Remote work has been on the rise for some time, even before the COVID-19 pandemic made it the safest way for a business to operate. Naturally, this makes organization a particularly crucial thing to consider, especially as public areas reopen as workspace options.
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.
Many businesses concerned with productivity are considering using webcams to monitor their remote employees’ work habits. While it seems like a good idea, the biggest challenge is determining when using a webcam to measure productivity transforms into spying on your team.
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.
Email! We all know it. We all stare at it every day (or it stares down at us, depending on how you look at it). Microsoft Outlook has some neat features to help cut down on the time you spend managing your email. Let’s jump right into it.
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.
Now months into the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders are still in place causing most financial analysts to suggest that the economies we depend on might not look the same when business returns. Let’s outline a couple of tips that will help get your business through this terrible situation.
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.
March 31st is World Backup Day, which makes it the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of implementing a complete backup plan. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant business interruptions make World Backup Day only too timely this year. Here, we’ll examine how these times make a business continuity strategy and data backup all the more important to have.
When you move your business into a new workspace, it can be one of the most exciting times for both you and your staff. It isn’t easy, of course, but today we thought that we would give you a short list of considerations that you should take in order to make this process go smoothly.
April 22nd is Earth Day, which began 50 years ago as a means to hold businesses and corporations accountable for the damage that their highly industrialized pollution was introducing into the world. As the digital age has introduced a new environmental concern, it only seems prudent to address the challenge we face today: e-waste.
As the coronavirus outbreak creates global health concerns, we wanted to address how it could impact businesses that lack the preparations needed to account for such an event. More specifically, we wanted to discuss why events like these add even more reasons that a file share and sync solution is an invaluable addition to your IT resources.
If there is any industry that connected devices are undeniably useful in, it would have to be the medical field. Unfortunately, recent news would suggest that connected devices should be avoided as the BlueKeep vulnerability is still able to attack medical systems… for an unfortunate reason. Find out more by reading on.
If they are doing their job well, a business’ decision makers are always looking for ways to increase efficiency. For years, businesses were looking to their human resources to improve, but today, technology can fill in the gaps more effectively. A culture of automation--the act of having machines do tasks that humans used to do--is proving to be a potent strategy for all types of tasks.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes, but is this really useful advice if you’re trying to keep Jack, Jill, and the rest of your team engaged in the workplace? As it happens, it is! Let’s explore how you can use gamification to your business’ benefit.
The word “procedure” can easily be perceived in a negative light nowadays. It just sounds so… rote… compared to the exciting and dynamic buzzwords that so many “thought-leading, influencing, social media innovators” today toss around. Now, we don’t mean to disparage these personalities - we just want to emphasize that these innovations rely on a foundation to support them, and these foundations are based on business procedures and processes.
Data loss is no joke - and we’ve heard plenty of stories from people who have experienced it firsthand, when personal or business data was lost. We appreciate everyone who shared their experiences with us, and allowed us to post them here. First, we’ll tell the story of someone who learned something in college that wasn’t in the syllabus.
Don’t forget to share your own stories with us in the comments!
We’ve been talking about Facebook quite a bit on our blog, and for good reason - we’re all concerned with our privacy, and Facebook has been notoriously front-and-center when it comes to Internet privacy. In this post we will break down Facebook’s privacy settings to help you gain control over your personal identity while using the social network.
Whether you love, hate, or are just indifferent about Facebook (no judgement here), it’s worth configuring and locking down your account to control what others can see about you.
Facebook is front and center when it comes to privacy-related issues worldwide, so in this blog we are going to discuss how you can take control of your personal information. This post will also serve as an excellent starting point for anyone who doesn’t understand 2-factor authentication.
If your business uses Office 365, your users get access to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage. Your employees can upload, sync, and share documents to collaborate with colleagues. This can be a good thing, but you may want to control how employees are sharing company documents.
The information technology solutions that are out there for businesses to utilize are constantly improving. While these improvements are beneficial to your operational abilities, you do need to make sure you are staying up to date. This is where a managed service provider can help. Here, in the final part of our series exploring the value of managed services, we’re considering procurement assistance.
Data is of key importance to many modern businesses, and with the help of a managed service provider, it can become even more useful. Here, as we continue our series on the value that a managed service provider can offer you, we’ll focus on the ways that data can be harnessed to your business’ advantage.
