IT management is critical to the success of your business, but it’s easier said than done. There are countless moving parts that all go into keeping your business’ IT organized. Here are three ways you can make sure IT doesn’t hold your business back from its full potential.
Understanding what your customers need is a crucial first step toward improving the way your organization communicates with them. They expect a certain level of service, so how can you make sure to maintain it while still leveling with them on what they require of your business? A customer relationship management software, or CRM, is invaluable toward this end.
With the exception of a sole proprietorship, a business of any size relies on its team in order to function properly. As a result, this team needs to be able to work together towards a common goal in order to succeed. To accomplish this, collaboration technologies are becoming more and more common in office environments, and generally benefit the performance of the business in its operations.
Children are the future, as the saying goes, so do we really want the future to be taught using tools from the past? While some schools are still using technology that better belongs in the 20th century, others are embracing innovation and teaching in ways that better translate to the “real world.” Let’s take a look at how our evolving technology is transforming the classroom and explore some ways to get it to more students.
Microsoft OneNote is an extremely useful application in the professional setting, with plenty of features and capabilities to assist in keeping you and your employees organized. These features are actually comprehensive enough that OneNote could feasibly serve as your project management tool. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how.
As incredible a tool as the Internet truly is, for every website that is beneficial to the workplace, there is another that is certainly the opposite. Naturally, it is these sites that your employees would most likely want to visit if left to their own devices. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the temptation and block these websites. For this week’s tip, we’ll talk about a few ways to do so.
With the recent overhaul of Google’s G Suite productivity software products comes a new way to keep your business’ data secure. We’ll go over some of the major changes introduced in the updates, including the integration of artificial intelligence.
Productivity is a major consideration in any business environment - that’s largely why so many solutions designed for a business’ use focus on increasing productivity as much as possible. One method of doing so that many businesses have found effective is the adoption of Unified Communication and Collaboration solutions.
Business owners know that streaming in the office can be a considerable detriment to productivity, but the type of media that is being streamed can play a large role in whether or not the workplace is enhanced or affected adversely by it. How does your organization approach streaming? Depending on its policies, you might want to change the way that you approach this touchy subject.
Paper can be incredibly expensive, especially with the quantity that a normal business goes through every single day. However, not only is it expensive on the monetary side, but also on the environmental side as well. By making some changes around your office, you can be more eco-friendly and budget-friendly by reducing the amount of paper waste your organization suffers from.
Spring seems to be the natural time, after what are commonly dreary winter months, to revitalize and refresh your environment - why shouldn’t your business be included? Not only does it help your operations, a clean environment also has many direct benefits for your employees. Let’s review the effects of keeping your business, and its technology, in order.
For the modern business owner or executive, making smart business decisions has become a necessity. Margins are small, efficiency is key, and if we were to be completely honest, business is a day-in and day-out grind. In the course of doing business much is made of cost reduction and curtailing inefficiencies that lead to wasted capital. Much is made of collaborative systems that allow for remote access. Much is made of protocol, process, and performance. With so many moving parts in every business, there has to be the “glue” that allows for cohesive actions to be taken. That “glue” is software.
Your business either has a sound plan to manage its IT maintenance, or it does not. There is no middle ground here. Either you have an internal team dedicated to maintaining your IT infrastructure, or it’s not being taken care of as well as it should be. Even if you do have an internal team, you might notice that they simply don’t have time on their hands to handle all of their responsibilities. We’re here to introduce you to one of the most notable ways of keeping your technology in proper working order: managed IT services.
The modern small business will face several challenges in 2018. The world is changing, and with it, so is business. For many small businesses, this can either be looked on as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, or, it can be viewed as the beginning of the end. No matter what situations you are faced with this year, understanding what problems your business faces, and how to solve them is imperative to your small business’ success.
Collaboration is a key part of business today, which has led to many developers and providers entering the business of collaboration. These developers are in deep competition with each other, each trying to update their offering to be better than the others’. Recently, Facebook Workplace, Slack, and Google’s Gmail each received collaboration-boosting updates.
