tech can have some adverse effects on us all. That’s why, as odd as it may sound coming from an IT provider, you may want to occasionally take a moment to step away from technology.
Your network is a crucial part of your business, insofar as it is quite literally what powers your operations and enables you to work productively… at least, most of the time. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of a network bottleneck, or a limited capacity for data to move due to a lack of available bandwidth. So, how can these bottlenecks be avoided?
With technology serving such an indispensable role in modern business the looming threat of disaster is one that needs to be considered. With so many consequences on the line, it’s important that your business is prepared to deal with these disasters effectively and efficiently. Let’s run through some tips for properly preparing for your potential disaster recovery needs.
Technology is important for many reasons, chief among them your business’ continued efficiency and productivity. The problem with technology, though, is that it will never last forever, and you’ll have to replace it sooner or later. Thankfully, you can delay those costs considerably by implementing a proactive technology management plan, effectively keeping the same technology running longer.
Data is the lifeblood of a business. In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as hardware failure, malware attacks, or human error, having a well-designed backup and data recovery strategy in place becomes paramount. Today, we try and guide you through the process of creating a robust backup and data recovery strategy, ensuring the safety and accessibility of your data.
As remote access has enabled more and more people to work from home, a business’ security has become harder to reinforce. After all, while you can control the solutions you have protecting your business, you don’t have much control over the solutions that your employees have at home. Here, we’ve provided some of the best practices that you should reinforce when your team is working remotely.
For the small business, technology is an issue; and reasonably so. For something that holds so much importance for an organization, there are bound to be problems attached. These problems can disrupt efficient workflows and ruin some situations. In this week’s blog, we will take a look at four things you can do to cut down on your technology troubles.
As the boss, you’re in a position to offload many of your business’ responsibilities to your employees. That’s more or less why you have employees in the first place. However, there’s more than one way that you can delegate tasks, depending on your personal style of management and the work style of each of your employees.
Let me ask you: how confident are you that all of your data is in your control? How confident are you that you have access to it as you need it? How confident are you that it is properly secured, wherever it is being stored?
These are all important, arguably critical, questions to know the answer to. They are also all questions that are best answered by storing your data centrally.
We’ve been examining the concept and phenomenon known as procrastination in recent weeks, touching on why we do it and how it often manifests itself in business processes. For our final few parts, we’ll be focusing on how you can stop procrastinating by utilizing both quicker, short-term tactics and long-term, sustained changes. Let’s start with some short-term tactics.
Do you have an old Google account that you created years ago, only to replace it later with one that is more on-brand and less filled with spam messages? You’re not alone, but as you might expect, these accounts can create more problems than they are worth if you let them sit around unused for too long. Perhaps that is why Google is planning to shut down any old Google accounts that have remained dormant for the past two years.
We recently started to pick apart the concept of procrastination as a means of understanding it better, and potentially, getting better at not doing it. Last time, we touched on a few ways that procrastination can potentially manifest, so it only made sense to us that we would continue pulling that thread and try to help you identify how you tend to procrastinate more specifically.
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” It’s timeless advice, as well as some of the easiest and most tempting advice to ignore. Procrastination is one of those things that we all assume we understand, but we wanted to take a bit of time to explore it in greater detail…and figure out how we can all work to resist it.
Your business depends on its bandwidth and its Internet connection to remain productive, part of which means ensuring that you have a reliable and stable wireless connection. How can you set up your network so that it is optimal and efficient? We have some thoughts on the matter and want to share them with you.
Have you ever felt like there was simply too much to do and unless you light a fire under your butt, you have no chance to get it all done? What if this state is standard operating procedure? For many small business owners and employees, this is the reality of going to work every day. In this week’s blog we thought we would discuss three strategies that work to lighten the load when it seems like the to-do list is just too big.
Back in 1995, the Association of Records Managers and Administrators were in the midst of campaigning for the renewal of the Paperwork Reduction Act. As a part of their efforts, they created National Records and Information Management Day. Over the years since, it has expanded into a week, and then into an entire month, for businesses around the world to consider their record-keeping practices.
March 31st has officially been designated as the annual day to take care of your business’ backups, aptly named World Backup Day—and, while we are totally supportive of the effort to raise awareness of backups and their importance, we have to point out that every day should be World Backup Day.
Even better, with some help from today’s technology, every day can be!
For all the benefits that remote work offers, it does come with some challenges. Fortunately, there are different strategies that can be applied to help overcome them. Let’s break down something called structured problem solving, and how equipping your team members appropriately can help you with it.