Sometimes, your business may have a need that requires you to bring in an external resource, including assistance with the technology it leverages. Here, in the third part of our series, we’ll see how a managed service provider can act as a consultant for your various business needs.
One of the most - if not the most - critical resource your business relies upon is your workforce. Your employees are what keep your operations, well, operational. As a result, they are one of your most important resources to maintain as well. They are human beings, and without the correct treatment and management, even your best employee could burn out.
When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.
It isn’t uncommon for business owners to keep their knowledge close to the chest, hesitant to share what some might consider valuable proprietary information with their staff or - heaven forbid - their clients. While we agree that you shouldn’t necessarily overshare with your clients, your staff needs to have access to some information in order to do their jobs
Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need. The last part of our series will take a look at hardware procurement and the value it brings.
We spend a lot of time talking about managed IT services. That’s where you pay a monthly contract to have your technology taken care of for you. There are a lot of pros to this, especially for a business that values uptime and efficiency... but sometimes, you just need that certain computer working, and signing another contract isn’t in the cards. We get it. Here’s how we can still help.
Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.
While information technology is an important part of the modern business and its processes, it isn’t always the easiest topic for the average business user to figure out. In this series, we’ve been exploring how a managed service provider can add value to your business and its IT. Here, we’re focusing on how the managed service provider can serve as a knowledgeable consultant.
Information technology support has developed and evolved as the methods and equipment used have improved. As a result of this development, there are a variety of ways that managed IT providers can deliver additional value through their services. In this series, we’re exploring the many benefits a business can gather through managed services - here, focusing on the support available.
In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.
Mobile devices accompany us more or less everywhere, leading us to use them more and more frequently in all aspects of lie, including for business purposes. As a result, cybercriminals have even more motivation to target them. To help you avoid a mobile device being the downfall of your company’s security, we’ve assembled a few practices you and your staff should adopt.
When we discuss backup and disaster recovery (BDR), it may seem as though we’re talking about a single process - after all, there’s just one acronym for it. However, the reality is that - while these two processes are related to one another - backup and disaster recovery each require a different preparation process, with different considerations made for each.
In the course of doing business everyone has their own specific responsibilities. One overarching responsibility that all employees need to have today is a keen eye for detail. The health of a business depends on it. A staff’s failure to properly shoulder their load of security can have an immensely negative result for both the employee and the company. Today, we’re going to explain that when your organization gets breached by hackers, that fault is largely found in the mirror.
Working in an office is the reality for a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be an unpleasant one. There are plenty of ways to make life easier while working in an office. Here, we’ll review five simple adjustments you can make to streamline your time throughout the workday.
It only makes sense that you would want your staff to know what they are doing as they tackle their daily work responsibilities - otherwise, there isn’t really the chance for very much work to be done. This is why training your staff is so important - it’s practically a prerequisite for productivity.
Unfortunately, your business’ technology doesn’t last forever. At some point in the future, you will have to upgrade away from your current hardware, which, regrettably, is not as simple as it sounds. Here are some tips to help you out during this difficult process.
Going paperless these days is all the rage, even though we understand why some organizations like to keep their hardcopy documentation printed out and available. If you’re careful, you can minimize printing to reduce the costs associated with printing, while still keeping your critical files organized and at the ready.
With World Backup Day coming and going approximately one month ago, it hasn’t been long since we should all have been reminded of the importance of data backup. Regardless, there is never a bad time to discuss the harsh realities of business data loss, and how businesses can avoid it.
Managing a business requires a lot of monitoring, and with enough of it, you might be able to enhance productivity through proactive maintenance and management. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that organizations commonly deal with in regard to management and monitoring.
The office can be a stressful place to work, and sitting still for so long can be difficult to handle in terms of both physical and mental wellbeing. Some people can experience health problems or feelings of depression, dissatisfaction, and generally negative emotions. Here are a few pointers to help your staff avoid the feeling of being unsatisfied by their static jobs.
With cloud computing becoming a major benefit for organizations of all sizes, some have abandoned the idea of having on-premise servers at their place of business. This could end up being problematic, however, as data security and privacy of cloud-based resources have been known to be often less than reliable. If you are looking to host your own IT in-house, there are some issues you have to see to before you can start purchasing hardware.
Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your use of your computer much less stressful.
Collaborative work is pushing organizations forward faster today than ever before. With the use of more dynamic and option-rich technology, your organization can benefit from the improved productivity that comes from enhancing your collaborative strategies. Today, we look at some of the technologies used by organizations that prioritize collaborative work.