With the growing popularity of Cyber Monday sales and explosion of all types of eCommerce, employees are more than likely tempted to shop during work hours. There are a lot of promotions exclusively available to online shoppers that take place during a business’ hour of operations. Many companies allow occasional use of company time for personal use. However, some employees are going to take advantage of this generosity and abuse the privilege.
The holidays are a time when everyone questions whether they will be able to spend their time at home with their families, or be stuck at the office trying to beat a nasty deadline. The increase in mobile technology hasn’t made getting away from work any easier, but it has made it easier to work away from the office. Since this constant How can you achieve a precious work/life balance for your workplace duties?
If you’ve ever managed a major IT project, you’re probably well acquainted with Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Every project is going to have some rough patches. The key to overcoming these challenges lays not with the execution of the plan, but with the preparation. Here are four things to consider when you’re planning your next long-term IT project.
Have you ever tried to manage a major IT project yourself? If you have, you know that it’s a huge time sink and that there’s a lot involved with the process. We’ll discuss four of the best ways that you can save time and resources while managing your latest technology implementation project.
Every business is searching for ways to improve productivity. There are now quite a few methods being used to boost the amount that each employee can accomplish, many of which revolve around technology. Admittedly, some of these methods may not be attainable for the average SMB… yet. However, as technology advances you may find yourself able to leverage some of these productivity-enhancing tools to improve the look of your bottom line.
When people talk about a business’ efficiency, it’s typically referring to the ability for the organization to bring a product or service to market quickly with a small amount of wasted resources. The prevailing theory is that an efficiently-run business costs less, makes more, and grows faster than one that is inefficient. With the way business is headed--that is, with smaller profit margins than ever before--boosting efficiency has become a core business strategy. In fact, in today’s technology-driven marketplace, there are many that would argue that the efficient business is the only good business.
How much time does your staff spend actually doing work compared to simply communicating about work? There’s a big difference, primarily in terms of making you money versus costing you money. Truth be told, employees spend nearly 80 percent of their time either in meetings, on the phone, or responding to emails. By finding ways for your team to communicate more efficiently, they will effectively spend less time yapping and more time making you money.
When you talk about your employees, you hopefully often refer to them as a department, or a “team.” These terms often come with predetermined assumptions, with one of them being that the employees work together to accomplish something specific. However, it’s often not so simple. If your employees aren’t working together as a team, how can you fix this dilemma?
Entrepreneurs enjoy an almost mythical standing in the business world as visionary leaders risking everything on an idea that, if successful, pays off in a big way. Yet, few understand the role of the intrapreneur; those who have equally big ideas, but operate in the context of established companies. Your business likely has dynamic intrapreneurs in your midst, but how do you make sure their voices are heard?
So, you’ve just finished up a huge, potentially career-altering project. Your finger is poised over the mouse, ready to click ‘save,’ when suddenly your entire project disappears. Turns out, a critical issue just killed your network, your progress, and your mood. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to keep this from happening?
Social media is a phenomenon that has invaded the business world in more ways than one. While it might be a great way to endorse your brand and communicate with your local prospects, it can be a huge distraction for your in-house workers. A new study by communications agency, We Are Flint, claims that 84 percent of adults in the UK use social media, and two-thirds of them use it every day--be it at the office or at home.
Stress is one of those things that you can’t escape, no matter how hard you try, and it can takes a toll on your workday. Despite this, there are (surprisingly) some redeeming factors to stress to be considered.
Instant messaging is commonplace in today’s society. It used to be primarily for social interaction, but its success was so overwhelming that business professionals have implemented it into their daily communications. Although, despite the advantages that instant messaging can provide, you still have to jump through some hoops in order to bypass what it’s become; an immense annoyance.
Today’s fast-paced work environment demands multitasking and juggling various projects at once. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great technologies designed to make workloads more manageable. If you’ve not yet looked into utilizing automation apps for your business, you may be surprised to learn how they can improve efficiency.
It’s time to be realistic and admit that the office can be an extraordinarily distracting place. Constant meetings and discussions, phones ringing, and emails hitting the inbox can all seem overwhelming. With so much going on, how can you get the most work done while still remaining in contact with your co-workers?