Most people are capable of productivity, but sometimes it can come a bit harder for some than for others. If you find your staff have difficulty with consistency and productivity, we aren’t here to tell you methods for increasing their productivity; rather, we want to introduce a concept that is often overlooked when trying to get the most out of your team, and is a trait often found in the most productive people, and that is patience.
iPhone users should be aware that, should you encounter a pop-up that reads “Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged”, you don’t need to be concerned—beyond the concern you’d have for any other threat, that is. This pop-up is just a recent iteration of a common phishing scam that aims to fool people into downloading apps that enable hackers to access personal information.
When you suffer a data breach, you might wonder how you can possibly come back from such an event, especially if it leads to a network compromise. Can your business rebound effectively, and if so, what do you need to do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again? It all starts with understanding how much data you need to function, as well as how much downtime you can afford to suffer from.
More businesses than ever before are seeing the value of outsourcing their technology management to a managed service provider (MSP) and it’s easy to see why. With a more hands-off approach to technology management, businesses can focus on delivering quality goods and services instead of worrying about their technology. If you are considering jumping on the MSP wagon, consider asking the following questions to make sure you understand what you are getting from your provider.
It doesn’t matter if your workplace is your typical office space or if it is remote. There will always be factors that can contribute to burnout. These struggles are not exclusive to the location of the office, and if left unchecked they can impact work performance, productivity, mental health, and so on. It’s important that you have coping mechanisms and strategies in place to address burnout before it becomes too severe to counter.
We often think about disasters in the context that they completely destroy the office, rendering your business incapable of operations. However, this is only part of what is encompassed by the term “disaster,” and the whole picture is far more terrifying. Any disruption to your operations can be considered a disaster in its own right, so we wanted to take some time to go over what you should look out for with your disaster planning.
The workspace is changing in spades these days, with remote work—once a taboo topic in some offices—being commonplace, along with resignations in the face of a return to the office becoming more of a regular occurrence. Employees want more control over their work schedule so they can balance their personal responsibilities with their professional. A shorter workweek might be the key to making this happen.
There are countless ways your organization could face down a disaster, whether it’s a high-profile natural disaster, a physical disaster, or a technology-related disaster. If you aren’t prepared to face the consequences, your business could falter in the face of such incidents. How can your business best prepare itself for all manners of disasters?
It doesn’t matter where your business is located; whether it’s a tornado that rolls through your city, a structural fire that renders your office uninhabitable, or a freak snowstorm that brings down power lines or grinds travel to a halt, you’ll want to be ready for it all. We’ll go over what kinds of solutions your business can implement to ensure that no disaster, be it natural or artificial, like a cyberattack, puts a stop to your operations.
While we’re all for efficiency, there are some boundaries that should not be crossed for everyone’s benefit. Take, for instance, the email you use to subscribe to online services. While it may be tempting (or, for some people, automatic) to use your work email address when you sign up for, say, your Netflix account or an online merchant, we wanted to discuss why this is a bad habit to get into that could have lasting consequences.
With so many wireless networks available to connect to, it’s no surprise that wireless security is a cornerstone of working while on the go. We thought it would be helpful to have a list of best practices to help ensure your wireless networks, and the devices connecting to them, are as secure as possible.
Many businesses were very suddenly introduced to the capabilities of modern collaboration tools, as… circumstances forced them to either go remote or cease operations for an unknown amount of time. However, while collaboration tools were suddenly a requisite for work, could these tools now be responsible for isolating your team members from one another?
It’s important to make your website as accessible as possible to your audience. Obviously, you want to accommodate all the different customers and visitors you might have, and if you provide a poor experience for a person, they might not stick around and become a customer. This is nothing new, and over the years there have been discussions about ADA compliance and accessibility for websites. This blog is going to demystify this topic.
Tomorrow, March 31st, is the official World Backup Day, a day intended to remind us all of the importance of taking backups for the sake of data continuity. While this kind of day can be a valuable reminder of a critical best practice, we contend that your awareness of your backup (and the associated maintenance of it) should not be limited to a single day.
World Backup Day is March 31st, each and every year. However, while there is value to having a dedicated holiday to raise awareness of the need for backup, it should not be the only time it is considered. Let’s go over the importance of proper backup practices, just in time for the holiday, so that you can establish the backup that your business needs if it's not already in place.
We’re coming up on two years since the COVID-19 pandemic changed many workplaces’ operational strategies from in-person work to remote work. In that time, many businesses who hadn’t initially considered remote working to be a viable option have now made it a core part of their onboarding process. This means there are plenty of workers who are now beginning remote work who haven’t really experienced it before. Today, we thought we’d go through a couple of strategies that will help remote employees be as productive as possible as they work from home.