Business disasters come in all shapes and sizes, which makes it all the more important that you take the time to prepare for those that your business may be susceptible to. This strategy needs to contain numerous considerations, based on the scenario at hand. After all, there is no shortage of events that can lead to disaster in the business world.
Windows 10 is a great option for businesses that want to get the most out of their computers, but it can be a bit slow at times. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your Windows 10 PC and speed up certain tasks.
Even though no one will admit to it themselves, everyone knows that person that, for some reason or another, has dropped his/her smartphone in the toilet, or into the sink, or into a puddle. Needless to say that dropping electronics into any bit of water isn’t typically recommended, but today we will talk about what to do if this happens to you.
There are over two billion active devices currently using Android. Most of them that have been purchased in the past year or so have come with, or have been subsequently updated to, Android 9.0 Pie. With the introduction of their newest mobile OS, Google has ensured that their software powers more mobile phones than any other software in the world. Today, we’ll take a look at some handy tips you can use to get the most out of your Android Pie experience.
For many businesses, communication is a major contributing factor to their success. Technology--when it’s properly implemented, anyway--can play a big part in keeping communication productive, but with certain solutions, it can be difficult to determine context. Here are some ways that you can help your employees be as clear and concise as possible with specific communication methods.
Virtualization has opened up a lot of doors for businesses who want to make their operations more flexible, but your business can’t simply implement it all willy-nilly. You need to have specific requirements in mind for your cloud hardware. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you make the best decisions possible regarding the adoption of virtualization for your business’ needs.
In the business world, productivity is everything, which means that many will try to boost their productivity however they can. Many swear by multitasking, or the practice of juggling tasks to keep themselves fresh and productive. However, evidence shows they are mistaken. We’ll go into why, and offer a few more effective alternatives.
Every so often, even the best employee needs to take a break for the sake of their mental well-being. Just like the devices we all use every day, our brains need a chance to charge back up. Without a chance to de-stress and decompress, we are all vulnerable to burnout. Here, we go over a few ways you and your employees could refresh yourselves.
It isn’t often that one hears it discussed in the office, but the human body is an incredible piece of technology. Since your employees are so key to your business’ success, you’d benefit from doing everything you could to help your employees to take good care of their physical health.
You walk into the office, just like you would on any other morning, and discover that there are updates that need to finish applying before you can use your workstation. Well, that’s certainly frustrating. Sure, it’ll probably only take a few minutes to complete, but you have your coffee in hand, and you’re ready to dive into the day. How can you burn that time, without it being a total waste?
The right technology can be a catalyst for change. While the right kind of change can be enough to drive innovation and push the limits of your business, the wrong kind of change--namely, employee turnover--can put a halt to productivity and force you to trace your steps back down the old, familiar path of onboarding and training. How can you use technology to retain top talent and reinforce the right message amongst your employees?
Passwords are always a major pain point for businesses, but in some industries, their importance is emphasized more than others. In particular, government-based organizations need to be prepared to keep more secure passwords. While we understand that not all organizations are government-based, there’s something to be said about proper password practices that we can all learn something from.
Even with a data recovery strategy, you can’t expect all problems related to data continuity to be resolved simply by having a strategy in place. Take a moment to ask yourself if you have the right strategy for your business’ needs. Below you will find several considerations to keep in mind when planning your data backup system, as well as how to make it happen.
Windows 10 just got a second update for 2018. Some experts think this many major updates to the OS is too many, but when you start to look at the features available through this second update, you may be happy that Microsoft has decided to release it (and re-release it). Today, we’ll take a look at the new update, and a couple of the helpful features that it has rolled out to users.
Windows 10 isn’t just a great operating system for getting things done--it’s also jam-packed with features that you might not even have known about. This week’s tip is all about some of the handy features that Windows 10 can provide for your office.
Data backup tends to carry with it the association that your business could end at any moment, and while this is an important reason to implement data backup, there are countless others to consider as well. You might find that they are just as important to your organization as saving it from a devastating data loss disaster.
If your business experiences a technological failure, how many operations simply stop dead in their tracks until the problem is resolved? While it might seem like you have no control over your business’ technology (at least the issues that cause downtime), this is far from the truth. If you take action now, you can prevent issues from cropping up in the first place rather than reacting to them later, after they have already caused considerable problems for your business.