Downtime is a critical problem with many businesses that have limited IT budgets. Organizations need to ensure that their bottom line is as high as possible, but if you’re constantly plagued by persistent downtime, your business is losing money when it doesn’t need to. We’re here to inform you about downtime, and what it can cost your business if it’s not addressed promptly.
Grammar is quite complex, and it can be a problem for some people who don’t write or compose documents on a daily basis. One way that you can correct your writing, as well as learn why your writing needs correction, is by using a free Google Chrome extension called Grammarly.
Most modern businesses need access to crucial parts of their infrastructure in order to keep operations moving forward. For example, your building’s electricity is necessary to power your technology, and without an Internet connection, you could be losing out on hours of potential productivity. What can you do to minimize downtime and make the best out of a bad situation?
There are some workdays where distractions are abound and you can’t even remember what you’re supposed to be doing. In trying times like these, you need all the help you can get, just to stay focused and on task. Here are four simple adjustments to your work routine that have been proven to do wonders to increase productivity.
How many of your employees have a smartphone? The answer is probably most (if not all) of them. In the United States alone, nearly two-thirds of adults own a smartphone, and many of them depend on the device to do much of their personal computing. As a result, many workers, even if they are instructed not to, will use their devices while at your office. This is why many companies have put in place a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy.
Wearable technology isn’t a new concept, but lately it’s been exploding in popularity. People love the fact that they can use their watch to perform various features that a smartphone can accomplish, and they enjoy how their workouts can be monitored by various health sensory-type devices. However, is this obsession with wearable technology going to amount to anything, or will it be a notorious flop?
What’s your reaction to your mobile device beeping at you? If you’re the kind of person that drops everything to see what it says, then you’re probably way more distracted at work than you should be. It’s a bad habit to look at your phone every minute or two, but with hard work, habits can be broken. Here are three actions you can take to minimize workplace distractions so you can be more productive.
Today’s workplace productivity has reached a peak, but thanks to this enhanced amount of work, the office environment can often feel hectic and stressful. This usually leads to workers skipping breaks just so that they don’t fall behind. While this maintains the semblance of productivity, it can often lead to a significant decrease in creativity and physical health.
You and your staff require certain software applications to get work done, whether it be your line of business app, your accounting software, or even Microsoft Office. This brings up a crucial question: do you know where all pieces of software you require came from, and are your licenses valid and up to date?
Can you imagine how much easier it would be to manage your IT problems if you had a dedicated support team who you could always count on to receive calls and answer any questions your team has? This would technically qualify as an internal help desk, and they could potentially save you a ton of money and time in the long run. Why? Because your team wouldn’t have to waste time digging through complicated systems to find answers to their dilemmas.
“Do you think this is a game?” In the past, a boss may have used this line to criticize an employee for not taking their job seriously. However, in today’s more creative work environments, many companies are using game mechanics to achieve their goals. This business strategy is called gamification, and it’s the most fun way to get work done.
There are a lot of ways to boost your productivity in the workplace, but sometimes it can be as simple as not working. According to a study by Julia Gifford of Draugiem Group, it’s not about what workers do to get ahead of the curve, but what they don’t do that sets them apart from others around them.
Everybody loves a vacation from work, but nobody enjoys the stress of catching up when returning from said vacation. It doesn’t have to be this way. By taking a few precautions, you can avoid ever again having to say, “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
Smartphones and tablets are the new norm. Most professionals have begun to utilize mobile devices to accomplish tasks when they are away from their work PC. Not to say that these devices offer all that much in the way of productivity. Sure, there are plenty of software titles either ported over from the PC or developed directly for the mobile environment, but sometimes these titles don’t offer the functionality, or they take up too many of the device’s resources to be of much use. With these variables to consider, manufacturers are searching for the best way to deliver devices with enhanced productivity capabilities, right out of the box. One of these manufacturers is Microsoft.
There seem to be thousands of different ways a user can customize their desktop experience. Almost every nook and cranny of a system can be adjusted, even right down to the icons on your desktop. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to adjust the size of your desktop icons.