The holidays are times for people to come together, even in these incredibly stressful times, so you’ll want to make sure that you are taking all the necessary precautions on both a personal level and a technological level. Here are some ways that you can keep yourself safe from a technology perspective this holiday season.
Phishing is one of those threats that has been around for a long time, and as time passes by, these threats only become more difficult to identify. Some businesses can’t tell the difference between phishing scams and actual emails. Here’s how your company can take steps toward properly identifying and responding to phishing emails.
Technology is one element that many small businesses struggle with, but it turns out that a lot of the same advice that you might get for regular life lessons can also apply to IT! Let’s take a closer look at how we might apply some of these lessons and why it just makes good sense to keep these tips close at hand.
We’re all aware of the outage that Facebook experienced a few weeks before it announced its Meta rebrand, which prevented users around the world from accessing the services that the social media giant provides. While it may not sound like a huge deal that people couldn’t share their thoughts with one another for a short time, the ramifications stretched far beyond the inability to scroll through a Newsfeed.
What do you do with your old email messages? Do they just sit around in your inbox and collect dust? If so, this is certainly a wasteful practice, as those emails can accrue over time and take up a sizable chunk of space. The question then becomes, what do you do with the emails to keep them from taking up so much space, especially when you might be paying for the space?
Remote work has been embraced over the past two years, in no small part due to the impact of the pandemic. However, some of the impacts of remote work have made it clear to many businesses that its advantages shouldn’t be sacrificed once it is no longer necessary. Let’s review how businesses can improve by continuing the practices of remote work, even after the need for remote work has passed.
We throw the term “best practice” around a lot… enough that, without an appreciation for what the term actually means, it can start to sound like just another buzzword that the IT guy is using to sound more impressive. We assure you that this is not the case, and that the term “best practice” actually does mean something.
Regular computer maintenance is part of maintaining healthy IT infrastructure, but one aspect that can often go by the wayside is keeping your computer physically clean. By this, we mean keeping it dust-free, clean and tidy. We’ve put together a shortlist of everyday actions that employees of any caliber can use to keep their workstations clean. This will help your organization take preventative measures over time and (hopefully) prolong the lifespan of your business’ technology.
Whether you refer to them as clients or customers, the people who act as patrons to your business are essential to its success and survival. This means that you need to keep them as happy as possible. While there are many aspects of maintaining a high level of customer service, we wanted to take a bit of time to examine how deploying the right technology can assist your business in doing just that.
While the right IT solutions can be a major benefit to your business and its processes, this will only be the case if your team members are trained to use them correctly. Let’s go over some of the training that you need to prioritize in order to ensure your team is ready to use your technology the way it should be used.
For decades, technology has been the driving force behind some of the biggest and most radical shifts in business. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that the keys to your organization pushing past its limits and becoming truly exceptional lies in the implementation of new technologies that change operations in a profound way. The process of digital transformation does not have to be difficult, but it is important in a business environment so that you can stay competitive.
Your business’ technology is the best tool for its success… or it can be, at least. In order for you to see the kind of value from your tech that you’d expect of it, you need to approach it by making good decisions. We wanted to go over a few ways not to do so, to help you avoid undesirable situations.
It is a well-known and unfortunate fact that technology does not last forever, and in today’s era of upgrades, no time has this been more true than in the modern day. Therefore, it makes sense for businesses to have a plan in place for when it does come time to replace older devices. This, of course, involves the proper disposal of connected devices, a practice that could very easily be done in a way that is both destructive to the environment and devastating for data privacy if done improperly. We’re here to make sure this doesn’t happen.
You may have been in a position where you tried to implement a technology solution in the past only to find that your staff is simply not responsive to it in any capacity. Maybe they do not see the value in the solution, or they do not understand what issues the solution resolves for your organization. To help you instill the correct mindset in your employees regarding technology, here are some training tips!
As a business owner, we are sure that you have your fair share of day-to-day stressors. Oftentimes, these stressors can lead to the development of bad habits. When this happens, you might get the urge to correct the bad behavior and replace it with good, productive habits. That said, it’s easier said than done to build good habits, especially when you have so much else on your plate.
The office environment has changed a lot over the years with technology being the impetus for such change. In your years doing business, how much has changed? How much of that change was driven by technology? Many of the traditional conventions of conducting business have been changed for the better as a result of these technological developments; here are just a few of them.