Even the simplest tasks in the office can eat up a surprising amount of time over the span of a year. For example, did you know that switching from your keyboard to your mouse can consume up to eight full work days every year? By taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts, you can cut down on the amount of time wasted on these little tasks.
Data backup can be the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds. After all, if an organization suffers from a data loss incident so bad that it has to deploy its data backup, it wouldn’t be able to survive without it. With a data backup and disaster solution, you can ensure business continuity. But what does this kind of system need in order to succeed, and how can you make sure your organization benefits from a data backup system in place?
Hurricane season can be a scary time for business owners, as those in at-risk climates can never feel safe from these kinds of unpredictable and devastating storms. In particular, those who aren’t prepared to face this destruction are in considerable danger of having their organizations ended for good following a disaster event like a hurricane. We’ll help you make sure your business doesn’t suffer this same fate the next time it stares down a disaster.
Depending on their work roles within your organization, your employees will either have an ordinary user account or an administrator account. This can be one of the more stressful parts of managing a network, as the answer for who gets administrator access isn’t always clear. We’ll explain what an admin account is and why it’s important to have restraint when looking at who should have an admin account.
For the modern small business owner, there are situations that you are forced to deal with that are frustrating; but, in the course of doing business would be considered normal. Then there are other situations that arise where, every step of the way, the figurative floor falls out from under your feet and you are forced to react quickly. Some of these circumstances can be pretty spooky for your business. This Halloween, we’ve decided to outline three scary circumstances your business may have to deal with, and how to keep your cool.
Slow computers are one of the small annoyances in an office that can implicate a much larger issue is hidden. The frustration stems from not being able to get anything done, whether it’s because the computer isn’t responding to your commands or it’s so slow that you can’t accomplish anything noteworthy in your day. Thankfully, you can take some steps to check the speed of your computer so as to take proper action when it’s not working at expected.
If you look around your company, there’s a good chance that it has a lot of technology that you completely take for granted. No matter if you run a small retail store, a factory, or a multi-location office, your business needs IT to function properly. Today, we will take a look into several ways your organization can use technology to improve your business.
Working with your computer for so much of the day means you need to get as much productivity out of it as possible. If you can speed up some of the ways you access specific information, you can get even more done. Shortcuts are very helpful to this end. Here are some of the easiest and best ways you can save time while working with a computer.
The modern worker (or really, the modern person) spends a lot of their time looking at a computer screen. Considering this, it only makes sense that their screens and the items displayed on them are arranged in a way that they like. Our tip covers a few shortcuts to help you arrange and view the items on your workstation a little quicker.
The Internet is home to a vast amount of knowledge. Undoubtedly you’ll find yourself revisiting certain sites more often than others to take advantage of the information contained within. Thankfully, the bookmark system is a great way to make this happen, giving users an easy and efficient way to navigate back to frequently-visited websites.
The way that business is conducted today, the right technology is more of a necessity than a privilege. There are plenty of benefits that it can bring that an organization requires in order to stay competitive. For our tip, we’ll walk through a few ways that your business can be improved through the adoption of certain solutions.
Let’s be honest - not all of us have the best memories. This makes the ability for many browsers to remember our passwords seem like a godsend. However, is this capability actually a good thing for your cybersecurity? The answer may not surprise you.
What would you do if you sat down at your desk one morning, coffee still kicking in, to discover a pop-up message on your computer announcing that Microsoft has detected a fatal issue with your workstation, and if they aren’t allowed to remote in and fix it, the entire network could be at risk? Would you be able to, in the heat of the moment, recognize it for the scam that it is and disregard it?
The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.
Recently we’ve seen figures, public and private, lose their jobs and sometimes even their careers over things they’ve posted not only in the present but the past on social media. While public figures may have the resources to put up a fight, those in the private arena often don’t, and so the double-edged sword of attention can be particularly sharp. Once average people attract the all-seeing eye, never forgetting and unforgiving memory of the Internet, they find the weight of public opinion brought down upon them; with all the consequences - positive and negative - such attention may bring.
As the cloud is being utilized by more individuals and organizations to meet their computing needs, more very important data is hosted outside of local computer networks. As a result, people utilize cloud storage for their backup and recovery strategies. In fact, it has become the primary use of cloud-hosted platforms, but just how does backup and recovery from these collaborative cloud-based platforms work?