The key to a productive workday may be the tomato. Not in the sense that eating more tomatoes will make you smarter; instead, we’re talking about the classic tomato-shaped cooking timer that counts down from 25 minutes. It turns out that 25-minute-tomato increments could be the most effective way to accomplish your work.
When it comes to service jobs, there are two kinds: Those where the work is highly visible, and those where work gets accomplished behind the scenes. Each service is valued and needed, yet, one may receive more attention and recognition than the other. Managed IT service falls under the latter category, and we’re totally okay with that.
We all know the story of the overworked employee. They put everything they have into their job, but they still don’t know why they can’t get everything done on time, or why their work productivity suffers. The truth of the matter is that they are pushing themselves too hard.
The open office is convenient for a number of reasons. It is far more space-efficient, and it makes collaboration easier among coworkers. However, did you know that the open office can make people worse at their jobs? In 2002, a study in the journal Environment and Behavior tracked employees as they were moved from a private office to the open office, and the results were less than desirable.
Every business owner knows what’s expected of them when it comes time to onboard a new hire. When the training videos are all watched and the new employee is lined up to kick butt and take names, is that when your job as overseer ends, or is there more that you can do to get more productivity out of your staff?
When it comes down to it, your employees are being paid for their time spent at work. Business operates on the principle of “time is money,” which means that every minute wasted cuts into your bottom line. If you’re looking to squeeze the most productivity out of your employees, then there are technologies available that can take back those precious minutes.
Mobile is all the rage nowadays. Industry giants such as Microsoft and Apple claim to have mobile devices that make the PC obsolete. It makes for great marketing, but do mobile devices have what it takes to keep employees productive inside and outside of the workplace? The statistics say no, but the gap is closing. Here are three mobile myths all CIOs should consider.
We’re all aware of how the proliferation of mobile devices is changing the workplace, but let’s take an objective look at this trend. Are mobile devices changing the workplace for the better? Are employees actually using their personal devices to get more work done? Or, is the BYOD trend a bunch of hype and nothing’s really changed? Let’s find out.
A business owner knows better than anyone how difficult it can be to manage their time and get the most out of their workday. However, you can use your morning and afternoon commutes to eliminate certain mundane tasks from your day-to-day schedule. By using this time to your advantage, you can reduce the stress you’re put under on a daily basis and free your schedule for more important tasks.
How are you coming on those New Year’s resolutions? If you’re already putting off doing them due to a case of getting bit by the procrastination bug, then you might be feeling down on yourself and thinking about giving up. But, did you know that doing something a little later might actually be a better way to get something done?
When it comes to the workplace, people want more than they used to. It used to be all about the salary and decent working conditions, but that has significantly changed in the past decade. In order to attract the best talent and stay ahead of the competition, you want to provide optimal working conditions when possible. Thankfully, by providing your team with a few accommodations, it doesn’t have to be difficult for everyone to enjoy their workday.
Since the dawn of the Internet, email has been that thing you love to hate. Email was meant to be a dynamic tool capable of replacing the odd fax machine and postal mail. Today, some workers dread even opening their inbox due to how much time they have to invest in it. Some might even wonder if there’s a better way to go about their work day.
The majority of employees love the idea of working from home. Its benefits are well-known; saving on commuting expenses, freeing up office space, improving employee satisfaction, the list goes on. Yet, many employers are hesitant to allow their staff to work from home. Why is this?
Have you ever found yourself neck deep in a major business project and nothing seemed to be working? In times like these you may have thrown up your hands and said, “There must be a better way to do this!” Often times there is, and it’s in the form of new technology. Is your current IT provider familiar with the latest technologies that can make operations easier for your business?
Black Friday is widely regarded as the most competitive day for American retailers, and for consumers standing in line to take advantage of rock-bottom prices, the general consensus is that all of this competition is great for their wallets. In the same way, your business can benefit from a healthy dose of friendly competition.
Every office worker knows that downtime experienced from a technology issue can totally derail the day’s productivity. However, one thing that office managers might not be aware of is how, in a downtime event, it’s possible to divert a worker’s energy so that productivity still happens on some level, which helps take the sting out of downtime.