For some companies, their IT is like a boat to a fisherman: they could conceivably do the work without it, but they wouldn’t have a business. For this reason it is important to know how to ascertain which technology investments are right for your business at any given time. Let’s go through a few considerations decision makers should highlight when choosing new technology for their businesses.
If you are looking for a way to smooth out the edges of your business, consider putting together a knowledge base that includes all policies, procedures, and other information so it is readily accessible by the people that interact within and from outside your business. Businesses that have well-documented policies and procedures have a tendency to have less difficulty onboarding new hires, fewer operational problems, and can always provide access to resources needed by employees, customers, and vendors. Today we will give you a few tips on how to successfully create a working knowledge base.
It’s no secret that new technology can be useful for a business, unfortunately too many businesses struggle with their technology implementations. When adding new tools to your business, you will need to understand that the more deliberate you are, the more success you will find. Rushing any new deployment is sure to have some types of issues. For today’s blog, we take you through some of the best practices of adding new technology to your business.
Technology is such a wonderful tool for productivity, but one thing that you need to understand is that it cannot work miracles. At the end of the day, we are all still human; distractions creep in that technology cannot prevent. Some users struggle with staying focused, which in turn leads to unproductive behaviors, all of which compounds to create wasted time and money. Let’s discuss some ways that your employees can overcome distractions in the workplace.
Workplace stress has increasingly been focused on as a prescient problem for businesses, with an increased focus on identifying the causes and mitigating the impacts. A recently published patent from Microsoft helps to demonstrate how seriously this is now taken… although it also begs the question: do we really need technology’s help to identify when we feel stressed?
When we say “improve communications” you probably are expecting an article about telephone systems or which video conferencing platform works the best. Normally, you’d be right, but today we decided to briefly go over four ways that you can foster better communications between management and their employees inside of your business.
I hope I don’t have to tell you how important your business’ data is to its continued survival, just as I hope I don’t need to explain why this makes this data a priority to protect, regardless of your business’ size. What I do want to explain is the concept of the 3-2-1 Rule and how it pertains to your data backup, and why we would recommend that one for your business’ purposes.
Seeing as technology is a critical component of most business processes nowadays, it is effectively guaranteed that it will benefit your operations to abide by a few particular best practices. Let’s review these practices now so you can move forward and use your technology to its highest capabilities.
“It was getting to the point where I wouldn’t answer my cell phone anymore.”
Does this sound familiar? If you get a lot of scam calls, you are probably ready to toss your phone off a pier. Not only are these calls annoying, they can be outright dangerous. I’m going to tell you right now—stopping them altogether isn’t easy, but there are ways to prevent them to a degree.
With remote work becoming the norm for many businesses in their efforts to maintain operations in recent months, this potentially company-saving adoption has not been without its drawbacks. Most notably, the mental health of many employees has been impacted as teams have been working together while keeping apart, in large part because the quick conversations that happen throughout the workday have largely been eliminated.
While Google Search has become eponymous for “online search”, the company has not stopped innovating upon the capabilities of the service. Most recently (as of this writing, of course) one improvement that the company is making is to give more content a bit more context before a user clicks through to a potential threat.
If there is one thing that you could take away from our blog it is that data backup is an integral part of any business continuity strategy. Unfortunately, there are so many different parts to it that it’s not surprising some data could slip through the cracks if not maintained properly. If you’re not actively taking measures to keep disasters from derailing your business’ progress, you stand to lose more than some data. Let’s take a look at some of the critical parts of a data backup and disaster recovery process and why it is essential to give them a test regularly.
As much as you hope it will not happen to your business, a disaster could very well strike at any time—statistics have shown as much to be true. To remove some of the risks associated with disasters and the data loss they lead to; we recommend that you implement BDR into your business continuity strategies.
If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you will notice that “best practices” is a term that is used generously. That is because there are certain ways to go about things when you are working with technology. Today, we wanted to go over what the term actually means and why they are important when managing your business.
With all that has gone on in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, it is little wonder that many businesses have suddenly changed their tune concerning the use of remote work. However, some workers are in a bit of a crisis as they try to adapt to their new work environment: suddenly, the place they would go at the end of the day to recover is the same place where work must now be done. This shift has led to a not-insignificant amount of stress and mental fatigue.
With remote access being so popular right now, it is important that there is an awareness of how to maintain your business’ security while utilizing it. There are a lot of steps involved in doing so. Let’s go over some of the most important considerations that you need to weigh while your office continues to work remotely.