It’s important to keep your communications plans organized, but it’s especially important for your IT department to keep in touch with other parts of your business. If a fatal problem shows its face, you want to make sure that they are there to fix it. In order to prevent these situations, plan out your IT communications strategy in detail, and stick to it.
It doesn’t matter how extraordinary your business skills are; eventually, your body begins to catch up with you and you’re hit with a storm of illness that no painkillers or medication can quell. In this case, it’s often better to quarantine yourself to your home and take it easy for the day. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive at the same time.
One would assume that being an officer in the military would require the ferociousness of a warrior and the mental fortitude to make split-second life-saving decisions on the battlefield. Surprisingly, in today’s modern military, there’s one skill that’s valued above the ability to fight: Microsoft PowerPoint proficiency.
As long as computer software has existed, it's been plagued by bugs. Like real bugs, software bugs are an infestation and can cause major problems for businesses. When assessing software bugs, one question comes to mind; "After decades of dealing with bugs, why are they still an issue?"
There is consistent conversation about the security of your data and the best ways to minimize the risk of losing it. At some point in this conversation the topic of mobile devices comes up. The general consensus is that the more places your staff can access their work, the more they can get done, and how could it not? With smartphones becoming as predominant as coffee mugs, and the nature of mobile devices that have the capability of hopping from one network to the next, how can you ignore that the devices themselves are a data-loss risk?
Everyone is well aware of how mobile technology is changing everything. Therefore, it's a matter of time before we see new tech drastically change the office layout. This is what's happening in forward-thinking offices with a trend called "hoteling." If your business enjoys mobile technology and you want to get the most collaboration out of your staff, then hoteling is right for you.
Automation is an increasingly sought-after convenience in the workplace, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks. Some professionals foresee a world which has fully automated assembly lines, but most are only concerned about what this can do for their assets. Instead of freeing up menial positions for others to take on more meaningful existences, could automation destroy these jobs completely?
When life throws you for a loop and you are contracted with much more work than you are used to, perhaps it is time to upgrade your workstation. One of the simplest ways you can do this is by hooking up multiple monitors. With too many windows open, your desktop becomes cluttered and your workflow impeded. Stop getting lost in your work and hook up an extra screen today!
You may think that you're awesome at multitasking, but according to cognitive psychologist Art Markman, "You are your own worst judge of how good a multitasker you are." This is because the same areas of your brain that monitor performance are the same areas activated by multitasking, which means that it's difficult to accurately evaluate your own performance.
We've all wasted time surfing the Internet, but as we know, there are unfortunately extremes to every action. Wasting time by mindlessly browsing Internet pages can certainly become a problem when it claims huge portions of your time at work, killing your productivity. Can you not seem to get away from surfing the Internet?
When it comes to working from home, everybody wins! In our last article, we looked at how employees win because working from home saves them time and money from commuting. Employers are another group that benefits because working from home makes doing business more productive and more efficient.
Have you been frustrated with your employees lately? Maybe they aren't getting projects done on time, or aren't producing at a very high quality. Have you ever considered that you have substantial control over their job performance? People only work if they are motivated to do so. Here are six ways to motivate your employees.
First introduced by Xerox back in the 1964, the fax machine, or Long Distance Xerography as it was called then, was the hottest office productivity tool of its day. This new technology saved workers from having to send documents via mail, which dramatically improved office communications. Nearly fifty years later, and the fax machine has become a hindrance to office productivity.
Wouldn't you like to be more productive at work? For most of us, increased productivity means making more money, spending more time on what matters most (family, friends, etc.), and simply just feeling better. Many of us seek to increase productivity with elaborate and complicated methods. Here are five ways to increase your productivity, starting today.
There are currently over 900,000 mobile apps available for download. There are apps available for virtually any everyday function; entertainment, education, news, weather, health, and the list goes on. Your mobile device, armed with the right apps, can be your greatest productivity tools. Here are three essential mobile apps that can enhance your business productivity.