After decades of inadequate data protections, scores of regulations have been put in place to help protect the sensitive data businesses store. Industries, such as healthcare and financial services, are highly-regulated environments precisely because of the type of data they manage. Personal data is highly valuable to bad actors like hackers and other cybercriminals. We thought it would be a good time to talk about not mistakenly exposing this highly-coveted information to the wild.
If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, it is very likely that you have already heard us talk about the importance of a comprehensive data backup strategy. Recent events have made such preparations no less important for you to have in place. Let’s go over some of the key steps that you need to undergo.
Now that the school year has begun many young children are juggling between altered classroom setups and continued remote education. Naturally, this has caused a lot of people no small amount of stress. To try and relieve this stress and make the process of working or learning from home as effective as possible, we wanted to share a few tips with you.
The benefits of having the ability to work remotely certainly outweigh the alternative, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work through some of the drawbacks. Doing so will make your remote work experience the best it can be. Here are three tips to keep you engaged and productive while you work remotely.
2020 has provided a stark new reality when it comes to education. While many schools across the country are trying their hardest to get students back in the classroom, the situation with COVID-19 is making it extraordinarily difficult. Students of 2020 are going to be doing some of their schooling online, there is no way around it. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the technology that is making this distance learning possible.
Modern society is greatly focused on the virtue of hard work, of productivity. This has led to a kind of unspoken prejudice against breaks in the workplace, that any break that is not earned is the sign of an unproductive employee. As it turns out, the opposite is true. This week, we’re going over how you can turn your breaks into a way to accomplish more in the workplace.
How many times have you gone to the store and bought something that you already had? Unfortunately, this happens all the time, but fortunately it’s usually a half gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. When it happens in your business, it can be much more expensive. Today, we will advocate for an inventory strategy that will keep you from spending wads of cash on redundant investments.
As businesses of all kinds either actively reopen or find themselves swiftly approaching that point, the ongoing status of COVID-19 guarantees that these organizations must carefully evaluate how to proceed. With numbers rising at the time of this writing, it is important that you establish the means to protect your employees from infection and illness.
If you haven’t kept your most up-to-date policies and procedures written down somewhere, you absolutely must correct this as soon as possible. A written guide to your business’ policies and procedures is crucial, as it is intended to give your team a resource to turn to for an answer to any questions concerning their employment. Let’s go over some things you must include in your written employee handbook.
Many states’ stay-at-home orders that are/were designed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus are now lapsing all over the U.S. As a result, business owners are re-opening their doors to a great deal of uncertainty. We have put together this guide to help the business owner understand that, even though you’ve finally been given the go-ahead, you have a responsibility to keep your staff and customers safe.
A lot of people aren’t aware that working from home is not a recent innovation. It can arguably be traced back over a million and a half years, when our ancestors would work relatively close to their dwelling places. Throughout our history, work has shifted away and back again to the remote methodology. Let’s look back through the years to see the progression of how people worked, based on the technology that was available.
Disasters, at least in the business sense, have long been underestimated. While you always, always, hear about disasters that are often seen, there are some (as we are witnessing now) that can go under the radar until they strike. Regardless of the nature of the disaster, however, you need to be prepared to continue both your operations and your communications to some degree.
Right now, more business than ever is now conducted over video chat. You may have found yourself using it as a tool as you work remotely. However, while these conversations may help keep your team connected to one another, the experience certainly isn’t the same as what would be found in the office conference room. Here, we’re sharing a way to get rid of one of the biggest hurdles in remote collaboration.
Businesses around the world now find themselves in a situation unlike what most have ever seen. With so many trying to keep their distance from one another, many workplaces have deemed it necessary to close down for the time being or to operate remotely in order to reduce the risk they present to their clients and customers… but it isn’t as though these clients and customers are going to expect radio silence from these businesses.
As current events have made congregating in an office irresponsible and hazardous, many companies are sustaining their operations by enabling remote work. While we normally focus on how you should properly take care of your technology, we wanted to shift our focus momentarily to the people using this technology, and how they can do so more safely.
To do so, we have to consider ergonomics.
Worldwide, we’re a good few months into dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, with many nonessential businesses shutting their doors for the time being. Even those industries that can’t just stop their operations are seeking alternatives, leading many to turn to implementing as much of a remote workforce as possible. Many still have questions about doing so, however, so we want to do our best to help answer some of the common questions these business people might ask about remote work.
Business efficiency can be greatly helped by putting a concrete process in place, which is why it feels so natural to develop one in the workplace. Of course, these processes should also come into play when working from home. Let’s review what makes a routine so beneficial, and how you can develop one to optimize your success.